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Wirral’s Wonderful Wildlife - Autumn

8th September 2017

Categories: News

Wading birds by Karen Leeming
Wirral wader birds

Autumn sees the return of the thousands of wading birds that are a feature of Wirral’s coastline.  Dunlins, knots, oystercatchers, sanderlings, curlews, and ringed plovers are just some of the species that gather over the high tides.  The flocks may also contain scarcer species such as little stint or curlew sandpiper.  Hoylake promenade is a great place to see the birds as the tide pushes them very close and is why the Cheshire Wildlife Trust, Dee Estuary Voluntary Wardens, the RSPB, Wader Quest and Wirral Rangers hold the Wirral Wader Festival here and at West Kirby. These are free events, no need to book, just dress warmly, turn up on the day, and if you have binoculars bring them along.  See Facebook: Wirral Wader Festival for details.  If you can’t attend the Festival, we hold regular bird watching events throughout the autumn and winter, see the website above for details.

Leach's petrel Wirral


Autumn is also good for other birds.  In Europe, the best place to see the elusive starling-sized Leach’s storm-petrel is Liverpool Bay.  To stand a good chance of seeing them, there needs to be strong north/north westerly winds that blow for a few days in September/early October to funnel these sea-faring birds towards Wirral’s coast.  Although in the right conditions, they can be seen anywhere off the North Wirral coast, the Gunsite, Wirral Coastal Park; Fort Perch Rock, and the coastguard station, New Brighton; and Red Rocks are some of the best places. 
Leasowe lighthouse fields, hedges and paddocks and Red Rocks Nature Reserve reed beds and scrub attract thrushes such as fieldfares and redwings as well as attracting rarer species such as cetti’s warbler or migrating firecrest, and long eared owl.

Candle Snuff Fungus by Ron Warne
Candle snuff fungus

Autumn is also the month for fungi and Dibbinsdale wood is a good place to see them.  This remnant of ancient woodland has the evocatively name dryad’s saddle, chicken of the woods and candlesnuff fingers as well as the uncommon scarlet elf cap fungus.  See www.dibbinsdale.co.uk for further details.

Scarlet Elf Cap Fungus by Ron Warne
Scarlet Elf Cap fungus


Whether you attend one of the events, like a crisp autumn walk kicking up the leaves, a bracing sea watch or just want to wander the many footpaths and walks that crisscross the Peninsula there is always some wonderful wildlife to enjoy.
 
 

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