Parkgate, 11th December 2022

It was a bright sunny day, but just above freezing, with hardly any breeze. This made for misty conditions on the marsh and over the pools towards the Flintshire shore, with some snow showing on the Clwydian mountains.

High tide was due about 1pm, so the pools were quite full of water, but there were very few birds on them, just a few Mallards and Gulls. A Dunnock was flitting through the vegetation by the sea wall and we saw a Little Egret at a distance. A Heron flew in, low over the houses, heading towards the marsh. A smaller bird flew over our heads, southwards along The Parade.  It was about the size of a Kestrel, and it flew level, straight and purposeful, like a falcon would. But it seemed to be all greyish-greenish-fawn, and John thought its tail was too long for a Kestrel, and was put in mind of a Ring-necked parakeet. But it was only a glimpse, so maybe it was a Kestrel after all. More exciting was a report from some people coming back from the Old Baths area, who said there was a Kingfisher at the far end. So we headed that way. There were interesting plants growing in the tangle beyond the sea wall, including two large clumps of Sea Beet and spikes of Burdock seed heads.

Before we could settle down for lunch in the grassy area beyond the car park we first had to brush the melting ice off the picnic table and benches! All the molehills amongst the grass had frosty tops like Christmas puddings.

A bold and hungry Robin hopped on the sea wall by our feet, and of course we gave it crumbs from our sandwiches.

There was another Little Egret there.

On an island in a pool there was a long-legged bird. A Curlew? No, it had a straight bill so it was a Godwit. It flew off just as I took its picture so you can clearly see that it’s a Black-tailed Godwit.

There was a small Oak bush there, and it reminded me that on our bus journey across the Wirral that morning, especially near Thornton Hough, the mature Oaks in the hedgerows had held onto their golden leaves and were glowing in the bright low sun.

The only flower of the day was Gorse, which is always in season.

Then John found the Kingfisher, poised on a branch overlooking a little stream, about 25 yards away. Hooray!

We headed back for the 1.30 bus, and no, we didn’t have ice creams. Brrr!  We noted that one of the detached houses near the Old Baths had a giant teddy on the balcony.

Public transport details: Bus 487 from Sir Thomas Street at 10.29, arriving Parkgate Mostyn Square at 11.25. Returned on the 487 from Mostyn Square at 1.30, arriving Liverpool 2.25.

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