Saturday, 16 January 2016

Heswall Pallas's Warbler opens year account on life list

Pallas Warbler (Thanks to Phil Woollen @PhilWoolen)

Birders from around the county flocked to the Wirral last week when local birder Steve Hinde discovered Cheshires & Wirral's sixth Pallas Warbler at the Sewage Works in Heswell. The stunning individual was a long way from it's regular wintering grounds in South East Asia. A fellow Warwickshire birder kindly offered to take me as we were both keen to add it our life lists. 

On arrival there were four Little Egrets feeding in the horse paddocks leading to the sewage works. The viewing space was very limited however we secured two of the last decent spots and just waited. Whilst waiting the hedges were busy with Goldcrests and wintering Chiffchaffs clearly enjoying the micro climate produced by the sewage works. On occasions you could see passing birds on the estuary including a large flock of 250 Pink-footed Geese and 40 Curlew. After about 90 minutes my esteemed driver picked the Pallas Warbler out feeding above the gate. The views were very brief but you could make out the distinguishing features before it dropped down low to show again (view partially blocked) before disappearing. Happy with the target in the bag we opted to call in to Burton Mere Wetlands (a super reserve) where we observed a wintering Long-eared Owl. 

To wrap the day up we went to the main marsh where we had a great final hour observing birds including 5 Whooper Swans, 2 Short-eared Owls, Merlin, Peregrine and a Great White Egret. 

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