Monday, 11 January 2016

9th January

Broad Lane is Heswall, The Wirral, had become a temporary home for a Pallas's Warbler, a tiny Asian warbler.  Having not seen this species before I was on the road at 06.00 and on site just before 09.00 (I know it is only 2 hours from Alrewas but it was lashing down with rain so a breakfast was enjoyed).  The bird had shown in heavy rain but briefly but that was good news, it was till around, and so the wait was on before it showed again.  Show it did thank god, 2 hours later, and so a PALLAS'S WARBLER was in the bag.  To begin with it showed on the right hand side hedge on the floor briefly, I didn't get on it then but the it flew to the right hand hedge and continued to act like a Goldcrest as it fed and flittered along the face of the hedgerow enough to get on it and see the orangy yellow supercilium, and yellowy white wing stripes but sadly no pale rump. 
As well as the super warbler, bloody load of Goldcrests and the odd Chiffchaff.
I would have liked to bird the Wirral for more birds as it is a fantastic place for some winter birding but I was told of a private site in Cheshire where a Black-necked Grebe had been present for a few weeks.  On finding the lake I failed to find the bird but added Raven and Jay to my year list.  The bird was present n the Sunday as my contact had it. :(
I decided then to come back in to Staffs to end the day at Swallow Moss but before then I had time to check out a site for Dipper, which I dipped on, before heading to Knotbury for Red Grouse. I got out of the car, scanned the local fields for anything and spotted a bonus Little Owl sitting on a stone wall, a nice year tick.  A walk around the track and it wasn't long before a Red Grouse flew past me.  That's was enough as time was getting on and I wanted to get to Swallow Moss before dusk. 
On the way to Swallow Moss my year list grew one with the sighting of a Short-eared Owl hunting near Flash.
I arrived at Swallow Moss and was there until dark but only managed to get Starlings, Pheasant and a Wren.
A great days birding. 

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