The tides have been doing me a favour over the last few days. It's been high water at about the time I'm cycling to work. This means a good selection of waders on the West Kirby Marine Lake wall waiting for the waters to recede so they can resume feeding.
This allows good close views if you carefully peep over the white rendered walls to the rocks below.
Today the weather was rather pleasant, if a little cool, but yesterday was foul. A huge squall zipped over from Hilbre catching me without waterproofs and sending me rushing for the only shelter, an information sign. Shoulders hunched and eyes screwed up I peer over to see how the Redshank, Dunlin & Turnstones are doing. They have adopted the same position as me!
Can't say I blame them and so I decide to risk recording this scene. Out comes the camera and I reel off a few shots then stow the kit before it gets too wet then saddle up and head for work where a warming brew awaits only to be followed by a busy day in damp clothes!
Today was much more like it and started with a new arrival Lakeside. Red-breasted Mergansers are a regular fixture on the Lake over the winter usually arriving in November. As it was quite calm today I could spot the Cormorants fishing, so I spotted the different shape of the Merganser straight off. The Marine Lake has got to be the best place I know to get great views of these birds as you can walk around the whole body of water. This one is early and is a nice start to proceedings.
My ears pick up a tweeting on the rocks below and I quickly locate a Rock Pipit hopping about on the armour stone at the waters edge. There is another one calling back to my bird as I swing the camera from the RBMerg to it for a few shots. There is a lot of stuff on the move today, migration in full swing. Pied, White and Grey Wagtails all zoom overhead as I hop on the bike and pedal work-wards.
Along the Wirral Way I pick up the calls of Fieldfares and seconds later a 75(ish) strong flock ripple overhead in a rag tag flock. With the Merganser on the Lake and these birds here it's starting to feel real winterish.
They are around for most of the day, always nervous and off with the merest suspicion of the local Sparrowhawk. Eventually they settle long enough for the camera to be deployed.
Redwings must be next on the menu! I can't wait....