12.09.17. Birdlog.

We were on the Wirral when I got a call from Frank Duff this afternoon regarding a third hand sighting of a phalarope spp that Mike Giverin had chanced upon two birders (who had visited the Frodder’s earlier) at Burton Mere, confused? The upshot of all of this was that Frank went to the marsh to investigate and eventually relocated the ‘phal’ and it turned out to be of the Red-necked variety (and there are a few rednecks down on the marsh ;O). It took a while for me and Sparky to get to the site and… you know you’re late to the party when Phil Oddy is leaving the bird having twitched it from the badlands of east Cheshire. Red-necked Phalarope video here: https://vimeo.com/233547295

We managed to watch this delicate oceanic wanderer spinning on the edge of the c350 Black-tailed Godwit, 7 Ruff, 4 Ringed Plover and 8 Dunlin. That wrecking ball juvenile Peregrine smashed through the godwit flock like a ten pin bowling session. There wasn’t a wader left with every one of them scattering in various tight panic flocks. After the melee there was no sign of the phalarope and not a lot of anything else. It had still not returned by 17.00 hrs.

We briefly met Luke and he mentioned that there was an adult Gannet out on the River Weaver. When we had traipsed around the eastern sides of both No.5 and No.1 tanks I eventually met Frank who was watching the bird on the far banks of the Weaver estuary  and for all the world dead! Except, it was just asleep and woke long enough to raise its head and flap its wings before going back to sleep again. Gannet video here: https://vimeo.com/233542599

The estuary also had a mixed flock of 200 hirundines with an additional attachment of 8 Common Swift.

Observers: Luke Oszanlov-Harris, Frank Duff, WSM (and video) & Sparky.