Monday, 4 May 2009

A Day in the Life (of a Pallid Swift)

Monday 4th May. Crosby Marine Park, Lancashire (what happened to Merseyside?), 10:50 - 12:10

I didn't get up particularly early today, and wasn't really expecting the Pallid Swift to still be around. When I realised it was, plus knowing the weather wasn't going to be brilliant, there would be a good chance the bird could still be around. I've never been to Liverpool before.

Between Bootle and Crosby were signs to Marine FC. Blimey, that's a blast from the past of Burton Albion's Northern Premier League days. I always wondered where they were.

But anyway, adjoining the group of twitchers on arrival, were all looking at a Swift above them. Sure enough that was the Pallid Swift, and one the easiest twitches I've ever done. While I was there I did get easier to pick the bird out amongst the Common Swifts. With a bit of practice, as it goes away then comes nearer, it does become noticeably paler overall, but in particular the inner primaries and secondaries. There was also a first-summer Little Gull.

Also present were a rather twitchy Blurred Birder (he must be sick of the sight of me!), and renowed Liverpudlian wildlife photographer, Steve Young (Some photos of the Pallid Swift on Steve's website).

I suppose while in Liverpool I could've visited the Beatles Story exhibition at the Albert Dock. I don't know why, but I usually find audio-visual things like that a bit of a disappointment. And in any case, you can't beat just listening to the great albums of Revolver, Seargent Pepper and the White Album. Maybe next time I'm in Liverpool......

It also sounded like there was a good selection of stuff at Marshside RSPB reserve, up the road at Southport. Speaking of which, the website of Southport's main tourist attraction, the Lawnmower Museum, is fantastic! Especially the introductory song that is played. As it says, it's mower interesting!

Marshside, 13:30 - 15:00.

Bloomin eck, the wind and rain had worsened here! Earlier in the day there had been Garganey, Spotted Redshank, Curlew Sandpiper and Little Stint. I didn't see any of them! But never mind, I got the main one I wanted today. It was just nice to do a bit of dodgyscoping within the comfort of the Sandgrounder's and Andre Nel hides:

Oh, apparently Nel's hide is named after Miss Nel Unna, and not the South African cricketer after all. That reminds me, I'll do another question of hides during the summer, when hay fever kicks in and I'm stuck indoors.


Mike Watson said...

Hi Richard, Good blog. We must have been standing next to you in the rain at Crosby on Monday. Some record shots of the swift at Sorry you dipped at Marshside, the birds took some digging out there. Luckily the Curlew Sandpiper was in front of Nels with Dunlin. The Garganey wasn't visible when we arrived but flew in to Junction Pool later and the Little Stint was miles away to the south of Nels with Dunlin and showed twice, only a handful of pixels and hardly worth seeing. BR, Mike

Richard Powell said...

Thanks for getting in touch Mike! Good photos of the Swift you have there.

Kay said...

Don't worry Richard, you didnt miss much not going to the Beatles museum, I seen to remember it being pretty lane. The Lawnmower museum might be a better bet.