22.12.20. Birdlog.

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A late morning walk out to the ‘phalarope pool’ and en route a chance encounter with first Arthur Harrison who had seen European Stonechat and a Western Marsh Harrier. Later we bumped into Jacqui & Idris Roberts who hadn’t seen much, but were willing if the occasion arose.

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A look over No.6 tank and a variety of ducks included: 164 Northern Shoveler, 83 Mallard, 24 Northern Pintail, 7 Common Shelduck, 231 Eurasian Teal, 19 Little Grebe and a single Tufted Duck. The rest of the teal were on No.3 tank with more Northern Shoveler and Mallard present.

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Walking out to the corner of No.4 tank looking across Lordship Marsh and the 37 Whooper (super) Swan herd were hiding behind a hedge. An impressive gathering in two flocks of both Common & Black-headed Gull which reached c1000 birds. A couple of Common Chiffchaff were skulking in the willows on No.4 tank.

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Walking back along Moorditch Lane and a fine male Merlin was sat on top of a pylon surveying the fields below. Its attention focused on a stubble field below and like a freight train it scorched through the air and snatched a Redwing feeding unaware there. A fine example of predator knowing its trade.

Observers: JS & WSM (images & video).

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Elsewhere a Common Kingfisher was doing its thang and a Jelly Ear Fungi (Auricularia auricula-judae) was keeping its ear to the ground.

Common Kingfisher at Spike Island.

I dedicate this post to Wirral birder John Jones with whom I shared many birding trips throughout the UK. My favourite being the Saito, Hermaness Black-browed Albatross with his son Steve and Mac birder Kevin Hughes in the early 1980’s. RIP John.