The photographs page on this web site has been revamped. It now has double the number of images (40) including lots of good bird photographs. The photos are presented as thumbnails, click on these to see the full size image.
Inner Marsh Farm
Count for 5th
Wetland Bird Survey Count for Heswall Shore - (Kindly provided by the Wirral Ranger Service). 14th
January - low count due to fog.
West Kirby high
tide roost, highest count for January carried out by Dee
Estuary Volunteer Wardens - 15th January.
January Bird News
The country was invaded by Waxwings during January and we got our fair share with 10 at Neston, 40 at Seacombe, 30 in Pensby and 32 in Upton.
The record count of Brent Geese in December was bettered in January with 34 pale-bellied and 5 dark-bellied. They could be seen throughout the mouth of the estuary from Point of Ayr to Hoylake. There was also a good movement of Pink-footed geese with several flocks of 100+ seen, the biggest one was of over 300 birds on Burton Marsh.
Also on Shotwick boating lake was a Great Northern Diver, unusual for an inland site, another one was seen off Hilbre. In the nearby Shotwick fields 104 Bewick's Swan were counted. Five Little Egrets remained on Burton Marsh.
674 Black-tailed Godwit were busy feeding on Caldy mud-flats, perhaps driven off their inland haunts at Inner Marsh Farm and Frodsham by the icy weather. There was a good count of 2,150 Bar-tailed Godwit off Leasowe at low tide, not unusual but we get much lower counts at high tide as these birds fly over to the Alt Estuary to roost.
The Water Pipits increased to 6 at Neston Old Quay. Eighty Twite made an excellent sight at Flint Castle, a Bittern in the Neston reed beds and a single Firecrest attracted a few twitchers to the Point of Ayr.
What to expect in February: Three big high tides of over 10 metres on the 9th, 10th and 11th should give us some excellent birdwatching, especially over flooded marshland such as at Parkgate where we should get Short-eared Owls as well as a mass of waders and duck, and a good selection of other raptors. But also try Neston Old Quay, Denhall Quay and Flint Castle.
Other than the big tides February is a bit of an in between month, between the mid-winter peak of December and January and the first of the spring migrants in March. But the estuary is still full of birds and some species, such as Redshank, start the spring passage early and increase during February before dispersing to their breeding grounds in April. There is also plenty of time for more cold weather which can bring large movements of birds from further north and east.
Many thanks go to Jane Turner, Steve Williams, Brian Grey, David Ester, Carl Clee, John Gittins, Jeff Clarke, Brian Roberts, Cathy McGrath, John Baker, Mike Hart, Iain Douglas, John Kirkland, Bill Owens, Martyn Jaimeson, Chris Butterworth, Frank Gleeson and the Dee Estuary Volunteer Wardens for their sightings during January. I rely on the goodwill of people like this, unlike some commercial sites I cannot offer financial inducements!
Highest Spring Tides (Liverpool) |
9th February, 12.02hrs 10.1m. (all times GMT)
10th February, 12.47hrs 10.2m.
11th February, 13.32hrs 10.1m.
See Tides page for full tide table.
Note that the marsh at Parkgate is covered when tide height is 9.8m or over, dependent on weather conditions. Low pressure with strong north-west wind will create higher than expected tide, high pressure with southerly wind means lower than expected tide.
Peregrines Phoenix Group
Wirral Bird Club
Forthcoming Events (organised by the
Wirral Ranger Service, Flintshire Countryside Service and/or the
High tide bird watches at Parkgate and Heswall for the whole of 2001 are shown on the high tide birdwatch page. Always check latest newsletter for any additions or changes.
Friday 9th February 10:30am (HW 12:02, 10.1m) Parkgate
Sunday 18th February. 11am - 4pm. Parkgate
Saturday 24th February 9:00am (HW 12:02, 9.3m) Banks Road Birdwatch, Heswall.
Saturday 24th February 10am - 3pm (HW 12:02, 9.3m) Open Day at Connah's
Quay Power Station Reserve.
Sunday 25th February 10.45 (HW 12:39, 9.4m) Banks Road Birdwatch, Heswall.
Sunday 25th February 10.30am - 12noon. Beginners Birdwatch at Leasowe
Saturday March 10th March 10:00am (HW 11:45,10.2m) Parkgate
High Tide Birdwatch.
Sunday March 11th March 10:30am (HW 12:27,10.3m) Parkgate
High Tide Birdwatch.
Note: Many of these forthcoming events are extracted from 'Birdwatchers Diary 2001', which covers both the Dee and Mersey regions. Copies available from the visitor centre at Thurstaston, Wirral Country Park 0151 648 4371 or by from myself as a 1.8mb zipped file.