Allan Conlin and Steve Williams, the authors of the new booklet 'Rare Birds in Cheshire & Wirral' (reviewed last month), have kindly agreed to let me print an extract in this newsletter. I have picked three species more or less at random but all have been seen at least once in the Dee Estuary region. Hope this gives you a feel of this most useful and interesting publication.
One was killed in Brereton Park on 7th September 1901; there are several reports of birds prior to this all relating to birds having been shot mostly in the winter. Singles were reported from Hoylake in December 1940, at Frodsham Marsh on 10th August 1952, New Ferry in March 1956 and Hoylake Langfields on 5th October 1957.
The second record concerned another off Hoylake on 8th July 1982.
There was then an adult seen at Frodsham on 31st May 1987 followed by another adult briefly at Inner Marsh Farm RSPB Reserve on 16th June 1989; the latter being relocated at Blithfield Reservoir in Staffordshire on 19th June.
An adult was seen at Frodsham Marsh on 31st July 1995 having been seen earlier at Seaforth Nature Reserve, Lancashire.
adult was found very early morning of 18th May 2002 at
Inner Marsh Farm RSPB Reserve but it soon
departed and headed northwards.
This was incredibly followed by another in 1990, with one at Hilbre on 6th June. This bird was seen during an exceptional down pour as it attempted to take shelter in Fisherman's Cave Middle Eye. Thus showing the value of continued birding during the traditionally quiet summer months.
One was seen over Hough Green, Widnes on 13th June 1992.
A series of records in 1995 possibly relate to the same individual. A bird was heard over Woolston on 29th April and one was found exhausted at Latchford on 3rd May and subsequently released. Finally, one was heard calling again over Woolston on 1st June.
Mersey Ferries Bird Cruise
Liverbird Wildlife Discovery Cruises.
Like last year the RSPB and
Mersey Ferries have joined up to organise a couple of birdwatching trips
out in to Liverpool Bay. This is a rare opportunity to get closer to the
seabirds feeding and migrating in and beyond the mouth of the Mersey and
off the north Wirral shore. Given a bit of luck with the weather, a fresh
west wind would be nice, we could see Gannets, Manx Shearwaters, Arctic
Skuas, Common Scoter and at least three species of terns.
Clwyd Bird Report 2002
Please send your 2003 records for Clwyd as soon as possible to Norman Hallas at the above address, many thanks.
from Heswall Shore - (Kindly provided by
the Wirral Ranger Service), 23rd May.
41 Cormorant, 8 Grey Heron, 41 Shelduck, 2 Mallard, 10 Oystercatcher, 6 Grey Plover, 105 Dunlin, 10 Whimbrel, 153 Curlew, also 71 Carrion Crows feeding on mudflats.
May Bird News
of May came and my first thought was that it had been a very quiet month,
then I looked back at the sightings and realised we hadn't done too badly!
An adult Bonaparte's Gull looked superb in full summer plumage at
Inner Marsh Farm on the 20th. Cheshire
and Wirral's sixth record. Up to four immature Mediterranean Gulls were
also present among the many Black-headed breeding on the islands on the
reserve. Like last month the presence of two Arctic Terns at 'IMF' was
greeted with scepticism in some quarters, but as they were recorded
in their hundreds passing through the midlands over April it isn't that
surprising for a couple to have turned up here. Less surprising, of
course, was the presence of a few off Hilbre
Island during the month. A couple of Pectoral Sandpipers and a Temminck's
Stint rounded off a good month for Inner
Although sea-watching was generally quiet we did have some good birds including 2 Black-necked Grebes off Hilbre and a Pomarine Skua at Leasowe. An excellent find on the Royal Liverpool Golf course at Hoylake was a Nightjar, first Cheshire and Wirral record for four years.
What to expect in June.
Traditionally the quietest month of the year but can throw up some surprise rarities. Last year we had Golden Oriole, Tawny Pipit and Red-backed Shrike. And, of course, many local twitchers saw Britain's first ever Black Lark at South Stack on nearby Anglesey.
Waders are conspicuous by their absence in June but some years thousands of non-breeders (immature birds) stay on the estuary, and by the end of the month we will see the first returning birds - either failed or early breeders. A bird which breeds relatively early in the year is the Sandwich Tern and we will see the first post-breeding birds at the mouth of the estuary, always a welcome sight. Most of these will be coming from their colony at Cemlyn Bay, Anglesey.
A fresh south-west wind should make for some good sea-watching. Gannets in particular but also Manx Shearwaters and Common Scoters. Most of these Gannets hanging around in Liverpool Bay will be immature birds, but it is quite feasible that some will be adults foraging all the way from their huge breeding colony at Grassholm, off Pembrokeshire.
Many thanks go to Phil Woolen, Cath McGrath, Tony Twemlow, Phil Oddy, Mark Feltham, Mike Hart, Steve Roberts, Carl Traill, Dave and Emma Kenyon, Bernard Machin, Matt Thomas, Clive Ashton, Steve Round, Tanny Robinson, Brian Grey, John Harrison, Allan Conlin, Mike Hart, David Harrington, Colin Wells, Stephen Williams, Chris Butterworth, Martyn Jaimeson, Mal Smerden, Jean Morgan, Jane Turner, John Roberts, Gary Keating, Mark O'Sullivan, 'Bill'. Peter Button, David Haigh and the Hilbre Bird Observatory for their sightings during May. All sightings are gratefully received.
Highest Spring Tides,
3rd June, 12:02hrs 9.6m. (all times BST)
4th June, 12:51hrs 9.6m.
Forthcoming Events (organised by the
Wirral Ranger Service,
Flintshire Countryside Service and/or the RSPB):
Sunday 6th June, 8:00am - 10:00am. Warblers of the Common.
Thursday 17th June, 8:30pm - 11:00pm, Night Owl Watch.
16th July to 1st August, National Exhibition of Wildlife Art, Gordale
Garden Centre, Burton.
Note: Many of these forthcoming events are extracted from the 'Birdwatchers Diary 2004', which covers both the Dee and Mersey regions. Hard copies available from the visitor centre at Thurstaston, Wirral Country Park 0151 648 4371.
All material in this newsletter, and indeed the whole web site, has been written by myself, Richard Smith, unless specified.
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