New Brighton: The Autumn Dream

A series of images from a recent trip down the road to New Brighton on the Wirral peninsular during strong north west gales. Weather conditions were idea for this time of year and resulted in Leach’s Storm Petrel (Oceanodroma leucorhoa), being blown into the River Mersey along with Red Phalaropes, Sabine’s Gulls and Black Terns.

Observations of the Mersey were made off the sand bank located off Fort Perch Rock, and in good company with Pete & Jack Morris, Allan Conlin and Colin Jones. Whilst a little further up the coast James O’Neill appeared to be unaware of the madness taking place just 500m down the beach form where he’d set up base, as Leach’s were coming in thick, fast and close in.

The Leach’s were the clear winners of the day and having lived on the Wirral for the past 18 years, I can’t recall there being a better turn of events for bringing in these much sort after pelagic specialists. Other highlights included an obliging adult Red Phalarope that showed well along the shore line for several minutes before being taken up river by the tide, an isolated European Storm Petrel battling it out the Mersey was my first for Wirral & Cheshire and in addition Arctic & Black Terns were good birds for the north Wirral coast.

River Watch (0943-1526):

  • Greater Canada Goose –  24
  • Common Shelduck – 2
  • Mallard – 1
  • Common Scoter – 6
  • Northern Fulmar – 2
  • European Storm Petrel – 1 (County Description)*
  • Leach’s Storm Petrel – 53 (Vast majority 1cy)
  • Great Cormorant – 34
  • Little Egret – 1 (Personal first for site)
  • Eurasian Sparrowhawk – 1
  • Eurasian Oystercatcher – 12
  • Dunlin – 3
  • Red Phalarope – 1 (County Description)*
  • Common Redshank – 11
  • Auk sp – 1
  • Black Tern – 1
  • Arctic Tern – 2
  • Black-legged Kittiwake – 1 (Worn 1st summer feeding in river mouth)
  • Black-headed Gull – 44
  • Common Gull – 18
  • Lesser Black-backed Gull – 30
  • European Herring Gull – 145
  • Great Black-backed Gull – 13
  • Common Woodpigeon – 1
  • Carrion Crow – 11
  • Northern Raven – 2
  • Barn Swallow – 1 (Flew alongside Leach’s in river mouth!)
  • Common Starling – 14
  • White Wagtail – 7 (ssp. yarrelli)
  • Grey Wagtail – 1 (calling over marine lake)
  • Meadow Pipit – 3
  • Linnet – 23
Leach's Petrel 4_edited-1
Leach’s Storm Petrel (Oceanodroma leucorhoa) – New Brighton, Wirral 13.09.17
Grey Phalarope NB_edited2
Red Phalarope (Phalaropus fulicarius) – New Brighton, Wirral 13.09.17
Leach's Petrel 5_edited-1
Leach’s Storm Petrel (Oceanodroma leucorhoa) – New Brighton, Wirral 13.09.17
Leach's Petrel 7_edited-1
Leach’s  Storm Petrel (Oceanodroma leucorhoa) – New Brighton, Wirral 13.09.17
Grey Phalarope NB 3_edited-1.jpg
Red Phalarope (Phalaropus fulicarius) – New Brighton, Wirral 13.09.17
Leach's Petrel 8_edited-1
Leach’s Storm Petrel (Oceanodroma leucorhoa) – New Brighton, Wirral 13.09.17
Leach's Petrel NB_edited-1
Leach’s Storm Petrel (Oceanodroma leucorhoa) – New Brighton, Wirral 13.09.17
Black Tern NB_edited-1
Black Tern (Chlidonias niger) – New Brighton, Wirral 13.09.17
Grey Phalarope NB Flight_edited-1
Red Phalarope (Phalaropus fulicarius) – New Brighton, Wirral 13.09.17
Leach's Petrel _edited-1
Leach’s Storm Petrel (Oceanodroma leucorhoa) – New Brighton, Wirral 13.09.17
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