Parkgate, 16th December 2018

Yesterday we were subjected to Storm Deirdre, which lashed Liverpool with wind and rain, but it was comparatively mild today. After getting off the bus at Parkgate Mostyn Square we walked along the quayside to the so-called Donkey Stand, where there was the usual civic Christmas tree.

The tide was out, but we scanned the marsh for birds. There were some Oystercatchers on a grassy bit and a distant bird of prey sitting up above the reeds on a higher twig: perhaps it was a Buzzard but it was too far out to identify. Two or three Little Egrets were poking about. One flew up and came down in a different place and disturbed a dozen Lapwings, which we wouldn’t otherwise have seen. A smart-looking Heron was close in.

In the pools were the usual Mallard, Teal, and various gulls. Then northwards from Burton came a male Hen Harrier, being mobbed by gulls and Crows. Eventually he dropped whatever it was he had caught, and he flew off. One Carrion Crow went down into the reeds to find the prize the Harrier had dropped.  After all that excitement,we strolled along to the Old Quay restaurant for our Christmas lunch.

Afterwards we walked back up to Neston for the bus. In the churchyard of the Parkgate and Neston United Reformed Church we stopped to look at two handsome trees, a Monkey Puzzle and a bare Weeping Ash.

The Sunday Group’s tally for 2018  is 84 species of birds, 163 species or varieties of trees and 5 species of mammal (if we are allowed to count molehills!), all seen within the range of our Merseytravel pensioners’ bus passes. Not bad for parks, cemeteries and odd woody corners in an urban area.

Public transport details: Bus 487 from Sir Thomas Street at 10.30, arriving Mostyn Square Parkgate at 11.25. Returned from Brook Street, Neston, on the 487 at 14.36, arriving Liverpool 15.30.

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