And so to our last regular meeting of the season – seemingly such an industrial site in the docklands of Liverpool and with an appropriate level of security However our members were in for a pleasant surprise. Although the habitat was in places marginal, with the barest covering of green and with quite a derelict look to it, it is of course ideally placed to receive seabirds and shorebirds driven by the wind, or pushed in by the tide. And well-placed too to attract tired coastal migrants.
We were quickly into our stride en route to the first hide, identifying Swallows and House Martins hawking flying insects low over the lagoons – for some their first sighting of this harbinger of summer. From the hide we saw Black-tailed Godwits and a bank of Oystercatchers with heads under wings on the bund between lagoons. Little Gulls were performing on the lagoon in front of the hide, and members were able to note the finer points of this dainty gull.
On the causeway in front of the hide were resting terns, again a spring first for a number of us, with a few Common Terns hiding among the many, larger Sandwich Terns. The causeway was also to give up some waders as we identified Redshank, Lapwing, Dunlin, Knot and Turnstone. Gadwall and Goldeneye were feeding on the near lagoon, and there was a brief glimpse of a Water Rail on the far lagoon. We were also able to watch one of the Saga cruise ships leaving port.
At the second hide, as we ate our sandwiches, we were able to concentrate more on passerines, the rough grasslands yielding Linnet, Wheatear, Stock Dove, Meadow Pipit and Goldfinch. The lagoon, although slightly more distant from this hide, gave up a Common Sandpiper picking its way among the large rocks on the shoreline. And a scarcity to finish with as we made out a first summer Kittiwake fishing among the terns and Little Gulls, still in its juvenile garb from last summer.
Yes, a full-on industrial site but the nature reserve is an oasis for birds amongst it all
Seaforth 18 Apr 2012 Species: 43
Lesser Black-backed Gull