November 10, 2023

Hugh’s News – 10 November 2023

Waxwings have been arriving in the UK in big numbers, in Scotland especially, as well as along the East coast of England. Bill saw this bird on a recent trip to Bempton Cliffs.  With luck, a few of these gems could find their way over to our side of the country.  It has been several years since a large Waxwing irruption occurred, so one is long overdue.

Reports suggest that this could also be a good year for Short-eared Owls. Look out if you are walking anywhere with views over the Dee Marshes, as this species can be seen hunting during the day.  Marsh and Hen Harriers are both present along with Merlin and a single Bittern.

West Kirby Marine Lake often holds Red-breasted Mergansers and Goosanders during winter months, but Bill found a rarer Great Northern Diver there last week.

Ellie had a fantastic encounter at a Red Kite feeding site in LLanddeusant in Wales. The Kites swoop in and take the food without landing, so you must be quick to snap them!  As well as the Kites, Buzzards also came in for the scraps.

Members at our last meeting for Keith Offord’s excellent talk will recall he mentioned the long-distance migration of Bar-tailed Godwits.  The North American sub-species regularly migrate from Alaska to overwinter in New Zealand.  But in 2022, a Godwit smashed the record by flying non-stop from Alaska to southern Australia over 11 days, after taking a wrong turn on its journey to New Zealand!  Amazing navigation and stamina.

Thank you to Bill, Ellie and Hugh for the photos.