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Discover Wirral’s Wonderful Wildlife this summer

27th July 2017

Categories: News

Mandarin duck by Alan Conlin
Mandarin Duck Wirral

Now that the lazy, hazy days of summer are here why not make the effort to get out and do some wildlife watching on Wirral?  Dibbinsdale Nature Reserve is a remnant of the ancient woodland that once covered the whole of England.  The gurgling River Dibbin runs through the woods and if it’s quiet you may come across a fox taking a leisurely drink, a kingfisher flashing blue as it speeds down its length, or a mandarin duck quietly feeding.  This is also a good spot for common spotted orchid and for bat watching.  In the evening Daubenton’s bats emerge from under the railway arches and feed over the Dibbin. 

Port Sunlight River Park is the newest of Wirral’s parks.  It has wildflower meadows and birds are often found feeding on the mudflats.  The park has foxes, bats, butterflies and almost a hundred species of birds recorded.  The huge attraction though, is the mound, which is at least half a metre higher than Liverpool cathedral and gives stunning views of the city.  As this is an old landfill site the mound will shrink over time as the ground settles 2-3cm a year.

White-letter hairstreak butterfly by Karen Leeming
White letter hair streak butterfly by Karen Leeming

Summer is the time for butterflies and New Ferry Butterfly Park has recorded 26 different species on its carpets of wildflowers spread over the bed of old railway tracks.  These include brimstone, common blue, small copper and the elusive white letter hairstreak.  There are restricted opening times to the park, see www.cheshirewildlifetrust.org.uk/reserves/new-ferry-butterfly-park for opening times.

Lizard by Karen Leeming
Lizard wirral

On the Wirral/Cheshire border at RSPB Burton Mere Wetlands look for the marsh orchids and the easily overlooked bee orchids.  Young avocets, little egrets and ducklings add to the cacophony of black headed gulls.  Wall brown butterflies, water voles, common lizards, and pipistrelle and Daubenton’s bats are just some of the other wildlife to be found here.

Manx shearwater by Alan Conlin
Manx Shearwater wirral

Later in the summer Hoylake and West Kirby are often a resting place for sandwich, common, arctic and little terns.  When these birds are feeding offshore, the sharp eyed may see a marauding arctic or great skua looking for an easy meal.  Also look for gannets and cartwheeling Manx shearwaters.

Whether you want to enjoy a woodland ramble, a brisk seaside walk, or just wander the many footpaths and walks that crisscross the Wirral Peninsula there is always some fabulous wildlife to enjoy.

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