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Spring is here for Wirral's Wonderful Wildlife

3rd April 2018

Categories: News

Wader birds by Matt Thomas
Wader birds Wirral

Spring in Wirral is very good for wading birds.  Although those that wintered here start to make their way north to breed, they are replaced by those travelling from further south that use the beaches of Hoylake and West Kirby as a staging post in their migration – a bit like a motorway service station for birds.  In addition to birds such as dunlins, knots, sanderlings and ringed plovers there is always the possibility that the flocks contain a scarce migrant such as a curlew sandpiper.  From mid-March it’s worth scanning offshore at Hoylake and Red Rocks and you may be rewarded by a snowy gannet plunging into the sea after a fishy meal.    

Blubells by Sheila Ryde
Bluebells Wirral


Spring on Wirral sees the swathes of snowdrops give way to daffodils and then to bluebells.  One of the best woods in the north west to see bluebells is on the Wirral/Cheshire border at RSPB Burton Mere Wetlands from late April to the middle of May when their heady perfume scents the air.  This site also sees the return of one of the earliest summer migrants with avocets often arriving in mid-February.  Grey herons and little egrets also breed here in precarious nests in a very large heronry in the woodland.

Mandarin Duck by Alan Colin
Mandarin Duck Wirral


Mandarin ducks can be seen at several sites on Wirral at this time of year before they go very secretive during the breeding season.  Try and see the stunning multi-coloured males at Arrowe Park Country Park where their numbers are often in double figures.  They can also be seen at Raby Mere and Caldy ponds but tend to be a bit shyer at these sites.

Leasowe Lighthouse by Karen Leeming
Leasowe Lighthouse Wirral


From April, birdwatchers can be seen scouring the fields, paddocks and hedgerows around Leasowe Lighthouse for migrant birds such as grasshopper, sedge and reed warblers, redstarts, whinchats and wheatears and if they are really lucky something rarer such as a ring ouzel.  This area is a really good ‘migrant trap’ and the lighthouse itself can be visited on the first and third Sundays in the month, see  www.leasowelighthouse.co.uk for details.
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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