The Red Flag Flying High

Red-backed Shrike and Red-crested Pochard were the highlights of a day in the field, 5th September 2015, on Merseyside

Liverpool and The Wirral is always a treat for inland birders, the fresh coastal air, the superb range of habitats and the megas – over the years I have been fortunate to see White-crowned and Song Sparrow, Mauretanian Spoonbill, Sardinian, Pallas’ and Yellow-browed Warbler, Laughing and Bonaparte’s Gull, Pectoral Sandpiper, Cattle Egret, American Wigeon, Great Northern Diver, Shore Lark, Hoopoe, Water Pipit, Snow Bunting, Ruddy Shelduck, Snow Goose, Grey and Red-necked Phalarope and Red-backed Shrike, a juvenile in October 1992 at Inner Marsh Farm RSPB Reserve

The chance to re-acquaint myself with Red-backed Shrike was presented in September 2015 when a juvenile bird was located at Meols on the North Wirral shore

The pre-twitch amble along the coastal footpath west of the Leasowe lighthouse was taken at a leisurely pace with time to check the waders and gulls, and watch Little Egrets fishing in the low-tide channels

A crowd had gathered along the lane adjacent to the caravan site and pretty soon the Red-backed Shrike, a classic early Autumn “drift” migrant and a rare bird in the North-west, was located on its’ favoured hedgerow, and this subtle-coloured shrike put on a show, including flying into a bush in front of the crowd of birders for an impromptu photo-shoot!

On the flooded fields, 4 Ruff and a flock of Black-tailed Godwits, and a candidate second year Caspian Gull but views were brief and two long range photos were inconclusive

A quick trip through the Mersey Tunnel and the city of Liverpool took us to Walton Park Lake, a picturesque urban lake, and the long-staying drake Red-crested Pochard

As per usual on Merseyside, a superb days’ birding, Merseyside rocks!

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