Sunday, January 14, 2018

πŸ“– 2018/Update #4 ~ RSPB Burton Mere

🌀 5C Sunday 14th January 2018 ~ Stopping over in Liverpool last night gave Dee and I the perfect opportunity to visit a couple of birding sites on Sunday before making our way back to the Midlands!

Purple Sandpiper ~ Usually asleep, mingled in with Dunlin, Redshank & Turnstones!
After breakfast, we took the short journey across the River Mersey, via the Mersey Tunnel to visit New Brighton Marina. In March 2015 a rare vagrant Laughing Gull resided here for several weeks and when 'twitching' the bird back then I'd noticed a healthy population of Purple Sandpipers were also regularly roosting on the pontoons. Since then, when visiting Liverpool to see relatives I sometimes take the opportunity for a visit, particularly for my annual year-tick! Try to visit in the week though as today, particularly with the sun shining, there were many dog walkers, cyclists & joggers!

Oystercatcher ~ New Brighton 
Before moving on to RSPB Burton Mere a check of the sea and surrounding beach areas, recording many Oystercatcher, Redshank & Turnstones.

PDF of RSPB Burton Mere ~ Download HERE
The gateway to the Dee Estuary reserve, Burton Mere Wetlands straddles the border between England and Wales with a mosaic of freshwater wetland habitats, mixed farmland and woodland. My last visit here was also back in 2015, in fact on the same day as 'twitching' the Laughing Gull. I'd made my way over for a second 'twitch' of the day, this time a Long-eared Owl, but sadly none were on site today.

Black-tailed Godwits from the Marsh Covert Hide
There's plenty to explore while here, including a couple of screens and both the Marsh Covert Hide and Inner Marsh Farm Hide offer close views of Black-tailed Godwit, Curlew and the usual winter wildfowl. However, the most productive area during our visit was Burton Point headland with unrivalled views across the estuary. From here, although distant, a couple of Great Egrets, Whooper Swans and single Marsh Harrier. Some huge flocks of mixed Golden Plover/Lapwing and many geese also straddle the area but unfortunately, due to the distance, it was difficult to pick out any Pink-footed among them! Stonechat, Redwing, Fieldfare & Green Woodpecker brought up a respectable 50 species for the day, now 100 for the year thus far!