Thursday, 31 May 2012

Breeding Parakeets ...... PROVEN

Ring Necked Parakeet - Greenbank Park

I have not been around much lately which is an obvious testament to my lack of blogging! Yet I have had decent sightings recently, most notably breeding pair of Ring Necked Parakeets in Greenbank Park. If you face the noticeboard (the one at the northern end of the park) and look up and to your right they are nesting in the obvious hole in the Plane Tree, with chicks (or maybe just chick) viewable at times. Be patient as the adults disappear for long periods and are remarkably silent and wary when nesting. Another pair has joined the resident pair over the last couple of weeks and have been duly dispatched! I think his pair may be breeding around Greenbank College/allotments area, in Sefton Park I presume that a pair (or more) are breeding as I have heard birds calling from the area behind the cafe over the last few weeks and Will reports he was watching one in the park yesterday (nice one Will).

Ring Necked Parakeet - Greenbank Park

Ring Necked Parakeet - Greenbank Park

Ring Necked Parakeet - Greenbank Park

Apart from Parakeets I have found a great deal of other hole nesting species in the area, in Greenbank Park two pairs of breeding Great Spotted Woodpeckers have fledged young as have two pairs of Nuthatch, a breeding pair of Treecreepers are ever present around the north end of the lake (with a breeding pair close to the footbridge on Mossley Hill Road North), and a pair of Coal Tits are nesting in a box in that area. Other passerines in Greenbank include a breeding pair of Pied Wagtails, and two Blackcaps on territory (as is one on the bridge on Penny Lane along with a Chiff Chaff), On the lake the Mute Swans have again been unsuccessful at rearing young again this year, three broods of Coot have hatched but are quickly dispatched by the Lesser Black Backed Gulls (gruesome sight). I have heard a Little Owl calling during the night recently and as with previous years seems to come from the direction of the allotments in between Greenbank Road/Drive, 2 Grey Herons can be seen regularly using Greenbank Park lake during the early mornings.

Grey Heron - Greenbank Park

Grey Heron - Greenbank Park

Grey Heron & 2 Mute Swans - Greenbank Park

The warm weather has brought lots of Pipistrelles out and at dusk can be seen all over the area. I have found a great deal of Cuckoo flower in the area recently which probably explains the occurrence of good numbers of Orange Tips, also their have been plenty of Holly Blues around too. I recently discovered more of the rare Solomons Seal over the wall behind the Penny Lane sign and the Honey Garlic is again in flower in Greenbank Park (this is arguably one of the rarest plants in the North-West region).

Elsewhere in Wavertree Mystery 3 male Whitethroats, 3 male Blackcaps, and a chiff chaff are on territory. In the woodland adjacent to Greenbank Drive I have found 3 Blackcap, 4 Chiff Chaff and a Willow Warbler all on territory, together with breeding Nuthatch, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Jay, and Song Thrush. In Sefton Park the Swans have raised three young, with both Great Spotted Woodpecker and Nuthatch breeding in the same tree in the dell, Grey Wagtails are breeding nearby too. A Nuthatch reared young in the lone Ash Tree along the main path behind the cafe and Peregrines are still being occasionally spotted in the area (where exactly are they?), odd Buzzards are occasionally seen loafing around on thermals or being harassed by Crows and probably originate from further east in the city.

Honey Garlic - Greenbank Park

Solomons Seal - North Mossley Hill Road

Mallard - Sefton Park

Ramsoms (Wild Garlic) - Greenbank Drive Wood

Ramsoms (Wild Garlic) - Greenbank Drive Wood

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Kite and Clarkes Gardens

I was amazed yesterday (Saturday 5th) as I was decorating the in-laws flat in Grassendale and looking out West towards the cricket club I saw a Red Kite flying low at treetop level not that much higher than the rooftops! The bird wasn't heading in a certain direction but rather, seemed to be rather laboured and not on a migratory path. Eventually it headed out of sight towards Aigburth/Sefton Park areas, still at a low height; keep your eyes peeled. Also flowering Three Cornered Leek on South Sudley Road.

Cowslip - Clarkes Gardens
On Wednesday evening I was in Clarkes Gardens, Springwood crem, and Eric Hardy Nature Reserve with the family;  a Common Buzzard was disturbed in the crematorium as it was apparently eating worms or other insects of some sort....a surprising yet common feature of this large raptor species. I was surprised to find an area of Bugle in the wilder margins of the crem (my first 'wild' Bugle in this area), loads of Rabbits in the crem; generally in South Liverpool Rabbits are mainly nocturnal and rarely seen. In clarkes Gardens and the adjacent Eric Hardy Nature Reserve 2 Bullfinches, 3 Chiff Chaffs, Willow Warbler, 3 Blackcaps, 5 Swallows, Nuthatch, and a Great Spotted Woodpecker could be found, plenty of Ramsons were in flower as were Cowslips; two iconic spring flowers.

In Greenbank Park the Swans are still sitting on eggs, on the precariously balanced nest! 2 Red Eared Terrapins, nesting Nuthatch, Great Spotted Woodpecker and Treecreeper. Willow Warblers are still regularly passing through and Swallows are now ever present, Ring Necked Parakeets have been around lately usually early morning.

Allium Ursinum (Ramsons) - Clarkes Gardens

Adjuga reptans (Bugle) - Springwood Crematorium
On Penny Lane on Tuesday a singing Willow Warbler and Holly Blue Butterfly's could be seen along the holly trees at Greenbank Road Junction, the gangs of photo happy tourists looked a bit bemused as I was trying to get photos of the butterfly's whilst ignoring the world famous road sign! Just a little way up Penny Lane I have found Solomons Seal growing from the Sandstone wall; a very unusual sight, elsewhere Solomons Seal can be found in the University grounds (just inside the fence line) opposite the cricket pitch on Greenbank Road.

In Sefton Park a pair of Great Spotted Woodpeckers and a pair of Nuthatches are nesting in the same tree in the dell, with another Nuthatch nesting near to the cafe. The Little Grebes are having a hard time of it with another failed attempt at breeding (eggs gone and nest half destroyed) maybe Terrapins or more likely territorial Coots. A Sparrowhawk was over the dell and is probably one of a local pair. In Greenbank Drive woods plenty of flowering Ramsons and flowering Primroses added a touch of Spring as did singing Chiff Chaffs, Blackcaps, and Willow Warblers.

In Wavertree Mystery on Friday I found my first Swift of the year, with a Chiff Chaff and flowering Primroses on the railway banks too. 

Ajuga reptans (Bugle) - Springwood Crematorium
Sorry about the lack of photos lately, but I have been getting driven crazy by the blog refusing to upload photos! I will try and add a few to previous posts.