you who have visited the Welsh Shore page will
already know of Gronant on the North Wales
coast between Point of Ayr and Prestatyn, and some of you may actually have
been there. It is a beautiful wild area of sand dunes, marsh and beach. In
the summer it holds the only Little Tern colony in Wales and the RSPB are
appealing for voluntary wardens to help protect it. This will involve
looking out for predators, especially crows, gulls and foxes, stopping
holidaymakers and their dogs from walking through the colony and chatting to
any interested passer by about the birds.
I've just volunteered so you might see me! The wardens will be required from end of May to beginning August.
If you're interested ring the RSPB at 0151 336 7681, mention this web site if you wish - I know they would be interested to know if this appeal is successful.
Inner Marsh Farm
7th May: Mauritanian Spoonbill, Cuckoo 1, Common Tern 2, Black Tern 2, Gadwall 7, Little Gull 1, Black-tailed Godwit 60, Dunlin 22, Little Ringed Plover 2, Ruff 1, Curlew Sandpiper 1, Garganey 2, Ruddy Shelduck 1, Whimbrel 1, Ringed Plover 3. Several pair of Tufted duck and Shelduck also present.
Wetland Bird Survey Count for Heswall Shore
- (Kindly provided by the Wirral Ranger Service). 7th May.
May Bird News
rarities stand out this month, a Pectoral Sandpiper at
Inner Marsh Farm and a Woodchat Shrike at
Thurstaston, the latter being only the
sixth ever record of this species in Cheshire/Wirral (unless my records
aren't up to date!). Another rarity was a Turtle Dove but, unlike the
previous two, this certainly wasn't a twitchable* bird being seen only by
one person (albeit an experienced birder) flying fast over
As well as the Pectoral Sandpiper at Inner Marsh Farm there have been various other passage waders including Wood Sandpiper, Curlew Sandpiper, Spotted Redshank, Little Ringed Plover and over 100 Black-tailed godwit. The Mauritanian Spoonbill and a Ruddy Shelduck seem to have taken up permanent residence there! A Little Egret, Little Gull and Mediterranean Gull complete the list for IMF this month.
Hilbre Island had plenty of migrants passing through including 3 Garden Warbler, 3 Yellow Wagtail, 2 Tree Pipit and the usual Wheatear, Willow Warblers and Hirundines. A Serin was seen at nearby Red Rocks.
The Little Terns have returned to Gronant with about 40 nests and between 80 and 90 birds in total. Unfortunately the bad weather at the end of May will not help their breeding success.
* For those who don't know what a 'Twitchable Bird' is. It is a rare bird that stays long enough in one place to be seen by a good number of Twitchers, that merry band of people who travel the length and breadth of the country in search of rare birds to tick off their list.
Highest Spring Tides
3rd June, 12.38hrs 9.8m. (all times BST)
4th June, 13.26hrs 9.8m.
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):
3rd June. Dusk 'till Dawn. 8pm - 6 am.
10th June. Dee Day. 10am - 4:30pm
10th June. A Guided Walk to the Hilbre
11th June. Hirundine Houses. 10:00am
14th June. Parkgate Walk. 11am - 4pm
14th June. An Evening stroll on Heathland. 11am - 4pm
22nd June. Sunset Walk to Hilbre.
25th June. Ffynnongroyw and Garth Woods.
1st July. Food for free in the Dunes. 7pm - 9pm.
6th July. Sunset Walk to Hilbre.
Note: Many of these forthcoming events extracted from 'Birdwatchers Diary 2000', which covers both the Dee and Mersey regions. Please e-mail me if you want an electronic copy, hard copy available from the visitor centre at Thurstaston, Wirral Country Park 0151 648 4371.