Waders continue to steal the show, with regulars black-tailed godwit, lapwing, redshank, dunlin and big counts of snipe joined by ruff, greenshank, little ringed plover, green sandpiper, and common sandpiper plus small numbers of knot, ringed plover and turnstone pushed off the estuary by the big tides at the start of the week.
The first pink-footed geese returned in mid-week, joining growing numbers of teal, shoveler and the first few pintail and wigeon arriving through the week. Flocks of swallows, sand martins and house martins were busy feeding up before migration, with whinchat, wheatear and yellow wagtail the highlights of migrating passerines.
Kingfisher sightings were daily and widespread, whilst bird of prey activity increased significantly at the end of the week with marsh harrier, hen harrier, peregrine and merlin seen over the weekend along with the resident kestrel, sparrowhawk and buzzard.
Sunny spells brought some pleasant autumnal warmth, and a busy week for dragonflies, with migrant hawker, brown hawker, southern hawker, common darter, and ruddy darter around along with blue-tailed damselfly.
Migrant hawker (P.Jubb)
Small tortoiseshell, comma, red admiral, small white, speckled wood and painted lady butterflies were all flitting around the trails in the dry spells, and common lizards were very showy on their usual basking fence on the Reedbed trail.
Common lizard (P.Jubb)
As the autumn wader migration picks up pace, we got our first little stint of the season on Saturday, seen on main scrape but not found again on Sunday. Fingers crossed for others through the next few weeks.
Little stint (A.Lovatt)
The warden team were busy supporting the contractors begin the work to upgrade the Inner Marsh Farm trail, and took advantage of the hide being closed with a start on the autumn vegetation clearing, mowing around Centenary and Bridge Pools to open up the habitat for the birds' needs and to aid visitors' viewing.
Three new interpretation panels were installed at the Burton Marsh part of the reserve, giving users of the Greenway an insight into the history, landscape, farming activity and wildlife of the estuary; have a read next time you're down there!
Burton Marsh Greenway panel (A.Grubb)
Burton Point field being full of sheep at this time of year can only mean one thing; big tides. A timely reminder for the first Parkgate Tidewatch events of the autumn coming up on Sunday 29 and Monday 30 September.
Burton Point field sheep flock (P.Jubb)
Prior to that we have our annual Heritage Open Day on Thursday 19 September as part of Wirral History and Heritage Festival, with free entry for non-members for chance to learn about and experience the rich history of the reserve's landscape and land use.
On Wednesday 25 September, volunteer Richard leads his autumn Wildlife Wander taking in the whole of Burton Mere Wetlands and helpful ID tips on anything and everything that's around on the day.
Finally, don't forget about our mail-order kiosk shop if you're looking to stock up on bird food as we approach the cooler months; there's 15% off all bulk suet until 18 September, not to mention 15% off all Christmas products from our catalogue until 3 October! All with free home delivery and the satisfaction of supporting your local reserve.
We spend 90% of net income on conservation, public education and advocacy
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