Sunday, 3 January 2016

Christmas Holidays End With A Pallas's Warbler

Despite the terrible rain today, I thought what better way than to spend your last day of the holiday birding. So I headed off to Heswall for a specific bird species; yesterday I  saw a Pallas's Warbler report appear on Rare Bird Alert, so as I go birding on the Wirral quite often, I decided to go for it today, as it's a superb bird to see, and not one you often get on the Wirral. 

By the time we arrived at the Heswall sewage works, the rain was consistently heavy, and it just didn't stop, so it made viewing birds through the scope and binoculars rather difficult; however after 20 minutes I finally latched on to the target bird, which was moving around a small woodland with at least 5 Chiffchaff and Goldcrest. I spent about an hour and a half searching for the bird, which showed well about 6 times, however they were only 30 seconds to a minute views. We did get some brilliant bits of behavior from it, including hovering searching for food, and also when the bird was flicking its tail, I got some great views of its yellow rump. A fantastic bird to see, and I'm glad I saw it in my own county, and area.

Pallas's Warbler

Despite the rain, after Heswall, we moved onto West Kirby Marina Lake this time in search for the Great Northern Diver, part 2 of my birding experience today. This bird has been on the marina for about a month now, and looks in pretty good condition. 

This bird is a juvenile and you can tell this because of how pale the bill is, the amount of white on the  bird, and also the fact it is quite brown and has a lot of speckled markings on the wing. After 10 minutes of getting great views (after a 30 minute walk round the marina to get to it), the rain had started to make my waterproof jacket, un-waterproof, so we departed from the Great Northern Diver and walked back round the Marina Lake towards the car.

On the way back we got great views of 2 Red Breasted Mergansers and in this picture you can see the male, absolutely stunning birds. During the day I also saw and heard lots of other species of wader.

What a fantastic end to the holidays.


  1. Great find and tick Findlay. It's been a weird winter for bird species this year

  2. Hello, great birds and photos. Your Diver is what we call the Common Loon. Enjoy your week, happy birding.

  3. I'm pleased you got to see the Pallas' Warbler Findlay. It is a rather special species isn't it?

  4. Great warbler to find and photograph. Happy New Year. I am home now from my trip to Malawi but thanks for leaving me all the comments when I was away.

  5. The Great Northern Diver looks like he is smiling!

  6. Congratulations on the rare bird sighting! That alone would have made it a wonderful day ... But the other birds were really icing on the cake! A great way to end the Holidays and an amazing way to start the New Year!

  7. Wonderful about the rare warbler! Nice photos.