Monday, 21 June 2010

17-6-10, Inner Marsh Farm RSPB

To start my two day birding extravaganza around my favorite sites in North Wales I started at this ace RSPB site on, er, the Wirral. Ok I am actually still in England but one of the pools here is half in England, half in Wales (funnily enough its called the Border Pool) but its a great place to visit. There are plans to enlarge this RSPB reserve dramatically, giving it a posh new hide come visitor centre and more hides. If anyone knows it, the visitor centre will be on the site of the fishery seen in the distance from the current hide, and this hide will be at the furthest point of a circular walk, with hides dotted around giving good views of number one pool and border pool. Should be good. Anyway birds noted here were Great Spotted Woodpecker, Jackdaw, Little Egret, Blue Tit, Wood Pigeon, Swallow, Robin, Goldfinch, House Martin, Lapwing, Chiffchaff, Magpie, Green Woodpecker, Dunnock, Great Tit, Common Whitethroat, Sedge Warbler, Chaffinch, Black-headed Gull, Oystercatcher, Shelduck, Coot, Reed Warbler, Gadwall, Mallard, Grey Heron, Reed Bunting, Moorhen, Black-tailed Godwit, Wren, Rook, Starling, Mute Swan, carrion Crow, Shoveler, Buzzard, Swift, Blackcap, Canada Geese, Sand Martin, Blackbird, Linnet and Tufted Duck. A good list of birds but it was quieter than normal on the reserve as it was a low tide. Still good fun.

17-6-10, Gronant Sands.

Here is the only nesting site in Wales for Little Terns, and I cannot remember the last time I have been here. Rubbish. After finding somewhere to park it was a good walk in the sun and heat to the breeding colony. I don't know how many birds breed here but the breeding status here is decribed as very good. Good news for this magical tiny tern. Birds noted on this site were Common Whitethroat, House Martin, Dunnock, Skylark, Swallow, Mute Swan, Coot, Goldfinch, Little Tern (year tick), Ringed Plover, Starling, Oystercatcher, Carrion Crow, Mallard, and Pied Wagtail.

17-6-10, Point of Ayr RSPB.

It has been six plus years sincve I have been to this site and I was really looking forward to it. It is basically a hide at Talacre in North Wales and it overlooks a big bay at the start of the Dee estuary. It can be a very good place to watch storm blown birds but it is best viewed at the high tides and today I was going to be in time for an 8.8 meter tide, pretty good. It is not the biggest hide so you need to get there at least two hours before high tide and there is also a good half an hour walk. All of this information is useful but for one thing. Whilst at Inner Marsh Farm I was speaking to a local birder anmd I told him I was to visit this site. He tol;d me that the hide was no more as the kids had vandalised it. This does not suprise me considering it is in the middle of the North Wales coast holiday park. The Scouse and Manc kids need to feel at home so they destroyed the hide. Cheers. I was not to keen on going but I thought what the hell. Birds noted were House Sparrow, Herring Gull, Swallow, Blue Tit, Starling, Carrion Crow, Moorhen, House Martin, Robin, Reed Bunting, Shelduck, Wren, Wood Pigeon, Blue Tit, Song Thrush, Pied Wagtail, Little Egret, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Mallard, Oystercatcher, Skylark, Cormorant, Goldfinch, Curlew, Black-tailed Godwit, Meadow Pipit, Pheasant, Great Black-backed Gull, Great Spotted Woodpecker and Blackbird. Not the best birding I have had here by far. I got comfortable on the base of a new vandal-proof hide which is going to be built soon but there was a severe heat haze and I couldn't pick anything out over the sea. If you have never been here, do go once the new hide is up, especially in the autumn on a high tide, it can be brilliant.

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