Took a well overdue and much needed break from revision down to my old patch, RSPB Burton Mere Wetlands in Cheshire. Following the mornings WeBS at Port Sunlight River Park, Birkenhead Docks and Seacombe Ferry, which were highlighted by Northern Pintail, Eurasian Woodcock and the 3rd record of Whooper Swan for Birkenhead Docks, my current patch. It was down for an afternoon at ‘BMW’.
The reception scrapes where relatively quiet with a record count of 122 Pied Avocet (highest count for Wirral & Cheshire), along with other birds of note being four Great Egret, one Brambling, one Merlin, one European Green Woodpecker and a single Sand Martin over Willow Mere. The bird was just clinging on in the sub-zero conditions, flying slow, mainly hovering over the water’s surface plucking off any insects off the surface. Elsewhere on the reserve other birds of note just included several Eurasian Woodcock in the wet woodland before IMF.
Afterwards I walked down to Denhall Lane/Quay for the wintering Short-eared Owls; none of which were on show in the evening however a Barn Owl came out just after 4pm and gave a brief appearance. Up to six Great Egrets where out on the Dee salt marsh whilst a single Water Pipit was at the far end near the beginning of Neston Reed Bed.