The Birdwatchers Diary 2004 is a calendar of birdwatching events for the Dee and Mersey estuary region. Any changes or additions to these events will be shown in the forthcoming events section of the monthly newsletter on this web site. If you wish for a more printer friendly version in MS Word format please request one by .
Printed copies, complete with illustrations etc., can be obtained at Inner Marsh Farm RSPB Reserve and the Wirral Country Park Visitors Centre at Thurstaston. All versions free of charge.

January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December

  SEE Birdwatchers Diary 2005 for latest events.


JANUARY 

Sunday 4th 9:00am - 12:00noon (Wirral)
New Years Bird Race
Ease into the New Year with this gentle guided walk from the Wirral Country Park Visitor Centre across farmland, through woodland and along foreshore to search for as many species of bird as possible. We aim to beat last year's total of 40. Finish the walk with tea and biscuits in the Bird Hide. Stout footwear and waterproofs are essential. Please bring binoculars if you have them.
Booking essential, 0151 648 4371.

Saturday 10th 10:30am (Wirral)
Banks Road Birdwatch
One of the best places on the estuary to get close-up views of a variety of waders including black-tailed godwit, knot, redshank and curlew as they amass along the banks of the Heswall Gutter (HW 12:54, 8.9m). Meet at Banks Road car park, Lower Heswall, near Sheldrake's Restaurant. For details, tel. 0151 648 4371.

Sunday 11th 9:00am (Halton)
Oxmoor Winter Bird Survey
Assist the Wildspace Officer with his mid-winter bird survey at Oxmoor LNR, Manor Park in Runcorn. If conditions permit, we will carry out a snipe survey in the balancing pool. Wellingtons and waterproofs are essential. Bring a warm drink. No dogs please. Meet at Oxmoor LNR, Warrington Road, Runcorn. For further details phone 01928 583905.

Sunday 18th 10:00am - 12:00noon (Wirral)
Bird Box Building
An event for the younger birdwatcher! Come along to Wirral Country Park and learn more about your local resident birds with a trip to the bird hide with the Rangers. Children under 8 years old must be accompanied by an adult.
Booking essential, 0151 648 4371.

Sunday 18th 2:00pm - 4:00pm (Halton)
Bird Boxes And Feeders
Winter is upon us which is a suitable time to help our feathered friends by making them a new home and feeders. Whether this is your first time or you are a regular, the more bird boxes and feeders the better. All materials provided. Meet at Victoria Park Glasshouse, Fairfield Road, Widnes. More bird box events are planned through the year, for further details phone 0151 423 6147.

Sunday 18th 3:00pm (Cheshire)
Parkgate Raptor Watch
Come along and watch birds of prey with the experts. See the graceful hen harriers coming in to roost on the RSPB reserve. Other birds of prey we hope to see are merlin, peregrine, sparrowhawk, short-eared owl and barn owl. Meet at the Old Baths car park, which overlooks the Gayton Sands Nature Reserve at Parkgate, close to The Boathouse pub. For further details contact the RSPB on 0151 336 7681.

Wednesday 21st 10:45am (Wirral)
Woodland walk at Dibbinsdale LNR
Join the Liverpool RSPB group for a leisurely walk around the reserve looking for woodland birds including all three species of woodpecker, as well as finches and tit flocks. Some of the paths may be muddy so Wellingtons are recommended. Meet at Bromborough Rake Station. For further information contact Chris on 0151 480 7938.

Saturday 24th 10:00am - 4:00pm (Wirral)
RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch
Join the RSPB Wardens at Ness Gardens bird feeding station. Help us count the birds in the Gardens as part of a national survey, and learn all about garden birds and how to attract them to your garden. All welcome. Meet at Ness Gardens tearoom. No need to book.
For more details tel. 0151 336 7681.

Saturday 24th 11:00am (Wirral)
Rails of the River Bank
A fantastic place to see birds of the estuary. Huge flocks of ducks and waders swirl around in the sky while there's always the chance of seeing a water rail as it's flushed out of the saltmarsh by the rising tide. Expect to see merlin, peregrine and maybe short-eared owl. Meet at Riverbank Road car park, which overlooks the RSPB Gayton Sands Nature Reserve at Heswall. (HW 13:00, 9.7m) No need to book. For further details contact the RSPB on 0151 336 7681.

Saturday 24th 11:00am (Wirral)
Wader Watch at King's Gap
Join the Ranger and the Dee Estuary Voluntary Wardens to see large numbers of waders at close quarters, as they gather to roost with the rising tide. Beginners welcome. Please bring warm waterproof clothing and binoculars if you have them (HW 12:35, 9.7m). No need to book, meet at King's Gap, Hoylake. For further information phone 0151 678 5488.

Sunday 25th 10:00am - 5:00pm (Wirral)
Big Garden Birdwatch
Join us in the bird hide at Wirral Country Park and take part in this national RSPB event to count the birds in our gardens. For further details, phone 0151 648 4371.


FEBRUARY

Sunday 1st 10:00am - 12:00noon (Wirral)
Birding for beginners
Pick up a few birding tips from the Rangers on this walk around Wirral Country Park. By the end of the morning you should be confident on your RBmergs, mipits and GSwoods! The walk will include a session in the Visitor Centre bird hide with tea and biscuits laid on! Please bring waterproofs and binoculars if you have them. Booking essential, 0151 648 4371.

Saturday 7th 10:00am (Flintshire)
Flint High Tide Birdwatch
Join the RSPB Warden on a walk along the edge of the mudflats and saltmarsh as we watch thousands of waders dropping onto the marsh to roost at high tide. Expect to see black-tailed godwit, knot, redshank and possibly greenshank and spotted redshank (HW 12:06, 9.2m). No need to book, meet at the Flint Lifeboat Station car park. For further details phone 0151 336 7681.

Sunday 8th 10:30am (Cheshire)
Mersey Estuary Birdwatch
A birdwatching walk with the local RSPB group to look for winter visitors on the marsh and nearby fields. Birds likely to be seen include waders, wildfowl, winter visitors and raptors. (HW 12:58, 9.4m) Meet by the shops in Hale village. Contact Chris on 0151 480 7938 for details.

Tuesday 10th (Wirral)
Divers and Grebes of Hilbre
February is a good month to search for divers and grebes before they move inland to breed. Join the Rangers on a guided walk to the Hilbre Islands, staying over high tide. The rising tide forces waders to leave their low water feeding grounds and roost around the island allowing close quarter views. Warm waterproof clothes & stout footwear essential. Please bring binoculars. There is a 1 charge for this event, which is not suitable for young children. Booking essential, 0151 648 4371.

Sunday 15th 10:00am - 5:00pm (Wirral)
National Nestbox Week Event
Come along to Wirral Country Park Centre for advice on nestboxes for our feathered friends. For further details, phone 0151 648 4371.

Sunday 15th 3:30pm - 6:00pm (Halton)
Birds And The Bridge
An illustrated talk and then a 2km walk to view the avian spectacular of starlings and the birds of prey they attract. Binoculars and return transport provided. Book to reserve your place on this very popular annual event. Meet at Pickerings Pasture, Mersey View Road, Widnes. For details phone 0151 425 4706.

Sunday 15th 4:00pm (Cheshire)
Parkgate Raptor Watch Special
Come along and watch birds of prey with the experts. See the graceful hen harriers coming into roost on the RSPB reserve. Other birds of prey we hope to see are merlin, peregrine, sparrowhawk, short- eared owl and barn owl. Meet at the Old Baths car park, overlooking the RSPB Reserve at Parkgate, close to The Boathouse pub. For further details contact the RSPB on 0151 336 7681.

This event will be followed by a hot meal at the Boathouse pub and an illustrated talk on birds of prey by TV celebrity, Iolo Williams. Tickets will cost 9.95. To book, contact the RSPB on 0151 336 7681.

Tuesday 17th 7:30pm start (Wirral)
'Cockling in the Dee Estuary'
In recent years there has been concern over the intensive harvesting of cockles on the Dee Estuary and possible long-term damage to this ecosystem that is vital to so many birds. Martin Bailey of English Nature will address these issues at an evening talk at Alexander Hall, Heswall. This talk has been organised by Wirral Wildlife Group (part of the Cheshire Wildlife Trust) and there is a 1 charge for admission. No need to book, for further information call 0151 625 9349.

Wednesday 18th 1:30pm - 3:00pm (Wirral)
Bird Box Building
Build a bird nesting box at Royden Park and learn more about our local resident birds. This event is suitable for all the family to enjoy. No need to book. Meet at the Rangers Office, by the Walled Garden. Further information
Tel: 0151 677 7594.

Saturday 21st 10:30am (Cheshire)
Parkgate High Tide Birdwatch
The saltmarsh off Parkgate comes alive with birds as massive flocks of waders and waterfowl are pushed in towards us by the incoming tide. If the tide hits the wall, small mammals such as voles, shrews and possibly water rails are flushed out. Meet at the Old Baths car park, which overlooks the Gayton Sands Nature Reserve at Parkgate, close to The Boathouse pub (HW 12:02, 9.8m). For details contact the RSPB on 0151 336 7681.

Sunday 29th 10:00am - 12:00noon (Wirral)
Bird Walk for Beginners
Discover some of the birds of mid-Wirral on this guided walk through lanes, heaths and woodlands. Stout footwear and warm waterproof clothing are required. Please bring binoculars if you have them. Booking essential, 0151 648 4371.

Sunday 29th 12:00noon - 3:00pm (Halton)
Wild Wings
There's no excuse to be sat in front of a cosy warm fire when you could be sharing the experience of a wild, windy mudflat teeming with Siberian ducks and Arctic shorebirds. Go on, chill out! Binoculars and telescope provided. Meet at Wigg Island Community Park, Astmoor Road, Runcorn.
For further details phone 07901 978366.

MARCH

Saturday 6th 8:30am (Wirral)
Banks Road Birdwatch
Come and see the spectacle of several thousand-strong flocks of ducks and waders as they amass at the mouth and banks of the Heswall Gutter. Highlights include black-tailed godwits and golden plovers. (HW 11:09, 9.1m) Meet at Banks Road car park, Lower Heswall, near Sheldrake's Restaurant. For further information tel. 0151 648 4371/3884.

Sunday 7th 9:00am (Flintshire)
High Tide at Point of Air
The spit and saltmarsh at Point of Air are extremely important habitats for birds and they come alive at high tide with waders coming in to roost and ducks drifting in on the tide to feed on the marsh. Join the RSPB warden to watch the action as it unfolds (HW 11:24, 9.4m). No need to book, meet at the end of Station Rd. Talacre. Further information contact RSPB, tel. 0151 336 7681.

Sunday 14th 4:30pm (Cheshire)
Parkgate Raptor Watch
Come along and watch birds of prey with the experts. See the graceful hen harriers coming into roost on the RSPB reserve. Other birds of prey we hope to see are merlin, peregrine, sparrowhawk, short-eared owl and barn owl. Meet at the Old Baths car park, which overlooks the RSPB Gayton Sands Reserve, near The Boathouse pub. For further details contact the RSPB on 0151 336 7681.

Wednesday 17th 11:00am (Liverpool)
Woodland Walk
A walk with the local RSPB group around mixed woodland on the edge of Liverpool, followed by a visit to the Mersey estuary at Oglet. A good
number of species will hopefully be seen. Paths may be muddy, so Wellingtons are recommended. Meet at the bus terminus.
For further details contact Chris on 0151 480 7938.

Saturday 20th 9:30am (Wirral)
Rails of the River Bank
A fantastic place to see birds of the estuary. Huge flocks of ducks and waders swirl around in the sky while there's always the chance of seeing a water rail as it's flushed out of the saltmarsh by the rising tide. Expect to see merlin, peregrine and maybe short-eared owl. Meet at Riverbank Road car park, which overlooks the Gayton Sands RSPB Nature Reserve at Lower Heswall. (HW 11:02, 9.6m) No need to book. For further details contact the RSPB on 0151 336 7681.

Saturday 27th 7:00am (Wirral)
Migration Watch at Red Rocks
Join the ranger in the search for early summer and passage migrants including wheatear, meadow pipits and possibly ring ouzel. Please wear suitable warm clothing and bring binoculars if you have them. No need to book. Meet at the end of Stanley Road, off the King's Gap, Hoylake. For further information, telephone 0151 678 5488.

Sunday 28th 6:30am - 9:30am (Wirral)
In Search of Woodpeckers
The territorial drumming of the great spotted woodpeckers and the 'yaffle' of the green woodpecker reach a peak in late March. Join the Rangers on a guided walk around Stapledon Woods to search for these and the elusive lesser spotted woodpecker before they disappear behind the developing woodland canopy. Bring waterproofs and binoculars. Booking essential, 0151 648 4371.

APRIL

Wednesday 7th 12:00noon (Cheshire)
Parkgate High Tide Birdwatch
The saltmarsh off Parkgate is part of the Gayton Sands RSPB Nature Reserve and it comes alive with birds as they are pushed in towards us by the incoming tide. If the tide hits the wall, small mammals such as voles and shrews are flushed out. Meet at the Old Baths car park, which overlooks the Gayton Sands Nature Reserve at Parkgate, close to The Boathouse pub(HW 13:29, 9.9m). For further details contact the RSPB on 0151 336 7681.

Sunday 11th 10:30am (Flintshire)
The Grebes of Greenfield
Join the RSPB warden to watch grebes and mergansers feeding in the low water channels. We'll take a relaxing walk along the seawall looking out for migrants such as wheatears. (LW 10:39, 1.8m) No need to book, meet at Greenfield Dock car park, off Dock Rd, Greenfield. For details phone 0151 336 7681.

Sunday 18th 9:30am (Flintshire)
Flight of the Godwits
The RSPB Oakenholt Marsh reserve is one of the most important roost sites in the country for black-tailed godwits. Come and see these beautiful birds in their full, bright red, breeding plumage before they undertake their return migrations to Iceland. Expect to see large numbers of other waders (HW 11:36, 9.3m). Please bring Wellingtons. No need to book. Meet in Flint at Lifeboat Station Car Park (by Flint Castle). For further details, call 0151 336 7681.

Saturday 24th 6:30pm (Cheshire)
Evening Special at Inner Marsh Farm RSPB Nature Reserve
Join the Warden for a relaxing evening stroll around the RSPB reserve at Inner Marsh Farm in search of spring migrants. Finish the evening with cheese and wine. Tickets are 5.00 for members and 6.00 for non-members. Booking and further information, contact RSPB on 0151 336 7681.

Wednesday 28th 6:30pm - 8:30pm (Halton)
The Lost Lagoon Part 1
Come and visit an area normally out of bounds to the public. This special place holds a wealth of marshland birdlife. Access is difficult to the area and suitable footwear and clothing essential. Binoculars available on request. Spaces limited. Meet at Wigg Island, Astmoor Road, Runcorn. Further 'Lost Lagoon' events will be held, at the same time, on: Wed 26th May; Wed 30th June; Wed 21st July; Wed 25th August; Wed 29th September. For further information please phone 01928 583905.

MAY 

Saturday 1st 5:30am (Wirral)
Dawn Chorus at Ness Gardens
The dawn chorus is one of the most wonderful sounds you will hear, but by the time most people are awake, the chorus has reduced to a fraction of its full self. Come and hear it at its biggest and best at Ness Gardens in the company of the local RSPB Warden. Tickets cost 9.50 (6.50 for 'Friends of Ness Gardens') and include a full breakfast. To book, contact Ness Gardens on 0151 353 0123.

Sunday 2nd 5:00am - 7:00am (Wirral)
Dawn Chorus for Commoners
It's that time of year again to make the effort and experience this magical time of day. Listen to the variety of birdsong over Thurstaston Common and the woodlands of Royden Park. Light refreshments available afterwards. Booking essential Tel, 0151 648 4371.

Sunday 2nd 6:30am - 9:30am (Wirral)
Catching the Warbler Wave
The final week in April and the first few days in May sees the return of the warblers for summer. Join the Rangers on a guided walk to Dawpool Nature Reserve to watch them displaying to prospective mates, learn their calls and hear their amazing migration stories. Bring waterproofs and binoculars, if you have them. Booking essential, tel. 0151 648 4371.

Sunday 2nd 7:00am (Flintshire)
Migrants on the Move
One of the best places in North-East Wales to see migrating passerines. Join the RSPB Warden at the Point of Air to see what lurks in the bushes and learn about the amazing feat of bird migration. Target species include tree pipit, whinchat, grasshopper warbler and the unexpected. No need to book, meet at the end of Station Rd, Talacre.
For details, contact RSPB on 0151 336 7681.

Saturday 8th 6:30am (Cheshire)
Breakfast Birdwatch
Join the RSPB Warden for an early morning birdwatch at Inner Marsh Farm Nature Reserve, Burton. The trees and bushes will be alive with bird song while lapwings display overhead. Costs inclusive of continental breakfast are 5.50 members and 6.50 non-members. Booking essential. Further details and tickets from the RSPB on 0151 336 7681.

Sunday 16th 7:00am - 9:00 am (Halton)
Dawn Chorus
Bird song all the way as we take a casual walk around the nature reserve, listening to the bird song around us and discovering what summer migrants have arrived and who will be spending the season with us. Binoculars are available. Meet at Pickerings Pasture LNR, Widnes. Tel. 0151 425 4706 for more details.

Sunday 16th 9:00am - 11:00am (Wirral)
How to be a Birdwatcher
Birdwatching is a fascinating hobby, but with so many plumages to recognise and songs to learn it can be a bit daunting. Join the Rangers on a relaxed walk around the many habitats of Wirral Country Park and pick up tips on how to be a birdwatcher. Please bring waterproofs and binoculars if you have them. Booking essential, 0151 648 4371.

Sunday 30th 12:00noon - 4:00pm (Wirral)
Wake Up To Birds Event
Join the RSPB Wirral Group for a bird activity day at Eastham Country Park. For more details, phone 0151 648 4371.

JUNE

Sunday 6th 8:00am - 10:00am (Wirral)
Warblers of the Common
Look, listen and search for warblers and other migrant species that come to these lowland heathlands during our summer months.
Booking essential. Tel: 0151 648 4371.

Friday 11th 9:00pm - 12:00am! (Wirral)
A Night on the Tiles
Owls, mice, bats and moths are on the menu for this evening excursion around Wirral Country Park. Tawny, little and barn owls are all possible. The bat detectors and moth traps will be out so join the Rangers to see what turns up! Warm clothing and a torch are a must. Places are limited, so book early on 0151 648 4371.

Saturday 12th 1:30pm (Cheshire)
Orchid Spectacular at Inner Marsh Farm
The reserve's wetland fields become carpeted with marsh orchids in the spring. Join the Warden on a walk around this special part of the reserve not normally open to visitors. Learn about how we manage the reserve, over afternoon tea. Booking essential. Tickets: 3.00 members and 4.00 non-members. For details and to book, tel RSPB, 0151 336 7681. Please book early due to popular demand.

Sunday 13th 1:30pm (Cheshire)
Orchid Spectacular at Inner Marsh Farm RSPB Nature Reserve
A second opportunity to join the Warden on a walk around a special part of the reserve not normally open to visitors. Event followed by afternoon tea. Booking essential. Tickets: 3.00 members and 4.00 non-members. To book and further details call RSPB on 0151 336 7681. Please book early.

Thursday 17th 8:30pm - 11:00pm (Wirral)
Night Owl Watch
A joint evening walk with the Wirral Barn Owl Trust and the Rangers to see and hear these birds of the night. There will be a short introduction by the Trust about their work in helping to save this beautiful bird. Booking essential. Tel: 0151 648 4371.

Wednesday 23rd 6:30pm (Denbighshire)
Gronant Little Tern Colony
Join the North Wales RSPB group for a visit to the little tern colony at Gronant. Meet in the car park opposite the newsagents on Shore Road, Lower Gronant. For more details, contact Maureen on 01492 547 768.

Saturday 26th 10:00am (Denbighshire)
Gander at Gronant Little Tern Colony
Visit the last remaining little tern colony in Wales as it reaches a peak of activity with adults busily feeding their hungry youngsters. The RSPB Little Tern Wardens will be on hand for you to get the most from your visit. No need to book. Meet at Presthaven Sands Caravan Park at the end of Shore Rd, Gronant (near Prestatyn). Further information tel. RSPB on 0151 336 7681.

JULY

Thursday 1st 8:00pm - 10:30pm (Wirral)
Night Owl Watch
A joint evening walk with the Wirral Barn Owl Trust and the Rangers to see and hear these birds of the night. There will be a short introduction by the Trust about their work in helping to save this beautiful bird. Booking essential. Tel: 0151 648 4371.

Saturday 24th 8:00pm (Cheshire)
Birds, Bats, Moths and BBQ
Join the RSPB staff at Burton Point Farm and delve into the world of the creatures of the night. Learn all about our nocturnal neighbours with the local experts. Booking essential. Tickets 6.50 members and 7.50 non-members. For booking and further information contact RSPB on 0151 336 7681.

Sunday 25th 6:00am (Halton)
Bird in The Hand
It may feel like mid-summer but autumn migration is already in the air. Join our fully licensed and trained bird ringers as they send the warblers on their way with a shiny new identity bracelet. Get close to species that you hardly ever see and discover some of the facts about their extraordinary lives. Booking essential due to limited numbers. Oxmoor LNR, Warrington Road, Runcorn. For more information phone 01928 583905.

AUGUST

Sunday 1st 10:00am (Wirral)
Banks Road Birdwatch
One of the biggest roosts of redshank in the country builds in the saltmarsh off Banks Road. Amongst the thousands of waders that are herded up in front of us by the tide, there is a good chance of seeing spotted redshank and curlew sandpiper (HW 12:35, 9.3m). Meet at Banks Road car park, Lower Heswall, near Sheldrake's Restaurant. For further details, phone 0151 648 4371.

Saturday 14th 9:00am (Flintshire)
What's that wader?
Do you struggle to tell your pipers from your plovers, Calidrids from your Charadrids? Then come along for a simple step-by-step lesson in wader identification. Expect a good selection of waders which should include curlew sandpiper and whimbrel and, importantly, similar species alongside each other for comparison. (HW 11:04, 8.3m) No need to book. Meet at the end of Station Rd. Talacre, Point of Air. Contact RSPB on 0151 336 7681 for details.

Sunday 15th 9:00am - 5:00pm (Flintshire)
Big Bird Count at Point of Air
Come along as we try to see as many different species of bird as possible. Find out about the importance of the site and join the Warden on short guided-walks around the reserve. Come along and join in at any time between 9 and 5. Meet at the viewing platform, left along the seawall at Point of Air. For further details, contact the RSPB on 0151 336 7681.

Wednesday 18th 11:15am (Liverpool)
LiverBird Wildlife Discovery Cruise- Family Day
Join the RSPB on an exciting cruise aboard a Mersey Ferry along the estuary and out into Liverpool Bay. On this family cruise there will be lots going on to keep kids busy, including Liverpool Museum's inter-active mobile Natural History Centre, craft activities, people to show you the birds and a children's entertainer on board. Cruise starts at 11.15 and will return at 14.15. Please contact the RSPB's regional Public Affairs coordinator on 01484 861148 for more details.

SEPTEMBER

Wednesday 1st 11:15am (Liverpool)
LiverBird Wildlife Discovery Cruise
Join the RSPB on an exciting cruise aboard a Mersey Ferry along the estuary and out along the Crosby Channel into Liverpool Bay. We should see good numbers of terns, gulls and waders and, depending on the weather, we might see seabirds such as skuas and gannets. There will be a host of birds and wildlife experts on hand to show you the birds and give a commentary through the trip. Cruise starts at 11.15 and will return at 14.15.
Please contact the RSPB on 01484 861148 for more details.

Sunday 12th 7:00am - 4:00pm (Halton)
Battle of the Towers
To launch the opening of our new observation tower overlooking the Astmoor Reedbed and Saltmarsh we will be holding a day-long 'hawk watch'. Come along at any time and join the experts to see a wide range of raptors. To add a little spice to the occasion we will be competing with fellow birdwatchers based at the nearby Moore Nature Reserve. Meet at Wigg Island, Astmoor Road, Runcorn. For further details please phone 01928 583905.

Sunday 12th 9:00am - 11:30am (Wirral)
Which Wader?! Where?!
Waders are a fascinating group of birds with amazing migration stories, weird and wonderful plumages and bill shapes and sizes. This can make some species very tricky to separate, so join the Rangers at Banks Road, Lower Heswall, to study these birds as they are pushed towards us by the rising tide. No need to book, meet in the car park by Sheldrakes Restaurant. For more information, phone 0151 648 4371.

Saturday 25th 2:00pm (Flintshire)
Grebes at Greenfield
Join the RSPB Warden for a leisurely walk along the sea wall at Greenfield to see great crested grebes as they fish in the low water channels. Finches and whinchats busily feed on the thistles and willowherbs while wheatears hop along the sea wall in front of us (LW 16:15, 2.4m). No need to book, meet at Greenfield Dock car park, off Dock Rd, Greenfield. For details tel. 0151 336 7681.

Sunday 26th 7:00am - 11:00am (Halton)
Wings to the South
As migration gets underway this part of the Mersey Estuary becomes an important crossing point for thousands of birds streaming southwards. We will also have an opportunity to observe what birds are being pushed along the coastline by the incoming tide. Plenty of action as it happens at this picturesque location. Meet at Hale Lighthouse, Widnes. Contact 0151 425 4706 for details.

Sunday 26th 10:00am (Flintshire)
Birdwatch at Point of Air
Join the North Wales RSPB group to see the thousands of birds that make this site so special. All welcome. Meet in the Smugglers Inn car park, Talacre. For more details, phone Maureen on 01492 547 768.

OCTOBER

Saturday 2nd 12:30pm (Wirral)
Banks Road Birdwatch
Expect to see a variety of bird species at this exciting time of the year on the Estuary which sees many thousands of migrating birds on the move. Amongst the mixed mass of waders may be greenshank, spotted redshank and curlew sandpiper (HW 14:18, 9.1m). No need to book, Meet at Banks Road car park, near Sheldrake's Restaurant, Lower Heswall. For further information tel. 0151 648 4371.

Sunday 10th 7:00am (Cheshire)
Migration Watch and breakfast at Inner Marsh Farm RSPB Reserve
Passerine migration should be in full swing so why not join the Wardens to witness the mass movement of finches, pipits, redwings and fieldfares as they move south as winter approaches. Please wear suitable warm clothing. Costs inclusive of continental breakfast are 5.50 members and 6.50 non-members. Booking essential. For further information phone the RSPB on 0151 336 7681.

Sunday 10th 7:00am - 11:00am (Halton)
Redwing Recall
A few summer migrants may still be heading south but another movement is underway as large numbers of birds from colder climates begin to enter the country along this part of the estuary. Another opportunity to watch large-scale migration close up and colourful at a great location. Meet at Hale Lighthouse, Widnes. Contact 0151 425 4706 for details.

Friday 15th 11:00am (Cheshire)
Parkgate High Tide Birdwatch
The saltmarsh off Parkgate comes alive with birds as they are pushed in towards us by the incoming tide. If the tide hits the wall, small mammals such as voles and shrews are flushed out. Meet at the Old Baths car park, which overlooks the Gayton Sands Nature Reserve at Parkgate, close to The Boathouse pub (HW 12:48, 9.7m). For further details contact the RSPB on 0151 336 7681.

Saturday 16th 8:00am - 10:00am (Wirral)
Fieldfare Frenzy!
The middle weekend of October usually sees a big influx of redwings and fieldfares from Scandinavia. Many are attracted to the Wirral Way by the miles of berry-bearing hedgerows where they can replenish their energy after a long flight south. Join the Rangers on a guided walk along these hedgerows to witness this migration spectacular. Booking essential, 0151 648 4371.

Saturday 16th 10:30am - 1:30pm (Flintshire)
High Tide Bird Bonanza at Flint
Without question, one of the best sites on the estuary to watch birds. Join the RSPB Wardens who will guide you through the bird activity as it unfolds. Expect thousands of waders including black-tailed godwit, knot, oystercatcher and redshank. Our events trailer will be set up overlooking birds feeding on the mudflats. A guided walk to see the wader roost will start at 11:30am for which Wellington boots will be required (HW 13:25, 9.6m) No need to book. Meet at Flint Lifeboat Station car park. For further information, contact RSPB on 0151 336 7681.

Saturday 16th 12:00noon - 1:30pm (Wirral)
Wader Watch at King's Gap
Join the Ranger and the Dee Estuary Voluntary Wardens to see large numbers of waders at close quarters, as they gather to roost with the rising tide. Beginners welcome. Please bring warm waterproof clothing and binoculars if you have them. No need to book, meet at King's Gap, Hoylake. For further information phone 0151 678 5488.

Sunday 24th 10:00am - 12:00noon (Wirral)
Birds along the Brook
A bird watch by the Arrowe brook, where wagtails and herons can often be seen. The adjacent woodlands are home to nuthatches, treecreepers and three species of woodpecker. Join the Ranger on this special event suitable for all the family to enjoy. Please bring binoculars if you have them. Booking essential. Tel: 0151 648 4371/3884.

Sunday 24th 4:30pm (Cheshire)
Parkgate Raptor Watch
Come along and watch birds of prey with the experts. Hopefully the graceful hen harriers will have returned and will be coming into roost on the RSPB reserve. Other birds of prey we hope to see are merlin, peregrine, sparrowhawk, short-eared owl and barn owl. Meet at the Old Baths car park, which overlooks the Gayton Sands Nature Reserve at Parkgate, close to The Boathouse pub. For further details contact the RSPB on 0151 336 7681.

Saturday 30th 10:00am - 4:00pm (Wirral)
RSPB Feed the Birds Day
Join the RSPB Warden at Ness Gardens to find out how you can help your garden birds survive through the winter. See the birds at the feeding station in the Gardens and learn about the different foods on which each species feeds. Meet at Ness Gardens tearoom. For more information contact the RSPB on 0151 336 7681.

Saturday 30th 10:00am - 5:00pm (Wirral)
RSPB Feed the Birds Day
Come along to Wirral Country Park Centre for information and advice on how to help our feathered friends through the winter months. For further details, phone 0151 648 4371.

Sunday 31st 10:00am (Flintshire)
High Tide at Point of Air
A great place to get close-up views of a variety of ducks and waders. Thousands of waders that have been feeding on the mudflats during low water come to roost on the reserve whilst hundreds of ducks arrive to feed on the saltmarsh as it wets up. No need to book. Meet at the bottom of Station Road, Talacre (HW 12:27, 9.0m). For further details call RSPB on 0151 336 7681.

Sunday 31st 10:00am - 12:00noon (Halton)
What's That Bird
Ever wondered what that bird was on your bird table? This useful birding walk will give you some handy hints on how to tell a blue tit from a great tit and at the same time how to attract more species to your feeder. Meet at Wigg Island, Astmoor Road, Runcorn. For further information please phone 07901 978366.

NOVEMBER

Saturday 13th 10:00am (Cheshire)
Parkgate High Tide Birdwatch Special
The saltmarsh off Parkgate comes alive with birds as they are pushed in towards us by the incoming tide. If the tide hits the wall, small mammals such as voles and shrews are flushed out. Meet at the Old Baths car park, which overlooks the Gayton Sands Nature Reserve at Parkgate, close to The Boathouse pub (HW 11:23, 9.7m).

The high tide birdwatch will be followed by an illustrated talk at the Boathouse celebrating the RSPB's 25 years on the Dee Estuary. Tickets for the event will cost 6.95, and will include a hot meal. To book, phone the RSPB on 0151 336 7681.

Sunday 14th 8:00am - 10:30am (Wirral)
Seaduck Close-up
During the winter months the Marine Lake at West Kirby is a good place to spot seaducks including goldeneye, scaup and red-breasted merganser. Join the Rangers on a stroll around the lake to get views of these birds without having to venture out onto the waves! Then head up to Cubbins Green to view the waders feeding on the rich estuary mudflats. No need to book, meet at the Dee Lane Slipway, West Kirby. Please bring warm waterproof clothes and binoculars. For further information call Wirral Country Park on 0151 648 4371/3884.

Wednesday 17th 11:00am (Wirral)
Gilroy Pool Birdwatch
A birdwatching walk around Hoylake with the Liverpool RSPB group. Meet at Hoylake Station. For more details, contact Chris Tynan on 0151 480 7938.

Sunday 21st 2:30pm (Cheshire)
Parkgate Raptor Watch
Come along and watch birds of prey with the experts. See the graceful hen harriers coming into roost on the RSPB reserve. Other birds of prey we hope to see are merlin, peregrine, sparrowhawk, short-eared owl and barn owl. Meet at the Old Baths car park, which overlooks the Gayton Sands Nature Reserve at Parkgate, close to The Boathouse pub. For further details contact the RSPB on 0151 336 7681.

Saturday 27th 8:30am (Wirral)
Banks Road Birdwatch
Wader watching doesn't get much better than this as thousands of birds are pushed up the Heswall Gutter in front of us by the incoming tide. Black-tailed godwit, dunlin, redshank, and curlew will all be present in spectacular numbers (HW 11:21, 9.0m). Meet at Banks Road car park, near Sheldrake's Restaurant, Lower Heswall. For further information tel. 0151 648 4371.

Saturday 27th 10:30am (Wirral)
Birdwatch at Eastham Country Park
A birdwatching walk with the local RSPB group around Eastham Country Park, looking for birds in open woodland and on the estuary. Meet at the Country Park car park. Contact Chris on 0151 480 7938 for more details.

Sunday 28th 9:30am (Flintshire)
Flint High Tide Birdwatch
Join the RSPB Warden for great views across the RSPB reserve at Oakenholt. Marvel at the spectacular aerial display of the masses of waders that are disturbed from their roosting site on the saltmarsh by the rising tide. Expect to see black-tailed godwit, knot, dunlin and twite. Please bring Wellingtons (HW 11:54, 9.0m). No need to book. Meet at Flint Lifeboat Station car park. For further information, contact the RSPB on 0151 336 7681.

DECEMBER

Saturday 18th 12:00noon - 2:30pm (Wirral)
Winter Birdwatch at Wirral Country Park
Join the Rangers on this leisurely stroll around Wirral Country Park to look for finches, winter thrushes, waders and wildfowl on this final guided birdwatch of the year. Finish off the walk in the Visitor Centre Bird Hide. No need to book, meet at the Visitor Centre. Please bring warm waterproofs and binoculars if you have them. This event is suitable for all the family to enjoy, but children under 8 years old must be accompanied by an adult. For further information call Wirral Country Park on 0151 648 4371/3884.

Sunday 19th 2:30pm (Cheshire)
Parkgate Raptor Watch
Come along and watch birds of prey with the experts. See the graceful hen harriers coming into roost on the RSPB reserve. Other birds of prey we hope to see are merlin, peregrine, sparrowhawk, short-eared owl and barn owl. Meet at the Old Baths car park, which overlooks the Gayton Sands Nature Reserve at Parkgate, close to The Boathouse pub. For further details call contact the RSPB on 0151 336 7681.
 

In 2004, the RSPB celebrates 25 years on the Dee Estuary.

Back in 1979, the Society purchased Gayton Sands, creating a major wildfowl and wader sanctuary on this important estuary. Since then, further land has been bought and management agreements made on both the English and Welsh sides of the estuary, resulting in a total reserve area of 5,415 hectares dedicated to safeguarding the future of some of our most special birds.

The Society has planned, with its partners, a packed programme of events in this Diary to celebrate this important milestone, from the opportunity to watch wildlife spectaculars such as high-tide birdwatching and raptor watching at Parkgate to a variety of social events.

The RSPB has a number of active local groups that will be organising a variety of walks, talks and activities, with something for everyone, so why not get involved?

Contact your nearest group below for more details.

RSPB Chester Group- Contact Bernard on 01829 782 243
RSPB North Cheshire Group- Contact Cliff on 01925 817 874
RSPB Liverpool Group- Contact Chris on 0151 480 7938
RSPB North Wales Group- Contact Maureen on 01492 547 768
RSPB Wirral Group- Contact Martyn on 0151 342 7813/ 648 4371

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