It was a team effort today with Luke Anderson & Adam Canning joining me to complete a full census of the Common Terns in Birkenhead Docks, along with the newly discovered Heronry I found two weeks ago.
When arriving to meet Adam at Hamilton Square Station, an unexpected patch tick for Birkenhead Docks came in with a small collection of feathers belonging to a Western Barn Owl underneath the Peregrine Falcon’s favored perch. Whilst waiting for Adam to come out the station a pair of Pink-footed Geese flew north, as did a Common Buzzard being mobbed by a pair of Common Raven. But what was most surprising, was in fact a pair of Common Terns calling round the station tower before heading in the direction of the docks.
Once paired up with Mr Canning we headed to the East Float of Birkenhead Docks; here we picked up the unforgettable sound of the Common Terns. Still chuffed to this day that I discovered Cheshire’s only Tern colony back in 2015 when I first started patching the docks. As we were making our way up to the colony, of which there were 48 adults present with the majority paired up, a rather striking European Herring Gull was present showing a pair of eye catching yellow-legs. I did have a yellow-legged argenteus at the docks a few weeks back, however this bird has a different body structure and legs are far brighter.
Whilst on route to the Gull Roost, Adam and I discovered a new breeding Common Raven with a nest along the A5030 parallel to the East Float. Firs time I’d noticed the docks in the area this year, for a while I thought that the pair documented around Leasowe Lighthouse may have been the Dock Ravens relocating. The gull roost its self was all but dead, quite literally with the remains of a European Herring Gull out in the roost.
Now at Bidston, we met up with Mr Anderson and headed off to the Heronry and this time we’d be back in full gear ready to get a full sweep of the site, due to only being able to get partial access it first time round. On our first sweep of the site, Luke and I estimated that there was 8c nests with 3-4 active, however with a crew of three all kitted out I was amazed, as was everyone else, that the totals of todays hunt ended on a staggering 17 nests, 10 chicks & 6 active nests!
Thanks for reading,