Sunday, 9 June 2013

A local Catch Up

After being away for a few days (more on this to follow in the next post) on Friday I had a walk around the local area to see how some of the local breeding birds are getting along. In Sefton Park the best find was a family party of at least five young Grey Wagtails at the South-West corner of the lake, they were acting in a uncharacteristic way; moving about the branches of trees rather than feeding on the ground. The adult birds would occasionally appear with food for them, but this wont last for long as they look about ready to fully fledge. On the lake the pair of nesting Great Crested Grebes are still going strong and another third bird is usually to be found at the South-end of the lake opposite the small cafe....fingers crossed that young will appear soon. On the lake Swifts could be seen skimming the surface in search of insects and occasionally dropping their lower jaws into the water to catch a quick drink at top speed; an impressive feat. Small numbers of swallows hunt the area surrounding the lake and House Martins soar higher up above the South-end of the lake, the family of Mute Swans are still all accounted for, however, this cant be said for the Canada Goose family on the main lake which has dropped from five chicks to two; after two have been drowned by the male Mute Swan and another falling victim to another dog attack in the park, the pair of Little Grebes are still present but I couldn't see any new nesting site (but I would love to be wrong). Near the bandstand two Grey Herons hunted in the shallows and a Great Spotted Woodpecker, Chiff Chaff, and Ring-Necked Parakeet could be seen in the Dell area.
In Greenbank Park two pairs of Nuthatch and one pair of Great Spotted Woodpeckers are feeding young, two Grey Herons (different birds than Sefton), three Mute Swans, and a Red Eared Terrapin can be seen on the lake. Chiff Chaff and Willow Warbler still occasionally sing and Treecreepers are breeding in the wooded section. A Common Buzzard was mobbed by crows overhead and driven off towards Penny Lane. The clump of Honey Garlic is impressive now in the wooded section opposite Gorsebank Road and is well worth a look being one of only two North-West sites were it grows.

Moorhen - Greenbank Park

Great Crested Grebe (nesting) - Sefton Park

Treecreeper - Greenbank Park

Great Crested Grebe - Sefton Park

juv Grey Wagtail - Sefton Park

juv Grey Wagtails - Sefton Park

juv Grey Wagtail - Sefton Park

Ring Necked Parakeet - Sefton Park


Paul Slater said...

Hello Danny,
Thanks for the updates. Nuthatches have also nested in an old concrete lamp-post, alongside the Sefton Park Meadowlands.
You may be aware that the Sefton Park Meadowlands are under threat, at present. The present administration of Liverpool City Council is proposing to sell them off, for housing. In order to do this, the Council has to, by law, advertise their intent to dispose of land that is presently public open space. Last week, in the back pages of the Liverpool Post was a tiny advert, to this effect. People have until 10:00, on Friday 14 June to lodge objections.
Representation can be made by e-mail, to (quoting reference PRT/TIG/Park Ave).
If they dispose of this site, then they will start looking around for other areas of public open space to dispose of. I would urge everybody who cares about open spaces in Liverpool, to object to this appalling idea of the present administration of Liverpool City Council.
Paul Slater

Neil M said...

mixed news from a couple of wanders round sefton park yesterday and today. on the plus side there are lots of fledglings of one sort or another around the place, and a lot of song from within the undergrowth that suggests a lot more birds are staying hidden. plenty of adults around with beaks full of food too including a pied wagtail around the aigburth vale end of the lake. in the same area 3 juvenile grey wagtail were very unconcerned about people being within a couple of feet giving great photo opportunities. the coots seem to be doing very well this year with plenty of chicks on both the main and the smaller lake and i'm looking forward to the great crested grebe clutch hatching. there seem to be a great number of bumblebees around this year and hoardes of blue damselflys on the lake. the carp are also showing signs of spawning, following each other closely up and down the shallow edges. on the downside the swan family is now on the main lake and from 7 cygnets yesterday they're down to 4 today. don't know what happened but i suspect dogs will have been involved. also a little worrying is the large amount of dead sticklebacks around the edges of the lake, there are hundreds of them in the shallows all around the lake with a lot of adults gasping and slowly expiring at the surface. on closer insepction they seem to have some kind of fungal infection or disease as most show large discoloured patches. the fry seem unaffected, it just the adults that are dying off. as far as i'm aware they're not a fish that dies after spawning which raises the possibility that the water in the lake isn't as clean as it looks....
having said that i have noticed in the interlinking pools leading up to the dell that there are silver fish, presumably roach, in the deeper bits. I'd estimate that i saw a couple of hundred across different areas the other day although the water's murky so it's difficult to tell but i'd say some were 4 or 5 inches long.

Joe Butler said...

Hi , I am not an expert on birds but when I was walking through the university last week and I saw two beautiful birds flying from a tree to the edge of a building roof. I'd never seen them before, they had a stunning lime green belly and long tails. I did a bit of rookie IDing using internet and RSPB site and concluded they might be female Grey Wagtails. Then I told my dad (a birder) and he said they are normally seen near water and there is no water around the University that I'm aware of, so i began to doubt my ID. So then i typed in "grey wagtail liverpool" into google and found your blog. I was fascinated to learn of the juveniles uncharacteristic behaivour in the trees and made me wonder if they had begun to explore Liverpool, beyond Sefton Park...

Anonymous said...

Hi Danny

Thought you'd want to know that I was riding my bike late at night through sefton park when I heard what sounded like a Tawny owl. I slowed down slightly to listen for it when it suddenly flew right in front of me! I was really happy with this sighting as it was actually my first ever wild owl!

By the way, your blog is awesome and I love reading it! Keep up the good work!