Inner Marsh Farm Count for 16th October.
Black-tailed Godwit 2, Greenshank 3, Lapwing 100, Gadwall 2, Shoveler 81, Teal 1000, Tufted Duck 5, Wigeon 3, Little Grebe 2,.
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). 16th October.
Great-crested Grebe 9, Cormorant 27, Grey Heron 5, Shelduck 9620, Wigeon 190, Teal 268, Mallard 58, Pintail 5, Red-breasted Merganser 3, Oystercatcher 870, Golden Plover 74, Lapwing 236, Knot 100, Dunlin 30, Snipe 8, Black-tailed Godwit 110, Curlew 1380, Redshank 3400, Peregrine Falcon.
high tide roost, highest count for October carried out by
Dee Estuary Volunteer Wardens - 28th October.
October Bird News
It was a very good month for Skuas, the best day being the 2nd with 9 Long-tailed, 7 Great and 86 Arctic all at the Point of Ayr. A Pomarine Skua and another 3 Great Skua were seen off Red Rocks on the 10th. The strong west winds also brought in 5 Leach's Petrel, 4 Black Tern and 130 Razorbill at Hoylake/ Red Rocks, plus an excellent passage of 2400 Guillemot an hour on the 23rd.
A wonderful sight was the record number of Shelduck at Heswall - a total of 9620, best seen when pushed up by the incoming tide. Other wildfowl have included 4 Eider, 98 Common Scoter, Long-tailed Duck and Velvet Scoter all at Hoylake and 2 Garganey and a Ruddy Shelduck at Inner Marsh Farm.
Nineteen Spotted Redshank was a good count for Parkgate Marsh and the same number of Greenshank were present early in the month. Sixteen Purple Sandpipers are at Hilbre, a high number for October. Rarer waders included a Grey Phalarope at Hoylake and a Pectoral Sandpiper on Burton Marsh. Large flocks of the more common waders were seen with 9000 Dunlin and 12000 Knot at the high tide roost off Hoylake beach. The first of this winter's Water Pipits have returned to the Old quay at Neston, a Richard's Pipit was seen briefly at Red Rocks and a Lapland Bunting on Hilbre Island.
What to expect in November: Little Egrets are continuing to expand their range north-westwards and we should see about five birds on the estuary - usually seen at Parkgate, Burton or Flint. One or two Spoonbill may turn up, the Mauritanian Spoonbill (ship assisted vagrant) usually spends most of the winter at Inner Marsh Farm - last seen here in May.
Black-tailed Godwits numbers peaked last year in November (2543). One of the easiest to see flocks is usually off Thurstaston and Heswall, best seen about half tide feeding on the mud just off the beach. Purple Sandpipers should increase to about 30 birds on Hilbre Island. Large flocks of Dunlin and Knot (10000+) should be seen, either at low water off Thurstaston or Leasowe or on their high tide roosts at Hoylake, West Kirby or Point of Ayr.
A small flock of Bewick's Swan return to the estuary in November, usually about 30 to 40 birds on Burton Marsh. Teal numbers will build up with numbers possibly as high as 5000, although the floods this autumn may keep many inland.
Many thanks go to Jane Turner, Steve Williams, Cathy McGrath, Alison Tyrer, Francis Kelly, Peter Wilson, Jeff Clarke, Mark Smith, Peter Colley, Brian Roberts, Julia Fox, Howard Morgan and Martyn Jaimeson for their sightings during October. I rely on the goodwill of people like this, unlike some commercial sites I cannot offer financial inducements!
November Highest Spring Tides (Liverpool)
13th November, 11.56hrs 9.6m. (all times GMT)
14th November, 12.37hrs 9.6m.
See Tides page for 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.
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):
11th November. Open Day at Connah's Quay
Power Station Reserve. 9am to 2pm.
12th November. Searching the Strandline. 11am - 1pm.
18th and 19th November. North West Bird Fair at Martin Mere Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust Reserve, Burscough, Lancashire. The Dee Estuary Volunteer Wardens will have a stand - come and see us.
26th November. High Tide at Point of Ayr. 9:00am.
3rd December. A Winter Woodland Birdwatch. 1pm - 3:30pm.
10th December. High Tide at Flint Castle. 8:00am.
13th December. Banks road Birdwatch at Heswall Shore. 9:30am.
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.