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



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Old February 24th, 2011, 12:12 AM   #121
openlyJane
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the golden vision View Post
I find poetry far better listened to than read especially with likes of Ted Hughes where the english language and accent is so powerful. I've got CD's of Chaucer in the Middle English. Far, far better than the modern english versions. It's that period before the great vowel shift,much more expressive imo.
Poetry, as you know, is meant to be read aloud - it is all to do with rhythm and cadence. Ted Hughes had a wonderful voice.

There is a tendency, when reading poetry, to over -dramatise, when really all that is needed is real presence and feeling.
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Old February 24th, 2011, 07:21 PM   #122
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Old February 28th, 2011, 11:11 PM   #123
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Never thought I'd end up posting avian-related stats on here, I must say .



I think it's quite striking how much of a correlation there is between the 'official' data regarding local breeding bird trends and the observations made to date on the thread. The data comes from the Cheshire and Wirral Ornithological Society County bird atlas, available here - http://www.amazon.co.uk/Birds-Cheshi...8921424&sr=8-2 Copies are in the reference section of just about every library in Wirral with several others available for loan. There don't appear to be any shelved in Liverpool though but Allerton seems to be getting a copy in soon.

'Wirral' refers to Wirral proper here rather than the 'Met' version, 'Cheshire' is the original county pre-1974. Tetrads are the 2km by 2km grids used by local surveys for data collection within the 10km by 10km grids used by the BTO for its national census so the detail level produced is 25 times that which the BTO publishes itself. Cheshire has a total of 670 tetrads whilst Wirral on its own, according to my measure, has 88. It's important to note a species only needs to be seen in any given tetrad during the breeding season to count towards the records; there's no requirement to actually prove breeding has occurred although the atlas does give one of three grades of probability for each reported record.

Liverpool & Lancashire's bird survey (which began in 2007) will be completed this year with the atlas to be published either late next year or 2013 as will the one covering North Wales. Quite why these things aren't all compiled across the same period of time for ease of comparison I don't know.

My nyger seed feeder finally came good over the weekend by tempting some Redpolls into the garden so in spite of their huge decline even as a local wintering species there are, thankfully, at least some still to be seen -



Bad(ish) news is I'm now seeing double-figure Sprawk visits every day with at least four different birds involved. All this rather unwelcome activity had particularly unfortunate consequences for one Great Tit this afternoon -

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Old March 1st, 2011, 12:31 PM   #124
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Great stuff, i'll reply in full later. Good news about the new Atlas also
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Old March 1st, 2011, 07:27 PM   #125
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I've got the Atlas of Breeding Birds of Lancashire and North Merseyside(north merseyside meaning north bank of the river,as it includes the whole of the city) which doesn't have the same tabulated data showing increases/decreases so it's not possible to compare.

The Wirral/Cheshire stats are a bit of a mixed bag i feel. Obviously on the positive side the success of the Buzzard and particularly the Hobby are fantastic news. Although it's very sad to see 9 out of the top declining birds in Cheshire are passerines. Predation has to be a major factor here. The 64% decline in the Tawny Owl on Wirral is shocking, what's going on there? The Corn Bunting decline luckily isn't mirrored in SW lancs although numbers are falling there are still areas were it's locally common.

The Sparrowhawk.
Sparrowhawk numbers have nearly doubled nationally in the last 30 years. I remember back in the late 1970's when the bird was almost extinct around Liverpool. The odd pair always nested in the conifer strip at Formby to Ainsdale and in the woods at Knowsley. It must've fairly rare in Wirral as well because i remember listening to Eric Hardy's programme 'The Countryside' in about that time and him mentioning Sparrowhawks nesting at Hawarden near Chester and i was going to go over there.
Numbers now are probably at saturation point, saturation point that is for the song bird population. As you have have illustrated(great pic) and Paul also has commented on pair nesting near his home in the city,they are taking a terrible toll on the bird population. Something has to give, i wouldn't like to see any culling of wild birds but the song bird popuation can't sustain the predation rates as they are. Grey Squirrel and Magpie numbers might have to be controlled in future, not a nice prospect but is there an alternative?

Great post anyway.
Thanks.
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Old March 1st, 2011, 08:05 PM   #126
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I didn't realise there were breeding Bearded Tit's on the Wirral,I've always associated them with Leighton Moss. Are they in Burton? I know they were trying to encourage them to breed there.

Thanks for the tables M.O and superb pictures! Have you still got your Kingfisher picture in Liverpool Docks? The bird I'm most pleased to see colonise and flourish in the last few years is the Avocet,I can't believe how quickly they're establishing themselves in the Region,I'm going to try and get some pictures of them this year at Marshside.Hobby's seem to be getting sighted around Formby/Ainsdale a lot now too.
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Old March 5th, 2011, 07:41 PM   #127
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Just mulling over M.O.'s stats. The 64% for the Tawny Owl i see is for tetrads but it's still down by 50% which is very disappointing. One of the big surprises is the relatively low density of pheasants on Wirral. Pheasants are quite common on Liverpool's urban edge and abundant on the mosslands. Also the Blackcap it seems is much more common this side of the river.

Re: the Kingfisher, the first one i ever seen on was on the canal near Bootle Gasworks. It was sitting on a discharge pipe from a nearby factory,this about 1976. Strangely the canal,even this far in to the city did contain some fish,Perch or Roach? Another rarity i seen about that time was a pair of Choughs in the Litherland area, they stayed a few days,unfogettable that.
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Old March 7th, 2011, 12:43 AM   #128
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Here's a picture of a Chough I took last year in Llandudno,as a result of one of my pictures (although pretty poor) I found out it was first ringed in Nant Peris Snowdonia.It's partner and chicks were ringed as a result of this due to me contacting a bird forum and someone putting me onto the person that ringed it as a chick.In other pictures I took you could clearing see it was ringed.

On a totally different theme to this,I saw a Brambling on a bird feeder at Tam O Shanters Farm in Bidston yesterday,a great little bird.
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Old March 7th, 2011, 06:37 PM   #129
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Interesting that, thanks Paul.
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Old March 11th, 2011, 04:27 PM   #130
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Sefton Park.

I enjoy the squirrels - they are very tame. I know that many would like to get rid of the greys, but I've not got any certainty on this issue. I'm not sure about how much we, as humans, should interfere with the balance of nature.
I, like many others, do have a knee-jerk response towards Magpies, for example, though I realise that they need to follow their own natures. They are not evil - unlike some humans.
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Old March 17th, 2011, 08:00 PM   #131
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I was surprised how tame the squirrels were at Calderstones....this little fellow had just had breakfast
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Old March 19th, 2011, 03:11 PM   #132
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Heard this this morning....the Chiffchaff's back
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Old March 21st, 2011, 09:44 PM   #133
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I saw the Sparrowhawk that was nesting over the road in the area where it's nest was last year,it was chased by a Carrion Crow,did a quick loop then returned to its original perch.Hopefully that's a sign that it'll return to breed again this year? There seems to be a number of crows this year that have set up territories in the cemetery,one's obviously not pleased with the Sprawks presence.
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Old March 22nd, 2011, 08:06 PM   #134
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I watched a large female Sparrowhawk pursuing a Blackbird a couple of weeks ago. It was like a falconry display. It last lasted for about 20 seconds, the Blackbird went for cover in small group of trees but the Sparrowhawk was right on top of it,the Blackbird doubled back twisting and turning and luckily shook it off...breathtaking.
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Old March 22nd, 2011, 08:26 PM   #135
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They're amazing birds but they're too good at what they do,I love having them so close to my home but I've got mixed feelings about how common they're becoming.On a happier note,I found my first Long Tailed **** nest of the year,also over the road,it's not lined yet but the birds were busy working away on it.If you're ever passing by my way I'll be happy to show you it,they're absolutely amazing structures as you know.
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Old March 22nd, 2011, 08:51 PM   #136
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Great that Paul, thanks. I know what you mean re: the Sparrowhawk, i seen what will be the same bird chasing the Blackbird i've referred to, carrying a Blackbird, i knew it would have to rest quite quickly,which it did several times with me in tail couldn't get close enough for a pic unfortunately.
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Old March 23rd, 2011, 04:06 PM   #137
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Here's one from today in Croxteth,a Mute Swan by its nest.

And inside the nest.



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Last edited by Paul D; March 24th, 2011 at 12:30 AM. Reason: added the eggs
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Old March 23rd, 2011, 04:56 PM   #138
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A Lapwing's nest in Gilmoss.



And this is just to give you an idea of how well camouflaged the nest is on an open wasteland.



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Old March 25th, 2011, 07:35 PM   #139
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Great stuff Paul. The swans at Prince's Dock haven't started nesting yet, still plenty of time they're still there, that's the main thing.
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Old March 26th, 2011, 08:37 PM   #140
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Had a wander around Rainford today where I found these Toads mating,in the first picture you can see their egg strings! Saw a pair of Willow ****,a Buzzard amongst others but the highlight of my day,a Stoat ran ran out in front of us.
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