Inner Marsh Farm Count for 2nd August.
Hobby 1, Black-tailed Godwit 1, Ruddy Duck 6, Common Tern 3, Common Buzzard 5, Greenshank 2, Greylag Goose 9, Shoveler 14, Teal 22, Ruddy Shelduck 1, Wigeon 3, Little Grebe (pair with two chicks), Shelduck pair with 11 juveniles, Snipe 2, Ruff 1, Dunlin 3, Goldfinch 30.
Please note that the count from Inner Marsh Farm is an informal estimate of species and numbers present, either carried out by myself or other birdwatchers visiting the hide. It is not meant to be a complete count and is not in anyway part of the Wetland Bird Survey or other count which might be carried out by the RSPB.
Wetland Bird Survey Count for Heswall Shore
- (Kindly provided by the Wirral Ranger Service). 20th August.
August Bird News
was an excellent month, pride of place going to a record count of 97
Greenshank on Boathouse Flash at Parkgate Marsh
(part of the RSPB Gayton Sands reserve). Curlew Sandpipers were also much in
evidence with a very good passage of both adult and juvenile birds (see
article on Curlew Sandpipers above). Particular good
numbers were seen at Hoylake and
Meols, both with counts of 30,
Heswall with 13,
Parkgate 19 and
Inner Marsh Farm with 17. As usual most of
these birds were juveniles but ten adults were seen at
Hoylake on the 29th, four of these were in
summer moult and six in winter plumage - a plumage rarely seen on the west
coast of England.
There has also been a very good passage/return of the more common waders. 3000 Dunlin (Hoylake), 435 Sanderling (Hoylake), 1200 Ringed Plover (Hoylake), 2730 Curlew (Heswall) and 5733 Redshank (Heswall) were the highest counts. The Redshank count at Heswall must be one of the highest ever August counts there.
Three Arctic Skuas were seen off Hoylake shore for several days and single Pomarine Skuas off Hoylake and Point of Ayr, were another five Arctic Skua appeared at the end of the month. Four Mediterranean Gulls frequented the North Wirral shore. Tern numbers were well down on July for most of the month but 30 Little Tern were seen at the start of the month and 438 Common Terns at the end - all at Hoylake.
Raptors included some great views of two Marsh Harriers. These spent most of the time at Inner Marsh Farm and Burton Marsh but one put in a visit to Heswall marsh were it put up 32 Grey Heron. A Hobby and 5 Common Buzzard were seen on the same day at Inner Marsh Farm. Peregrine Falcons were observed almost daily at Hoylake and Heswall, and the local Kestrels must have had a good breeding season with at least seven hunting over Parkgate marsh.
Many thanks go to Jane Turner, Steve Williams, Cathy McGrath, Mark Feltham, Anne Lister and Stephen Menzie for e-mailing me their sightings during August. I rely on the goodwill of people like this, unlike some commercial sites I cannot offer financial inducements!
September Highest Spring Tides (Liverpool)
28th September, 12.28hrs 9.9m. (all times BST)
29th September, 13.08hrs 9.9m.
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.
Young Ornithologists Club at Ness Gardens
Wirral Peregrines Phoenix Group
Wirral Bird Club
Forthcoming Events (organised by the
Wirral Ranger Service,
Flintshire Countryside Service and/or the RSPB):
2nd September. In search of Skuas.
16th September. Heswall Shore High Tide
Bird Watch. 10:45am
23rd September. Guided Walk to the Hilbre
24th September. Migration Watch 2000 (see below)
28th September. High Tide at Parkgate.
11:00am.(Hw 12:28, 9.9m)
30th September. High tide at
Riverbank Road, Heswall.12 noon.
1st, 14th and 15th October. Migration Watch 2000 (see below)
1st October. High Tide at Flint Castle.
15th October. Beginners Bird Watch at
Hoylake. 12 noon to 1:30pm
29th October. Heswall Shore High Tide
Bird Watch. 9:15am
Note: Many of these forthcoming events extracted from 'Birdwatchers Diary 2000', which covers both the Dee and Mersey regions. Copies available from the visitor centre at Thurstaston, Wirral Country Park 0151 648 4371.
Migration Watch 2000
Every year since 1992 the various Ranger Services in the Mersey and Dee Estuary region have been staffing visible migration watchpoints. This brings to the public's attention one of the most fascinating aspects of bird behaviour. Each autumn vast numbers of birds pass through our region unseen but a few notable species gather together in large numbers. At certain points they become channeled along well known migration corridors. Each year produces surprises, such as 1999's Woodlark and Common Crossbills at the public watchpoints on the Wirral, but the real thrill is seeing the massed passage of regular migrants such as the winter thrushes as well as the various species of finches and buntings. For full details of venues contact Wirral Country Park at 0151 648 4371/3884. The selected dates and times of the migration watches are:-
Public watchpoints will be staffed at several locations around the region. This includes the Wirral Country Park at Thurstaston, Denhall Lane at Burton, both on the north shore of the Dee Estuary (all dates) and Hale Lighthouse Shore (1st October only), in Halton on the North shore of the Mersey.