We have all been moaning about our bad luck at the pits of late but perhaps things were changing after last weeks Osprey. As I landed on the Wirral (13th Sept), Chris text "Grey Phalarope" main pit. Typical !
After my sea watching session I headed straight to the pits to try and see our latest visitor. Meeting fellow pitter Terry the bird had edged further towards Oystercatcher Island than where it had been seen during the morning.
I was a little surprised the bird wasn't closer so I had to satisfy myself with a few distant shots & a bit of video. After posting the images on Twitter (after we understood the bird had left the site) my phone started to burn as followers suggested that it could actually be a Red-necked Phalarope.
Looking closely at the images I had to agree to the fact it was a first winter Red-necked Phalarope with the very thin beak being the stand out feature. I called Jon for a second opinion who confirmed Red-necked, a first for the site.
Sadly due to restoration being in full swing & confirmation from CEMEX who hold the existing lease on the land, news of the birds could not be shared on news services in case of people wandering off-piste. In all honesty this wouldn't have happened however to protect an existing fragile relationship these wishes were followed. Most of the regulars connected which was good & the Warwickshire recorder was kept informed as the bird stayed for an amazing 11 days.
Other sightings from last week & Sunday care of Jon, the Squire, Mark Clarke, Chris Lane & myself included an eclipse male Garganey on the central pool (which unfortunately flushed with the other duck and flew off separately towards the far lagoons, but couldn’t be relocated) and an immature female Scaup with the Tufties on the main pit 20 Cormorants, 235 Greylags, 10 Wigeon, the Chloe Wigeon, 11 Gadwall, 49 Teal, 1 (prob. eclipse male) Pintail, 15 Shoveler, 41 Tufted Duck, 1 Red Kite, 285 Coot, 1 late Little Ringed Plover dropped into main pit, a total of at least 14 Ringed Plover through, 12 Lapwing, 3 Ruff, 7 Snipe, 1 Green Sandpiper (on far lagoon, relocating to main pit), 2 Common Sandpipers, 1 adult Common Gull, 60 Stock Doves, 250 Meadow Pipits on the demolished bunds, 1 Yellow Wagtail, 1 Grey Wagtail, pair of White Wagtails (with pipit flock), 2 Wheatears (on demolished bund by reed lagoon which has been destroyed), only 2 Blackcaps and 15 Chiffchaffs, 2 Jays, 4 Ravens, a Hobby, Greenshank (midweek) 2 Siskins & 150 House Martins(Saturday) through, 150 Linnets by Tothall Lane and 30 Reed Buntings.