June is undoubtedly the quietest month of the year on the estuary. The counts for 1996 were 3600 waders and 2300 duck, still fair numbers but tiny compared with those in the winter months. Even the woodland birds are going quiet making them even harder to see in the thick summer canopy. July, however, sees the beginning of the southern migration. Curlews in particular will be back in good numbers, presumably these are birds which have bred locally in the Dales and hills of northern England. Also migrating Terns will start to pass through making a visit to Hilbre at the end of July very worth while.
Anyone who wishes to E-mail me their sightings will be most welcome (see bottom of Home page for address). If I get enough interesting sightings I may have a more frequently updated latest sightings page in addition to this newsletter.
In the Autumn and Winter months I will try and include the latest monthly WeBS counts so if anyone has access to these please let me know.
This month I have included a Dee Estuary Images page. I hope you find it of interest. Not particularly bird orientated I'm afraid but hope to include more bird photos in the future.
Latest Bird Counts and Sightings:
Some late waders passing through, seen by Jane Turner off north Wirral shore.
19th May - 14 Bar-tailed Godwits, 150 Grey Plover, 45 Knot, 2 Sanderling, 200 Ringed Plover, 550 Dunlin, Odd Whimbrel and Curlew.
26th May - Still 200 Dunlin and 12 Whimbrel - former off Hoylake, latter off Caldy, viewed from marine Lake slipway.
RSPB - Inner Marsh Farm
Birds seen first week in June:
2 Little Grebes, 6 Gadwall, 500 Blacktailed Godwit, 9 Dunlin, pair of Oystercatcher with 3 young just outside the hide, 21 Shelduck, 4 Shovellor, 4 Pintail, 12 Tufted Duck, 10 Ruff - also see rarities below.
1 adult and 5 immature Spoonbills around Inner Marsh Farm and Burton Marsh most of previous 4 weeks.
Marsh Harrier seen first week of June - Inner Marsh Farm.
2 Mediterranean Gulls at Inner Marsh Farm.
Little Egret - Burton Marsh 28th May.
Next Spring Tides:
Wed. 24th June, 1159hrs, 9.3m.
Thu. 25th June, 1245hrs, 9.3m.
Following organised by the Wirral Ranger Service.
14th June. Cheshire Wildlife Trust Dragonfly Day. 2pm to 3.30pm.
Go Dragonfly hunting at Thurstaston Marl Pits. Meet at Wirral Country Park, Thurstaston. Ring 0151 648 4371/3884 to book place.
17th June. Walk to Thurstaston. 11am to 3pm.
A leisurely ramble through the countryside of west Wirral. Bring packed lunch. Ring 0151 678 4200 to book place.
20th June. Guided walk to Hilbre. Mid-day.
Cross the sands to discover the Islands' wildlife and history. 4 miles and 4 hours, ideal for first time visitors. Warm clothing and packed lunch recommended! Meet at Wirral Country Park, Thurstaston. Ring 0151 648 4371/3884 to book place.
25th June. Sunset Walk to Hilbre. Evening.
An evening stroll across the sands to Hilbre. Ring 0151 648 4371/3884 to book place.
28th June. Dungeon, Dales and Shore. 10am to 12 noon.
A 4 mile walk round the Heswall and Thurstaston area. Meet at Wirral Country Park, Thurstaston. Ring 0151 648 4371/3884 to book place.
1st July. Sunset at Red Rocks. 7pm to 9pm.
An evening stroll around Red Rocks sand-dunes discovering rare flora. Ring 0151 648 4371/3884 to book place.
15th July. Sunset Walk to Hilbre. Evening.
An evening stroll across the sands to Hilbre. Bring snack and waterproof clothing. Ring 0151 648 4371/3884 to book place.
Trip to Gronant (Flintshire) organised by the RSPB:
11th July. A Colony of Tern. 12am.
Visit a bustling colony of Britain's smallest 'Sea Swallows', the Little Tern. Meet at the Presthaven Sands Caravan Site, Gronant, near Prestatyn. For more details contact RSPB on 01352 780 527.
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