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Liverpool Metro Area 'Scouse Scrapers for both sides of the Mersey



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Old December 27th, 2010, 11:00 PM   #1
the golden vision
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The Wildlife thread.

I was going to title this 'The urban wildlife thread' but that would exclude such a wealth of wildlife bordering the urban area that it would be negligent to ignore it. The city region has ecological areas of national importance,the Dee and Mersey estuaries, the Sefton Coast and SW Lancs mosslands.

Incredibly the city itself has is home to one of the world's most impressive Birds of Prey, the Peregrine Falcon. The Peregrine started nesting in Stanley Dock over 25 years ago, one of the earliest examples of the bird nesting in an urban area in the UK. The city is also a haven in very small numbers of the Black Redstart, another bird that made its home in the city's derelict docklands, nationally very rare. Swans have also moved in to the city's dockland.
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Old December 27th, 2010, 11:09 PM   #2
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My brother photographed these swans nesting in Stanley Dock 3 years ago. The nest is made of plastic bags and other bits of rubbish,so incongruous.
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Old December 27th, 2010, 11:16 PM   #3
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Here's a few pictures of mine from this year

A Reed Warblers nest in Fazakerley.

Herring Gulls nest regularly on buildings in town these days.

I got right up to this Lapwing chick and it just lay there confident in its camouflage.This was on the East Lancs Road in Gilmoss.

This Curlew was feeding along the Cast Iron Shore.
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Old December 27th, 2010, 11:17 PM   #4
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There's a Mute Swans nest in Sefton Park with the odd crisp packet in.
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Old December 27th, 2010, 11:23 PM   #5
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Fantastic quality those Paul. That's one of the sad things in the last twenty years or so,the decline of the Lapwing locally and nationally.
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Old December 27th, 2010, 11:24 PM   #6
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This is a Common Lizard on Thurstaston Common,I saw a few that day.If you're ever in Ainsdale when it's slightly overcast look out on fence posts and logs etc,you might get lucky and see on trying to warm up.I've never been lucky enough to see the rare Sand Lizards.

I like this one,a female Mallard by her nest.
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Old December 27th, 2010, 11:25 PM   #7
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This is the same pair this summer nesting in Prince's Dock now.
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Old December 27th, 2010, 11:29 PM   #8
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Quote:
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This is a Common Lizard on Thurstaston Common,I saw a few that day.If you're ever in Ainsdale when it's slightly overcast look out on fence posts and logs etc,you might get lucky and see on trying to warm up.I've never been lucky enough to see the rare Sand Lizards.

I like this one,a female Mallard by her nest.
Never seen a Lizard, will do. I'll be saving those pics better than any of my books!
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Old December 27th, 2010, 11:34 PM   #9
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A Moorhens nest,I know they're common but there nests and eggs are great.
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Old December 27th, 2010, 11:46 PM   #10
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Yeah they are Paul. They're one of those common birds we take for granted but are beautiful none the less. They used to nest on the canal in Bootle (still do probably)
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Old December 27th, 2010, 11:57 PM   #11
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Paul, re: Ince Blundell Herony. It was quite large at one time, even as late at the mid 1970's it had about 15 nests. A gang of us kids used to make our way there in early feb, there'd always be rooks nesting then as well. I don't whether you've got a copy of Eric Hardy's 'Birds of the Liverpool area, it was printed in 1941. It mentions the Heronry and stories of Otters in the pre-war mosslands !
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Old December 28th, 2010, 02:07 AM   #12
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Just thinking of birds that've colonised the city in the last two decades or so. As Paul has shown in one of the above pics, the Herring Gull is a relatively new breeder to the city,nesting on roof tops in the city centre. Magpies have increased their numbers hugely in the last 25 years,they were relatively uncommon in the late 1970's. Jays ,another of the Crow family have also increased their numbers but the remarkable instance of the largest of the Crow family, the Raven, nesting on the Anglican Cathedral 5 or 6 years ago hasn't been repeated to my knowledge.
The Mute Swan is another great success,unkown as a breeding bird in the 1970's. Likewise the Coot, Sparrowhawks have also increased dramatically but i'd say from experience Kestrel numbers have fallen. The biggest success story without doubt is the appearance of the Peregrine Falcon,there maybe as many as 5 nesting in the city region, this bird was down to 400 pairs nationally in 1980. The Buzzard is also a welcome addition,not actually nesting in the city but quite near which is amazing considering this really is a bird of open country.

Despite some decreases in numbers of birds like the Tree Sparrow,Skylark and Lapwing,overall the picture is quite positive for birdlife in the city.
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Old December 28th, 2010, 12:30 PM   #13
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Apologies over the quality but this was taken through a double glazed conservatory window.
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Old December 28th, 2010, 12:50 PM   #14
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Quote:
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Apologies over the quality but this was taken through a double glazed conservatory window.
Bit gruesome that BG, a female sparrowhawk. I seen one catch either a blue tit or a wren(couldn't see in the low light) a few weeks ago, it was only a couple of feet off the ground. As you probably know, they are manical in pursuit of their prey. Often crashing in to CONSERVATORY WINDOWS in the chase. Seriously, great picture,thanks.
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Old December 28th, 2010, 01:10 PM   #15
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That's a good picture of a Sparrowhawk because they're so fast,we had a nest this year right facing our house,I only become aware of it because the chicks are so noisy,they were constantly being hassled by Magpies but they all managed to fledge successfully in the end.

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The Buzzard is also a welcome addition,not actually nesting in the city but quite near which is amazing considering this really is a bird of open country.
I was told that they was a Buzzards nest in West Derby Village this year but I never went up that way to check it out and my Brother In Law found one in the woods in Netherley this year also,there's all open farmland out there so it's perfect.I can't believe how many I see along the M57 these days,I've even seen the while in my back garden in Norris Green.
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Old December 28th, 2010, 01:15 PM   #16
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Excellent. I knew they were nestiing around Altcar but not in the city itself
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Old December 28th, 2010, 01:23 PM   #17
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Quote:
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Bit gruesome that BG, a female sparrowhawk. I seen one catch either a blue tit or a wren(couldn't see in the low light) a few weeks ago, it was only a couple of feet off the ground. As you probably know, they are manical in pursuit of their prey. Often crashing in to CONSERVATORY WINDOWS in the chase. Seriously, great picture,thanks.
The one thing this photie doesn't show is scale. The bird it took out was a stock dove which will give an idea of just how big it is. I showed this shot and the others I took to the RSPB staff in Lytham and their opinion was that because the bird was 'wearing plus fours' and had a white undertail it was in fact a Goshawk.

Whatever it was it has returned to the garden and also sits on the transmission lines in Storeton Village keeping a beady eye on potential lunch.
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Old December 28th, 2010, 01:28 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeeGee View Post
The one thing this photie doesn't show is scale. The bird it took out was a stock dove which will give an idea of just how big it is. I showed this shot and the others I took to the RSPB staff in Lytham and their opinion was that because the bird was 'wearing plus fours' and had a white undertail it was in fact a Goshawk.

Whatever it was it has returned to the garden and also sits on the transmission lines in Storeton Village keeping a beady eye on potential lunch.
I;m sorry BG but i'm pretty certain that's a female sparrowhawk. Even an adult male Goshawk is much bigger than a Stock Dove. Also Gosahawks are much more secretive than Sparrowhawks . It would be very unusual to see one near a suburban garden. Just my opinion
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Old December 28th, 2010, 01:32 PM   #19
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Here's a young Long Tailed Tit I had to free from its nest this year,if you look at the top of its nest you'll see where its wing has become tangled.



I managed to free it anyway,I'm not sure how keen it was posing for photographs though.



The rest of the family were still in the area so I think it was alright.

Last edited by Paul D; December 28th, 2010 at 01:39 PM.
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Old December 28th, 2010, 01:52 PM   #20
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This is better than 'Autumn Watch' great stuf Paul. That's another bird that has increased greatly in the past couple of decades. See plenty of them in the Spring but never seen the nest.
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