from Hilbre, provided by John Gittins of
the Hilbre Bird Observatory,
4 Whimbrel, 10 ringed Plover, 20 Sanderling, 300 Dunlin, 6 Curlew, 90 Turnstone, 150 Redshank, 1,000+ Oystercatcher, 6 Gannet, 5 Arctic Skua, 1,000 Black-headed Gull, 600 Common Gull, 100 Great Black-backed Gull, 2,000 Herring Gull, 3 Arctic Tern, 30 Little Tern, 100+ Common Tern and 200 Sandwich Tern
Peak counts of birds on
West Kirby Shore/Red
Rocks during August , kindly provided by Chris Butterworth.
Wetland Bird Survey Count for
Heswall Shore - (Kindly provided by the
Wirral Ranger Service). 19th August.
Wetland Bird Survey count for
Connah's Quay - (Kindly provided by Brian Grey of the
Deeside Naturalists' Society). 19th August.
Marsh Farm Count for 16th August.
August Bird News
were very much a feature in August. The Great White Egret which had made
such a brief visit in July arrived back on the 12th and has been here ever
since. It spent most of its time off Flint
although as it was usually in mid river it was debatable whether it was
actually in Wales or England.
We didn't quite reach last year's record of 97 Greenshank at Parkgate, but 80 at the end of the month was an excellent total. A few adult Curlew Sandpiper have been seen, and at the end of the month some juveniles were trickling in. But unlike last year they seemed to be passing through quickly, the best number being 12 at Heswall. Maximum daily counts of other passage waders included 3,500 Oystercatcher (West Kirby), 3,500 Dunlin (Hoylake), 500 Sanderling (Hoylake), 1,000 Ringed Plover (Red Rocks), 5,000 Knot (West Kirby) and 1,000 Grey Plover (Leasowe). Such large numbers of Grey Plover are very unusual this early in the year, 20% were in summer plumage, the rest immature birds in non-breeding plumage.
It was a good month for raptors with nine species recorded. This included four Marsh Harriers seen in one day, three females and a male. Shortly after the first Marsh Harrier turned up we saw a ringtail Hen Harrier (probable juvenile) which has been seen using the reed beds at Neston as a roost. The other raptors include an Osprey at the Point of Ayr and a Hobby seen several times at Inner Marsh Farm.
What to expect in September: If we get force five to nine winds between September 4th and 22nd for at least two consecutive days get down to Leasowe, Hilbre Island or Point of Ayr - and watch the show - a continuous stream of Leach's Petrels flying west! We are certainly due a good Leach's Petrel year, the last being 1997 when good numbers were seen on nine days - the best was September 8th when there were 123 off Leasowe, 140 off Hilbre Island and 255 at Point of Ayr. Of course winds like this will also be excellent for other sea birds such as Skuas, Fulmar, Gannets, Kittiwakes and Guillemots.
Wader numbers will build up rapidly during the month, Redshanks usually peak in September with highest numbers at Heswall, we had 7,580 last year. Juvenile Curlew Sandpipers and Little Stints will be passing through in the first half of the month, you should see them at either Hoylake or Point of Ayr - try and spot them among all the Dunlin.
There are some high spring tides over 10 metres during the month which will give some fabulous bird watching - particularly at Parkgate where the sea should reach the wall, unless we get a strong south wind and high pressure!
Many thanks go to John Gittins, Jeff Clarke, Chris Butterworth, Bill Owens, Julian Weldrick, Mark Feltham, Dave Wilde, Wendy Allen, Mike Hart, David Ester, the Smallwood family, Dave Harrington, Martyn Jaimeson, Cathy McGrath, Brian Grey, Colin Jones, John Kirkland, Jane Turner, Phil Lovell and Brian Roberts for 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)
18th September, 12.44hrs 10.1m. (all times BST)
19th September, 13.27hrs, 10.2m.
20th September, 14.08hrs, 10.0m.
See Tides page for full tide table.
Note that the marsh at Parkgate may be 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.
Wirral Peregrines Phoenix Group
Wirral Bird Club
Forthcoming Events (organised by the
Wirral Ranger Service,
Flintshire Countryside Service and/or the RSPB):
High tide bird watches at Parkgate and Heswall for the whole of 2001 are shown on the high tide birdwatch page. Always check latest newsletter for any additions or changes.
Saturday 1st September. Guided Walk to the
Saturday 15th September. Guided Walk to the
Saturday 15th September. 10:30am - 3pm. An Autumn Stroll.
Sunday 16th September 8:30am (HW 11:11, 9.3m) Banks Road Birdwatch,
Tuesday 18th September 11:00am (HW12:44,10.1m)
Parkgate High Tide Birdwatch.
Wednesday 19th September 11:45am (HW 13:27,10.2m)
Parkgate High Tide Birdwatch.
Saturday 22nd September 1:30pm (HW 15:28, 9.2m) High Tide Birdwatch at
Kings Gap, Hoylake.
Note: Many of these forthcoming events are extracted from 'Birdwatchers Diary 2001', which covers both the Dee and Mersey regions. Copies available from the visitor centre at Thurstaston, Wirral Country Park 0151 648 4371 or by from myself as a 1.8mb zipped file.