Park Life

It is now over 12 months since the world changed and we entered an extended period of enforced soporific stasis due to Covid-19. So much has changed, social & family life exists only online, so does so much of my work life. Thankfully I have now been vaccinated with my first dose of the Pfizer vaccine. I just hope it is not too long until Mrs G receives her inoculation and we can start to plan a route back to a post-Covid normality.

Birding has been ‘parked’ over the last year. I still don’t think that birding is a form of exercise, despite some birders covering some distance when out. For me it is a hobby, for some an occupation, others just make it a reason to carry on as if nothing has changed. Journeys made to go birding are not essential and so I have resisted the temptation to jump in the car and travel just a few miles. All my birding activity since the start of restrictions have been within Liverpool and mainly confined to Liverpool parks, apart from July visit to Derbyshire for the Lammergeier. We are very fortunate in Liverpool to have a great selection of parks, some are beautifully landscaped and it is quite surprising at some of the bird life I have photographed in Liverpool parks.

Today I made a second visit to Princes Park for images of an Water Rail. This is the first time I’ve ever seen a Water Rail in the City. Before visiting to go and find this bird I’d never stepped a foot inside Princes Park. I even had to look on Google Maps where a suitable place was to park the car. This park does have great history though and the park was, for nearly four hundred years, part of the hunting forest of Toxteth and was a Royal Park.

Water Rail in Princes Park, February 2021. This bird has over wintered at the park and frequently climbs up a tree and is feeding on the moss.

Calderstones Park is the park that I live closest to and know better than all the other city parks. I don’t usually take my long lens to Calderstones and tend to take the macro lens there instead.Calderstones Park is the park that I live closest to and know better than all the other city parks. I don’t usually take my long lens to Calderstones and tend to take the macro lens there instead.

Nuthatch at Calderstones Park
Rhododendron Leaf Hopper at Calderstones Park

Sefton Park is a huge park and very popular with runners, walkers, families and can be a decent patch that gets some great birds from time to time. I’ve photographed Kingfisher, Garganey and Iceland Gull as well as commoner birds such as Grey Wagtail and Great Crested Grebe here.

A pair of male Garganey on Sefton Park lake
Iceland Gull on Sefton Park lake

The best bird by a country mile that I have photographed in a Liverpool park was the absolute Mega sighting of a Dipper at Greenbank Park last year. This is only the second record of Dipper in Liverpool. The park is a little over a mile from my house so I found I could not resist taking the camera out to photograph one of my favourite birds.

Redpoll at Childwall Woods

Coming right up to date again and an image of a Redpoll taken at Childwall Woods, despite living in the area for over 25 years I only visited here for the first time last year during the first lockdown. I said last year that it would be an ideal place to find a Grasshopper Warbler in April.Coming right up to date again and an image of a Redpoll taken at Childwall Woods, despite living in the area for over 25 years I only visited here for the first time last year during the first lockdown. I said last year that it would be an ideal place to find a Grasshopper Warbler in April.

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