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



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Old December 28th, 2010, 01:01 PM   #21
Paul D
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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.
The nests are very easy to find to be honest,if you see a pair of birds at the right time of year looking active,head for the nearest thorny bush,they always seem to choose them,sometimes it's the only thorny bush in say a hedgerow so you can head straight to it.They must use a few hundred thousand feathers lining their nest,they're great to find.

This is a great link to nests from all around the UK on Flickr,look at how great some of the pictures are in that.
http://www.flickr.com/groups/1347746@N25/pool/

Last edited by Paul D; December 28th, 2010 at 01:08 PM. Reason: added a link
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Old December 28th, 2010, 01:27 PM   #22
Paul D
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This picture of an Oystercatcher was taken in Knowsley Safari Park,they actually breed there,I've seen them with chicks.I usually associate them nesting right on the coast but they've been nesting there for years.



This nest wasn't in Liverpool,I found this in Llandudno earlier this year.
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Old December 28th, 2010, 05:14 PM   #23
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Great thread

I am right behind most of the major developments highlighted on this site but on occasions i wonder about the impact on wildlife. E.g. New Brighton is full of wading birds which may be affected by the new development and the site of wirral waters has many cormorants fishing in the docks - hopefully developers can take wildlife into acount because often they are tourist attractions in their own right
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Old December 28th, 2010, 05:20 PM   #24
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The nests are very easy to find to be honest,if you see a pair of birds at the right time of year looking active,head for the nearest thorny bush,they always seem to choose them,sometimes it's the only thorny bush in say a hedgerow so you can head straight to it.They must use a few hundred thousand feathers lining their nest,they're great to find.

This is a great link to nests from all around the UK on Flickr,look at how great some of the pictures are in that.
http://www.flickr.com/groups/1347746@N25/pool/
Good one, thanks. It's out on its own as far as British bird's nests go isn't it? the bird's pretty special as well.
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Old December 28th, 2010, 05:38 PM   #25
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Great thread

I am right behind most of the major developments highlighted on this site but on occasions i wonder about the impact on wildlife. E.g. New Brighton is full of wading birds which may be affected by the new development and the site of wirral waters has many cormorants fishing in the docks - hopefully developers can take wildlife into acount because often they are tourist attractions in their own right
I wouldn't be that concerned about the shoreline at New Brighton. It's the mud flats further up river at Hale,Speke and over Frodsham that are the main feeding grounds for visting waders. We've got to be pragmatic about this and look at what the potential benefits or not may arise from any loss of habitat
I agree with what others have said about this on the discussion about a possible barrage across the river. The benefits seem negligible for what we would lose(flooding of the mudflats) on the other hand, if it came to choice between the proposed new post panamax terminal at Seaforth and loss of habitat on the river, i'd have to go for terminal. Without it the port is finished.(just to add,there shouldn't be any conflict between the terminal and habitat loss,not major anyway)
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Old December 28th, 2010, 09:40 PM   #26
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This year I did that tour in Ainsdale to see the Natterjacks,it was an amazing evening but this was the best shot I could get because I hit a button on my camera and it was so dark I couldn't see what I'd done,we come back covered in mud but it's well worth doing if you think you may be interested?

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Ainsdale Sand Dunes National Nature Reserve is hosting a series of Natterjack Night Walks throughout April and is inviting local people to come along and experience the most wonderful cries of nature and learn more about these rare and impressive amphibians.

Not only are the natterjack toads the loudest amphibians in the Sefton coast area at this time of year, they are also a very rare species found only in a few places around the country. As an amphibian, the natterjack toad needs a habitat of open sand and short vegetation on which to hunt, and in which to burrow, and shallow pools in which to breed. These favourable natterjack habitats have become increasingly uncommon throughout the UK and the Ainsdale Reserve is proud to host this rare and interesting species on site.

In April, adult natterjacks emerge from the burrows in which they will have spent the winter hibernating. Males head for spawning grounds where they advertise their presence to females by emitting a loud, rasping, after-dusk call. It is this spectacular chorus that has earned the natterjacks at Ainsdale the local name of ‘Birkdale Nightingale’.

Alice Kimpton, Senior Reserve Manager at Ainsdale Sand Dunes National Nature Reserve says “Hearing the chorus of the natterjacks during the breeding season is a fantastic and unique experience. These guided walks through the sand dunes offer a great opportunity to find out more about the rare natterjack toads and at the same time witness why the Reserve is such a special place. Come along and join us for an experience that you will never forget, but don’t forget your torch!”

Booking in advance is essential to secure a place as numbers are limited. So don’t delay and call today to find out more information about this special event and many others throughout the year.

All visitors to Ainsdale are kindly requested to follow the Country Code, ensuring that they take all litter home with them and follow safety instructions throughout the site. The Reserve has no public car park and visitors are encouraged to arrive by public transport, on foot or bike where possible.

For more details and to book a place on one of the walks please contact the National Nature Reserve Office on 01704 578774.
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Old December 28th, 2010, 09:47 PM   #27
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Here's a Common Toad from the same night.
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Old December 28th, 2010, 10:08 PM   #28
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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

Agree GV that a Goshawk in a suburban garden would be very rare. As I said I spoke with the RSPB in Lytham over this and the size compared to the prey and the fact that the garden backs onto Storeton/Hancock Woods and mid Wirral farmland were the deciding factors. As I stated the bird has returned and if I have a camera handy I'll attempt a few clearer shots.

Incidentally, there used to be a pheasant breeding centre in Barnston and these birds were regular visitors.
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Old December 28th, 2010, 10:55 PM   #29
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BG , i am known as a 'Doubting Thomas' a male Goshawk weighs over 3 pounds,a Stock Dove about one pound. A male Goshawk is 4 times the size in weight of a female Sparrowhawk. The photo just doesn't convey anything lie that size difference. I wouldn't rule out Goshawks breeding in that area,they've been in Cheshire for a good while now, but i remain to be convinced on this one i'm afraid, i'd love to be wrong though.
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Old January 4th, 2011, 04:27 PM   #30
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Red v Grey: The Great Squirrel Debate ( Awayo hit the road)

This is a national story with but with implications locally, SW Lancs and north Merseyside strongholds of the Red Squirrel. How strong however is open to speculation after the recent outbreak of the Squirrelpox virus.

Firstly, i have to confess an ambivalence towards Squirrels. I'm certainly not sentimental about them. When i see a Squirrel, Red or Grey, i see an omnivorous rodent with a bushy tail, one that will gorge on the contents of a bird's nest, including nestlings! Four of five years ago i watched a pair of Nuthatches over a period of two weeks, preparing a nest hole. I'm pretty sure eggs had been laid, only for the nest to abandoned overnight, this will almost certainly due to predation from the local Grey Squirrels

I've quite recently come to the 'controversial' opinion that the 'Red' should be left to the harsh realities of the laws of nature. My reasoning for this is, quite frankly the Red is a snob, their downfall has been sown in their own elitist life style, shunning the plebs for the salubrious suburbs. Sanctuary for them has to have the sweet smelling scent of the Spruce. The Red is slumming it in the 'vulgar' Sycamore. Not so their much more democratic American cousin, the Grey. Catholic in its haunts and tastes, a true Squirrel of the people.

The Red Squirrel has never been abundant in Britain,certainly not in urban areas. It is much more susceptible to viral infections than the Grey,which periodically decimates the population, as of present. The Red Squirrel is always going to be confined to very specific locations and in small numbers.

The Grey Squrrel is a very robust,successful coloniser. Found even in the very heart of London. Unlike the Red, the Grey is not protected, in fact culls are presently taking place in some areas. In my opinion, there's a simple choice to be made...no Squirrel, that is proctection and preservation of a Squirrel that only going to be seen by a small number of people.....or the Grey, omnipresent, visitor to town and suburb, visible for all to enjoy
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Old January 4th, 2011, 04:47 PM   #31
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The red is probably doomed everywhere except for in isolated woodland like that in Formby/Ainsdale. But there however, because of the fairly barren nature of the coniferous environment, the squirrels are a welcome sign of life.

It's really only a matter of taste (some like snakes and keep them as pets) what animals one takes to but the red is different to the grey in more than the colour of its fur. The red is a much smaller, and daintier animal (quite cute really, the fat fecker in my avatar isn't typical) than the grey and far less aggressive. A friend of mine was once spat at with a mouthful of half-chewed nuts through a window by a grey in Nottingham. Horrid brute.

I'm surprised at the bird murdering antics reported by Goldie although I'd assume that such behaviour is a sole preserve of greys. But ultimately I know almost nothing about natural history and so I would advise all to completely discount my opinion on this matter.

Here it is however: greys are scumbags and reds are lovely.

Last edited by Awayo; January 4th, 2011 at 05:03 PM.
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Old January 4th, 2011, 04:55 PM   #32
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The red is probably doomed everywhere except for in isolated woodland like that in Formby/Ainsdale. But there however, because of the fairly barren nature of the coniferous environment, the squirrels are a welcome sign of life.

It's really only a matter of taste (some like snakes and keep them as pets) what animals one takes to but the red is different to the grey in more than the colour of its fur. The red is a much smaller, and daintier animal (quite cute really, the fat fecker in my avatar isn't typical) than the grey and far less aggressive. A friend of mine was once spat at with a mouthful of half-chewed nuts through a window by a grey in Nottingham. Horrid brute.

I'm surprised at the bird murdering antics reported by Goldie although I'd assume that such behaviour is a sole preserve of greys. But ultimately I know almost nothing about natural history and so I would advice all to completely discount my opinion on this matter.

But here it is: greys are scumbags and reds are lovely.
I prefer the Red myself but only because of its appearance. Reds are omnivores too, they also eat nestlings.
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Old January 4th, 2011, 10:14 PM   #33
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When local naturalist Eric Hardy died in 2002 it really did mark the end of an era. When he died at the age of 90, he was one of the longest serving columnists at the Daily Post. I remember him more for his weekly slot on Radio Merseyside, 'The Countryside' this had been broadcast since at least the mid 1970's, when i first listened, it continued right up to 2000. He was a well respected Naturalist, author of 'The Birds of the Liverpool area' he wasn't just an ornitholgist though, he had an encyclopedic knowledge of the natural world. His radio programme was confined to the city region and he would be contacted by the general public with sightings of rarities locally, the most interesting he would broadcast in his programme. This is a void that's never filled. Even with up to the minute information available online, no website collates wildlife sightings and information as comprehensively as Eric Hardy did. A great programme and naturalist sadly missed.

As i've already mentioned the city and its hinterland is home to some very rare birds. The Barn Owl, probably not classified as rare but certainly uncommon and declining, is one the great success stories locally. West Lancs has some of the highest densities of these beautiful birds in the country. Unfortunately the recent long snowy spell will have affected numbers. Like all owls hearing plays a major part in their hunting technique, with small mammals hidden deep under the snow hunting becomes that much harder. In 1979, a much longer period of cold weather than recently, Barn Owl numbers were reduced by half. We shouldn't expect anything like that reduction this time, but numbers will be down.
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Old January 4th, 2011, 10:22 PM   #34
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The Barn Owl. A great success story locally, with some of the highest densities of breeding birds in the country.(pic from the BBC)
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Old January 5th, 2011, 04:03 PM   #35
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I often see a Barn Owl or Owls it's hard to tell,in the open fields at the back of Croxteth Country Park.Years ago that would never have happened.
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Old January 5th, 2011, 08:43 PM   #36
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As you probably know Paul, numbers fluctuate according to available nest sites and severe cold spells. The nest box scheme on the mosslands has helped with nest sites. Barn Owls have been breeding on the edge on the city for a quite a long time. I remember a pair breeding in a derelict cottage/farm building behind Copy Lane Police Station in about 1980. One bird actually hunted the Bank Hall railway sidings around the mid 1980's.
On the subject of owls locally, numbers of Long-Eared Owls have increased in small numbers, mainly found in the conifer woods in Formby and Freshfield. The Short -Eared Owl has nested on and off in Sefton Meadows since 1976. This wasn't recorded in any of the books or periodicals because most of the 'official bodies' weren't aware of it.
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Old January 7th, 2011, 10:46 PM   #37
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Prince's Dock yesterday. Mute Swan, Canada Goose, Coot and take it from me,those little black blobs in the distance are Tufted Duck All these birds now breed within the city. In 1980 only the Canada Goose was a regular breeder.

Last edited by the golden vision; January 8th, 2011 at 12:09 PM.
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Old January 8th, 2011, 08:36 PM   #38
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As you probably know Paul, numbers fluctuate according to available nest sites and severe cold spells. The nest box scheme on the mosslands has helped with nest sites. Barn Owls have been breeding on the edge on the city for a quite a long time. I remember a pair breeding in a derelict cottage/farm building behind Copy Lane Police Station in about 1980. One bird actually hunted the Bank Hall railway sidings around the mid 1980's.
On the subject of owls locally, numbers of Long-Eared Owls have increased in small numbers, mainly found in the conifer woods in Formby and Freshfield. The Short -Eared Owl has nested on and off in Sefton Meadows since 1976. This wasn't recorded in any of the books or periodicals because most of the 'official bodies' weren't aware of it.
I don't know where there are any Barn Owl nests but I found a Tawny Owls the other year while watching my kids playing in the playground in Calderstones Park.The bird was sitting in the tree hole in broad daylight and I shot around to it to get a picture.It was still there when I got to it with its eyes almost closed,I thought this picture's going to be amazing,it was actually watching me though because two kids distracted me and as soon as I took my eyes of it,it disappeared back in its hole.Gutted,it shows you how crafty they are though.
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Old January 8th, 2011, 09:59 PM   #39
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Tawny Owls .. i had one as a pet once. They're very vocal at the moment,defending territory and such.
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Old January 9th, 2011, 11:20 PM   #40
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Sefton Park Lake

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