Skip to main content


Storm Brian


Woodland birds are few at this time, but the estuaries are vibrant with sightings and sounds.  The sight and sound of large numbers of geese passing overhead every morning is what makes the  long grey wet days of October and November bearable.   There has been  a large influx of Pink Footed Geese sighted around the estuaries,  substantially more than last year.  Their calls are noticebly different from Canada Geese, more chatty than honking and higher pitched.  In the grey skies it is impossible to tell the difference by sight alone as they all look the same.

Well storm Brian has passed and for the Wirral it was much more vigorious than Storm Doris. (I would love to have one named after me  ) one violent night and at least half the trees lost their leaves.  The Beeches outside the coffee shop still have some golden embers left. which on a warm sunny day tinkle with the sound of a jubilent flock of mixed finches, goldfinch, chaffinch and maybe this year a rare hawfinch,  non o…
Recent posts

Spiders and Storm Ophelia

All of a sudden there are spiders everywhere you look and don' t look and more to the point huge cobwebs in the most inappropriate places, between the back door and the bin, across the garage doorway.  I am sure if I sat long enough in the garden I would become a major anchor point  from the washing line 4ft away for some tiny spider mega mansion. The webs  seem totally out of proportion to the creature making it. Early morning the dew rests on millions of tiny little webs created overnight  in the grass.  There must be an awful lot of spiders around !!

The trees have started  to turn, the autumnal setting sun casting a final golden glow on the underside of the fading lilac leaves.   Sycamores seemed to go first closely followed by  Silver birch which has already shed all their yellow leaves  like the yomping willow in Harry Potter, so maybe we will have a shorter autumn than last year.  Whilst some trees are naked others have hardly turned golden.   After the storm there will b…

Let Wilderness Be Itself

Our juvenile robin is now sporting a full red breast. Nearly all but the odd straggler Swallow and House Martin have  just this week left for warmer climates. We now wait for the staggered influx of winter visitors over the next 3 months. Autumn migration is less intense than the spring as the urgency is not the same.

The Goldfinches have also left for Spain and Northern Africa except 2+juvenile  have decided to stay.  Are these the same 2 who remained last year as juveniles ? (I fantasize that they are) and will they join with others to produce their own little flock again.

Some birds such as the Blackcap now opt not to migrate, due to our warmer climate and milder winters. This gives them an edge next spring to choose the best nest site before the others arrive back.

What is exciting is the knowledge that many birds usually only seen in the southern counties of the UK are slowly moving further north, so some new sightings are becoming more possible, maybe even one day a Da…

So silent is the silence

Visiting the woodland  project  this morning on what what I initially thought was going to be a dark and dank day turned out to be one of gentle breezes and dappled sunlight.  The light is alwYs a challenge in dense woodland in the summer as the foliage is so busy with variation and the light minimal.  All this even using a good  digital camera is challengjng.  instead of striding through looking for obvious changes since my last visit I spent a very pleasant half hour studying the light  and silence.  At one point there was an eerie silence but as I became attuned to the woodland I heard a gentle ' soughing' in the canopy of leaves rustling in the gentle breeze.  The air and ground were damp and the stream was flowing slowly over the pebbles.  In the background there erupted a short song from a wren this the followed by a woodpigeon.  You are carefully watched when entering into the wood, but if you progress very slowly and stop at intervals the wood appears to accept you and…

The Ants have flown

It is a strange phenomenon that different birds take the lead in song on different days it has been the Robin one morning and the Blackbird another.

Our fledgling blue tits came back for a visit recently looking very well.  How do I know they were the right ones...because the parents ignored me completely  as they always did when tooing and froing from the box through the carefully and thoughtfully placed washing.

The goldfinches are still eating us out of house and home so there must be an awful lot of them.  This happened last year then all of a sudden they disappeared just when I had stocked up with nyger seed which subsequently went stale. 

Sadly the Robin and Blackbird have stopped singing  until the moult finishes in August. It would be unbearably quiet in the garden if it were not for the non stop chatter of Jackdaws and  singing of the Goldfinches, but they too will be off to Africa soon with the swifts.  Thankfully the thrush and the wren have started singing again  after sever…

Memory Rings

All is very quiet in the bird box, the Blue Tits must have successfully  launched their young.  Last May's  loss is still poignant but they do seem to have got it right this time. There appears  not to be a second sitting  which considering the wet weather is just as well.

May is the month for the most vociferous songs and outbursts of excitement, slowly settling into mature regular singing as we drift into June.  Birdsong apps that record and supposedly identify birdsong fail at this time because all the birds  sing at the same time.  Only the Robin and Blackbird seem to have clear lines of demarcation.  The Robin ranges from high pitched clicks to baritone warbles barely drawing a breath whilst the baritone Blackbird enhances his reportoire.

The dawn chorus is now fading and loosing its strength  to a solo performance every morning by an increasingly enthusiastic  blackbird who seems to welling up to a.........words can  not describe or do justice to what he is doing.

I am yet a…

Little Egret

Similarly to this time last year we appear to have had a very dry March and April which will in all likely turn into a wet late April-May.  Going by the evidence of proliferation of early wildflowers and insects this will be good news for baby birds.  Many hatched too early last year and did not make it due to lack of available food.  Obviously this blog only describes local conditions, but new patterns appear to be emerging.

Large numbers of summer visiting birds are arriving from the northern and southern climes to breed in this island. Birdsong is becoming more varied and challenging.  I find it easier to concentrate on one bird song at a time until I grasp the nuances that separate birds of the same groupings.  Then I carry this pattern around in my head, reciting it to myself over a week or  two (eg. Willow Tit, ......tueeee, tueee)  until I have heard it a few times and then it sticks.  Initially this skill  felt impossible to acquire until I  re-listened to some recordings made …