Liverpool docks, 13th March 2022

We met at the Albert Dock, from where we had planned to walk south, but found that we were heading into the teeth of a very strong breeze with the sun in our eyes, so turned to walk the other way, past the cruise terminal and all the new hotels around Princes Dock. The “Dazzle” ferry was just coming in.

There was a big ship berthed at the cruise terminal, the Fred Olsen Borealis.

At first we saw very few birds, just the odd Gulls, Crows and Pigeons, with a pair of Mallards in the dock. There are very few trees along there, but suddenly four little sparrow-sized birds flew in and perched in a bare ornamental tree outside the Crowne Plaza hotel. Not Sparrows and not female Snow Buntings. We decided in the end that they were female Linnets, not what we would usually expect in the city centre. More good finds were two sleeping Lesser Black-backed Gulls, looking like porcelain ornaments, and a Turnstone pecking about in a bit of fenced-off waste ground, dwarfed by the Herring Gulls.

We turned around at Alexandra Tower. On the pontoons in Waterloo Dock were half a dozen Cormorants.

We could see though to Princes Half-Tide and Victoria Docks (see top picture) framed by the red cranes at Seaforth and Jesse Hartley’s octagonal clock tower. There were four distant Mute Swans, possibly juveniles, and some Canada geese on the far bank. We returned on the inland side of Princes Dock. Several Cormorants were swimming and diving in the dock, and were coming up with long, thin, silvery fish. Sand eels?  We lunched in St Nicholas’ churchyard then headed off home early.

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