Last updated 16th March 1998

Welcome to the first newsletter of this Web site. The newsletter will be updated on an irregular basis but hopefully at least monthly during the main birdwatching season - September to March. As this is the first newsletter I have included highlights from the past winter as well as any latest news.

The huge numbers of duck and waders present during the Winter leave the Estuary during March and April, but as it is the time of the Spring migration anything can turn up, especially at Hilbre Island, Red Rocks and Point of Ayr.

Latest Bird Counts:
Shelduck. Record count for the Dee of 10,400 in October with 9,400 at Heswall/Parkgate. This follows last years second highest count of 8,000.

A sample of January's WeBS count at Heswall gave: 2,550 Redshank, 60 Golden Plover, 600 Lapwing, 34 Black-tailed Godwit and 1900 Curlew.

RSPB - Inner Marsh Farm:
11th March - Black-tailed Godwit 1,400
16th March - Spotted Redshank 6, Redshank 40+, Black-tailed Godwit 70+, Knot 100+, Curlew 5, Coot 60+, Shoveller 60, Shelduck 32, Pintail 50, Gadwall 4, Wigeon 500, Pochard 6, Goldeneye 4, Tufted Duck 30.

Rarity News:
Leach's Petrel. 252 were seen at Hilbre on 9th September with over 100 recorded on 8th and 13th. This compares with a maximum of 3 in 1996.

Little Egret. 1 seen on the Estuary off and on all Winter. Last seen at Burton Marsh on 15th March.

Spoonbills. 3 seen all Winter either at Heswall or Parkgate. Still at Parkgate on 15th March.

American Wigeon and Smew at Inner Marsh Farm on 15th March.

Next Spring Tides:
Sat. 28th March, 1106hrs, 10.0m.
Sun. 29th March 1151hrs, 10.1m.

Forthcoming Events:
High Tide Birdwatches at Parkgate, experts on hand at Old Baths - 28th March and 29th March.

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