Inner Marsh Farm remains excellent for waders still this week, black-tailed godwits, lapwing, ruff, a count of 58 golden plover, spotted redshank, redshank, dunlin, ringed plover, green sandpiper and the curlew sandpipers still being seen every day. One day this week we had a count of 600+ pintail on Bridge Pool. This week all three types of egret have been seen around Burton Mere Wetlands, with cattle egret, little egret and great white egret at times all in one spot. On Sunday, a second cattle egret joined the existing one which is lovely to see them both out following the cattle on the wet grassland.
Pink-footed goose continue to arrive in their thousands which is a real spectacle on the reserve at this time of the year ;the skies are filled with them in their formations, flying down and landing mainly on the wet grassland but spending increasing time on the saltmarsh and surrounding farmland. This week we have had great views of raptors on the reserve being seen from Reception Hide hunting over the main scrape. We’ve had marsh harrier, peregrine, sparrowhawk, merlin, hen harrier, and a kestrel that caught a snipe in front of Inner Marsh Farm hide.
Good sightings of great spotted woodpecker on the bird feeders, and green woodpecker been seen by the railway bridge. Lovely birds seen on the feeders by reception such as nuthatch, coal tit, goldfinch and treecreeper. Also seeing flocks of long-tailed tits grouping together and spotted flying over from Burton Point were brambling, siskin and redwing. Another winter migrant been spotted on the reserve this week are fieldfare.
Highlights from Sunday’s successful Raptorwatch at Parkgate was a very special view of a barn owl hunting surprisingly early, up nice and close for the lucky spectators to enjoy. Also lovely sightings seen of six different raptors in total, had two hen harriers (both ringtails), marsh harrier, peregrine, merlin, and buzzard. During the event there were also pink-footed geese, a couple of great white egrets spotted and a solitary spoonbill flying high out on the marsh.
The star sighting for this week without a doubt was the glossy ibis that made a brief appearance in front of Inner Marsh Farm hide on Tuesday. Only a handful of lucky visitors were in the hide at the time, and one person was able to get a great photo to show this beautiful bird before it departed. This was just the seventh record for the reserve and the first since 2016, so certainly a sighting to get excited about.
Glossy ibis in front of Inner Marsh Farm hide (D.Hilder)
Assistant warden Liz teamed up with residential volunteers Alice and Gwen to tackle the grain store, the wardens' workshop and equipment store, which was in need of some tidying and organisation. After spending a full day the tools bench has had a total refresh with tools being organised into sections making it look tidier and more efficient.
The wardens workshop pre- tidy up. (A.cousens)
Next week is the school half term, and we will be helping families getting spooky with our 'Wild Things at Halloween' family quiz trail starting on Sunday 21 October, and loads of great autumnal wildlife spectacles for kids to enjoy at Burton Mere Wetlands.
If you missed out on this week's 'Raptorwatch' then get the next date in your diary! We'll be at Parkgate Old Baths on the second Sunday of every the month until March, from 1pm until dusk. The Wirral Wader Festival is now less than two weeks away, and the bird flocks at the North Wirral coast are growing nicely. Take a look at the full events programme here which includes a guided walk to Hilbre Island on the Saturday afternoon.
We spend 90% of net income on conservation, public education and advocacy
The RSPB is a member of BirdLife International. Find out more about the partnership
© The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) is a registered charity: England and Wales no. 207076, Scotland no. SC037654