Systematic list -
Red-throated Diver to
Bittern to Brent Goose (below)
Shelduck to Common
Velvet Scoter to
Merlin to Grey Plover.
Lapwing to Bar-tailed
Whimbrel to Great Skua.
Mediterranean Gull to Reed Bunting will be
published in the July 2002 Newsletter.
1 in flight between West Kirby and the islands August 21st.
[The first for the wardens and a welcome one. Although what with one of
the largest breeding populations in Britain is just to the north of us, and
regular wintering probably taking place on the estuary, it is most uncommon
to see a Bittern moving between sites. Another bird was seen in flight over
Hoylake Langfields on August 8th.]
Formerly a vagrant
Singles April 7th, August 4th., 15th., 18th., 20th., 1 August 21st. off
Little Eye, 2 May 23rd. and September 2nd, 2 briefly in wader roost
September 3rd. 1 on Little Eye September 9th. All birds in flight unless
|[After much waiting the wardens finally recorded their first Little
Egret, and then the flood gates opened! Although they can be considered
almost resident higher up the estuary, the only previous records from the
mouth are of one in 1989 at the Point of Air and the first for Red Rocks +
Hilbre in 1990. This summer saw the first breeding record for Cheshire and
in November there were up to 21 birds reported coming into roost at Burton,
three times the previous peak.]
The highest multiple counts were 7 on Little Eye July 20th., 7 on West
Kirby shore September 18th. and 6 November 3rd.
[ Although regular on the shore Grey Heron were fairly scarce during the
first part of the year when the fields in North Wirral were flooded and
numbers of Heron recorded on these were far higher than normal. This is
another species that occurs in Nationally Important numbers on the Dee.]
6 in flight over West Kirby shore February 7th. 2 Marine Lake October
11th. 1 off Red Rocks October 28th.
[There is a small herd of Mute Swan on the marshes on the upper reaches
of the estuary but they are very scarce at the mouth. The reason for this is
probably because most movement between the Dee and Mersey takes place
overland. A good year for records.]
4 in flight high over West Kirby shore November 19th.
[Although these birds were probably Mute Swans the possibility of them
being one of the ‘wild’ swan spp. cannot be discounted.]
85 January 27th, 120 February 23rd, 5 September 25th, 40 November 1st.
All in flight over West Kirby shore.
[ With very large numbers just up the coast in SW Lancashire and a
regular, small but growing, wintering flock at Burton it is surprising that
we do not record this species more often. In the 1960’s flocks of up to
500 were regularly reported in flight off the mouth of the estuary. These
were the highest number of birds recorded, in a year, since the start of the
2 with Canada Geese August 5th was the only record of the year.
[ With quite a few feral birds in the area it could be expected that
Greylags would be recorded more often than they are but, like most
waterfowl, they remain very scarce in the wardening area.]
August records were 11 on 5th, 3 on 6th. and 23rd, 33 on 24th, September
records were 18 on 12th, 43 on 23rd, 2 on 30th. All in flight over West
[The Dee had the fourth highest count of Canada Goose in Britain in
October 1999 and, with numbers still rising, this is reflected in records
from the wardening site. This is the greatest number of records, and birds,
that have been noted from the site and with up to 100 birds utilising
Hoylake Langfields as a night time roost it looks as though there may be many
more in future.]
Dark-bellied Brent Goose
Scarce winter visitor
The peak count in the first winter period was of 5 February 11th. The
first returning bird was 1 October 17th. with a peak of 2 November 12th. Up
to 2 birds were reported present until the end of the year but
identification was not confirmed.
[ An article describing the status of this and the
following taxon on the Dee will feature in a future newsletter within the
next two or three months. The 2 birds in November showed characteristics consistent
with hybrid bernicla / nigricans. ]
Pale-breasted Brent Goose
B. [ bernicla ] hrota
Peak count 1st. winter period :- 39 throughout January.
Peak count 2nd. winter period :- 27 December 10th.
The first returning birds was 1 October 28th.
[ See above. ]