Visit to Burton Mere RSPB – 11th November 2021

The weather was mostly good for this visit which was attended by six members of the group.  The water near the reception area was disappointing with less bird species than we usually see, but as we carried on it got better.  A total mof 26 species were recorded.  The Ravens and Buzzards were particularly impressive.      … Read More »

Visit to Mere Sands Wood – 12 October 2021

We were not so lucky with the weather this month with cloud and light rain for most of the morning.  Nevertheless it was an enjoyable visit for the six members who attended.  The visitor centre and the car park have been much improved since our previous visits to Mere Sands but unfortunately several of the hides have been… Read More »

Visit to Lunt Meadows – 14th September 2021

Eight members of the group attended our first visit following the Summer break.  It was a perfect late Summer morning for this visit and a total of 31 bird species were recorded. Highlight of the visit was seeing a Wood Sandpiper, a first ever sighting by our group of this uncommon wader on it’s migration South for the… Read More »

June and July 2021 visits

As we look forward to the Autumn and what we hope will be a full and uninterrupted programme of visits, a brief report on the June and July visits which were still affected by some Covid restrictions: June 8th 2021 – visit to Speke Hall (National Trust) The site was only partially open because of the pandemic with… Read More »

Visit to Yarrow Country Park – 18th May 2021

Eight members of the group attended the first visit that has been possible for more than a year.  Twenty five species were recorded including a very interesting group of Dippers and a number of Grey Wagtails.  We were also able to get close to a juvenile Nuthatch. Thanks to Peter Gateley for these photographs taken on this visit.… Read More »

Group Visits 2020

Before the Covid19 pandemic caused group activities to be suspended, two visits had taken place in 2020. Thursday 12th February – Pennington Flash Country Park The visit had been postponed from the Tuesday because of the atrocious weather conditions on the Tuesday.  The Thursday morning was a bright cold and windy Winter morning with just one short sharp… Read More »

Birdwatching Group AGM – 13th January 2020

1. Birds of the Galapagos Islands Bill Hale gave a very interesting one hour talk on ‘Birds of the Galapagos Islands’. No one in the group except Bill had been there, and we were treated to Bill’s photographs of over 55 species, most of which are not seen in Great Britain, (except the Turnstone, the Sanderling and Cattle… Read More »

Summary of visits – June to December 2019

Firstly please accept my apologies for not posting the usual individual reports for these visits. 11th June 2019 – Lunt Meadows Five members of the group attended and enjoyed a very good morning’s birding despite the persistent rain.  The water levels in all the lakes and ponds were much higher than we have seen before as a result… Read More »

Visit to Woolston Eyes – 14th May 2019

Nine members of the Bird Watching group attended this our fourth visit to this ‘Site of Special Scientific Interest’. Access to the site is restricted to permit holders and our thanks go to reserve volunteer David for unlocking the gates for us and helping with some of the sightings.   The site is well known as the home for… Read More »

Visit to Marbury Country Park – 9th April 2019

Seven members of the group attended this our second visit to Marbury Country Park near Northwich, Cheshire.  Marbury is an extensive site with a wide range of habitats and on this occasion a total of thirty two species were recorded.  The highlight was the sighting of three Green Sandpipers. Click ‘Continue reading’ for the full list of species… Read More »

Visit to Martin Mere WWT reserve – 12th March 2019

Despite the poor weather in the morning, which had prompted the change of venue, nine members of the group attended this visit and were rewarded with a good morning’s bird watching from the comfort of the excellent facilities at this site.  Four members of the group stayed on for a while after lunch by which time the weather… Read More »

Change of Venue for 12th March visit.

The planned visit to Marshside this Tuesday, 12th March, is cancelled due to high winds from the west, cold and rain.  We are therefore going to Martin Mere which has much better shelter and facilities.  We will reschedule a visit to Marshside for later in the year. Last Updated – Sunday, March 10, 2019

Visit to Pennington Flash – 12 February 2019

Our first visit of 2019 was to Pennington Flash, one of our regular sites which always provides a good morning’s bird watching.   Ten members of the group attended and a total of 45 species were recorded.   Highlights of this visit included: A mixed flock of about 10 Lesser Redpoll and 3 Siskin A Treecreeper The large… Read More »

Birdwatching Group AGM – 15th January 2019

1. Waders and how to recognise them The meeting started with a very interesting talk by Bill Hale on ‘Waders and how to recognise them’ focussing on Curlew, Whimbrel, Ruff, Common Snipe, Jack Snipe, Bar-tailed and Black-tailed Godwits, Knott and Stint.           Despite the unreliable sound system, Bill’s recordings of birdsong were memorable, and… Read More »

Visit to Martin Mere WWT reserve – 11th December 2018

Our final visit of 2018 was again to the WWT reserve at Martin Mere where, as always, we were treated to excellent views of a wide range of bird species many of them at close range. Eleven members of the group attended on this occasion and a total of 50 species were recorded.     We noted the… Read More »

Visit to Lunt Meadows – 13 November 2018

Thirteen members of the group, the largest number this year, attended our third visit to this comparatively new LWT site which is still being developed with new viewing screens being added each year.  There are still, however, no facilities or shelter so it was fortunate that it was a lovely sunny morning, probably the best weather for any… Read More »

Group visits in October 2018

As there were five Tuesdays during this October, group visits were planned on both the second and the fifth Tuesday. Visit to Brockholes on Tuesday 9th October This was the group’s fifth visit to this Lancashire Wildlife Trust site adjacent to the River Ribble east of Preston.  A large site spread over 250 acres with a unique floating… Read More »

Visit to Mere Sands Wood – 11th September 2018

Nine members of the group attended our latest visit to this Lancashire Wildlife Trust reserve when a total of 29 species was recorded.                   Click ‘Continue reading’ for the full list of species seen:   Last Updated – Thursday, September 27, 2018

Visit to Burton Mere RSPB and Dee Estuary – 29th May 2018

Four members of the group attended on this occasion when we again had the benefit of being guided by guest leader Peter Twist.  On this occasion a total of 50 species were recorded. Click ‘Continue reading’ for the full list of species seen: Last Updated – Monday, November 12, 2018

Visit to Yarrow Valley Country Park – 8th May 2018

Nine members of the group attended this visit.  This was the group’s third visit to this site, but the first time we have been there during the breeding season.  The highlight of the visit was seeing the Dippers which have eluded us on our previous visits. Click ‘Continue reading’ for the full list of species seen: Last Updated… Read More »

Visit to RSPB Marshside – 10th April 2018

Ten members of the group attended this visit to one of our regular sites.  Heavy rain for much of the morning meant we stayed in the main hide for more than half the visit.  Highlight of this part of the visit was the sighting of a Spoonbill. After the rain cleared some of us moved on to Nel’s… Read More »

Visit to Rostherne Mere – 13th March 2018

This was our second visit to this locked reserve.  On this occasion we were guided by volunteer warden Phil Dell.  Five members of the group attended on this occasion with four of us going to nearby Tatton Park for lunch afterwards. Click ‘Continue reading’ for the full list of species seen: Last Updated – Thursday, April 19, 2018

Visit to Pennington Flash – 13 February 2018

Pennington Flash, one of our regular sites, never fails to provide a good morning’s bird watching even when, as on this occasion, the weather was less than ideal.  Nine members of the group attended our first outing of 2018 and a total of 40 species were recorded. Highlights on this occasion included: The large number of Goosander 15… Read More »

Birdwatching Group AGM – 8th January 2018

1.  The History of Martin Mere Bill Hale opened the meeting with a fascinating talk about the history of Martin Mere which included post ice age geological evidence about the local terrain and the impact of sea level changes on the post glacial landscape, flora and fauna over the millennia. The size of the mere, its shape and… Read More »

Summary of 2017 visits and sightings

Date Location Sightings Members 14th Feb Martin Mere (WWT) 50 (+2) 10 14th Mar Marbury Country Park 53 10 11th Apr Pennington Flash 48 (+1) 15 9th May Leighton Moss (RSPB) 57 (+1) 5 30th May Woolston Eyes 43 (+1) 6 13th June Sankey Valley C.P. & Carr Mill Dam 46 (+1) 11 14th July Speke Hall 25… Read More »

Visit to Martin Mere WWT reserve – 12th December 2017

For our final outdoor meeting of 2017 we had planned to visit the Lancashire Wild Life Trust’s site at Lunt Meadows.  Because of the very cold weather and the lack of any shelter or facilities at Lunt the venue was changed at the last minute to Martin Mere where ten members of the group enjoyed a very good… Read More »

Visit to Marshside RSPB – 14th November 2017

One of our regular sites on the coast between Southport and the Ribble Estuary.  Eleven members of the group attended this visit and a total of 40 species were recorded on this occasion. Click ‘Continue reading’ for the full list of species seen: Last Updated – Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Visit to Burton Mere RSPB and Dee Estuary – 31st October 2017

Eight members of the group attended this visit and we had the benefit by being guided by a guest leader, Peter Twist.  We were very grateful for his considerable expertise in identifying birds by song as well as by sight. The morning was spent on the RSPB reserve and the afternoon at the Dee Estuary, Denhall Lane. A total of 64 species… Read More »

Visit to Yarrow Valley Country Park – 10th October 2017

Five members of the group attended this, the group’s second visit to this country park near Chorley.  There are a wide variety of habitats at this site and a total of 29 species were recorded.  Unlike last year, this time a kingfisher was spotted but again the dippers proved elusive. Click ‘Continue reading’ for the full list of… Read More »

Visit to Rostherne Mere – 12th September 2017

This was the group’s first visit to Rostherne Mere and was attended by eight members of the group.  Access to the reserve is by permit only and we were guided on this visit by two of the volunteer wardens, Dave Clarke and Phil Dell. A varied site with woodland and meadow habitats as well as the mere and… Read More »

Visit to Speke Hall – 14th July 2017

Seven members of the group attended this, the group’s second visit to this site.  It was a mostly cloudy but clear morning with good visibility across the Mersey Estuary where we could see there were lots of waders on the far side but they were too distant to identify even through a telescope.  A total of 25 species were recorded,… Read More »

Visit to Sankey Valley CP and Carr Mill Dam – 13th June 2017

Eleven members attended this, the group’s first visit to Sankey Valley Country Park and Carr Mill Dam, St Helens.  We benefited from having Dave Owen, one of the Rangers, to guide us round this extensive and varied site. A total of 47 species were recorded on this visit – for a complete list of sightings click ‘Continue Reading’: Last Updated -… Read More »

Visit to Woolston Eyes SSSI – 30th May 2017

Access to this ‘Site of Special Scientific Interest’ is restricted to permit holders and we were guided on this visit by Douglas Buchanan, a member of the Woolston Eyes Conservation Group.  From the ornithological point of view this site is home to a breeding colony of the rare Black-necked Grebe and we were fortunate enough to see about ten adult birds… Read More »

Visit to Leighton Moss RSPB – 9th May 2017

  Another of our regular sites which we try to visit at different times of the year.  A lovely day, mostly sunny or light cloud and with little wind, made good conditions for bird watching. The morning and early afternoon were spent at main site before visiting the hides located on the edge of Morecambe Bay for the… Read More »

Visit to Pennington Flash – 11 April 2017

One of our regular sites which we often visit at this time of year when some of the winter visitors are still present and summer visitors have started to arrive for the breeding season. There is also always a chance at this time of the year of spotting migrating birds flying overhead or dropping in to feed before… Read More »

Visit to Marbury Country Park – 14th March 2017

Ten members of the group attended this, our first visit to Marbury Country Park near Northwich, Cheshire.  The weather was cloudy but fine in the morning, brightening up after lunch.  Marbury is an extensive site with a wide variety of habitats and a total of 53 different species were recorded. Definitely worth another visit! Click ‘Continue reading’ for… Read More »

Visit to Martin Mere – 14th February 2017

  Ten members of the group attended our first outing of 2017, with four staying on for the afternoon.  The weather was fine and sunny in the morning but increasingly cloudy after lunch. A total of 52 species were seen with large flocks of Whooper Swans; Pink-footed and Greylag Geese; Black-tailed Godwits and Ruff being among the highlights of… Read More »

Visit to Hesketh Outmarsh 13th December 2016

Five members of the group attended this visit.  The weather was mostly cloudy and fine but with a few showers and (even fewer) sunny intervals.  The visit coincided with high tide and there were large flocks of geese, ducks and waders.  Unfortunately the hazy conditions made it difficult to identify all the species present. Click ‘Continue reading’ for the… Read More »

Visit to Lunt Meadows 8th November 2016

Eight members of the group attended the morning session for our second visit to this quite new reserve by the River Alt.  A cool clear morning with light cloud meant the conditions were quite good for bird watching.  Just three members of the group stayed for the afternoon session during which the cloud steadily increased bringing rain which… Read More »

Visit to Leighton Moss – 11 October 2016

Five members of the group made the trip to the North of Lancashire for this visit to the RSPB reserve at Leighton Moss.  The weather was mostly cloudy but dry for the morning session with a few sunny intervals but quite cool and with quite a stiff breeze.  The afternoon session was sunnier and warmer. This year’s visit to Leighton… Read More »

Visit to Mere Sands Wood – 13 September 2016

Six members of the group attended our latest visit to this local nature reserve.  The weather was warm and sunny in the morning, clouding over for the afternoon session which was cut short by a thunderstorm. Click ‘Continue reading’ for the full list of species seen: Last Updated – Monday, October 10, 2016

Visit to Parbold – 9 August 2016

This was the group’s first visit to Parbold.  Starting from the sports ground car park a two mile circuit took in a wide variety of habitats including farmland, wildflower meadow, woodland, river and canalside.  The breezy conditions kept many of the smaller birds in the trees making identification difficult but nevertheless an enjoyable morning attended by 10 members… Read More »

Visit to Yarrow Valley Country Park, 12 July 2016

It was the bird watching group’s first visit to Yarrow Valley and everyone who came was impressed with the interest and variety of landscape found there. From the Visitor Centre we walked up above the valley floor to Burgh Meadows where the grass reached well over six feet tall. We struggled to identify birdsong, but were surrounded by… Read More »

Visit to Marshside – 14 June 2016

Following the last minute change of venue due to the inclement weather, eight members of the group attended this visit to Marshside and enjoyed a good morning’s bird watching before the rain arrived in the afternoon. We were also joined on this visit by two guests, Peter and Mike Twist, and benefited greatly from their extensive knowledge and… Read More »

Change of Venue for 14 June outing

Dear all, The poor forecast for Conway tomorrow,(light rain from 11am, persistent rain after 3pm) has lead me to alter the venue to Southport Marshside. Its only 20 mins from here and the light rain from 1pm would at least give us a good half day’s bird watching from 10am. There has been a Glossy Ibis there for… Read More »

Visit to Woolston Eyes – 10th May 2016

Report by Peter Hatfield, photos by Graham Cawdell. Woolston Eyes Nature Reserve, our May visit this year, never disappoints. Positioned between the Manchester Ship Canal and the River Mersey it provides secluded and naturalised habitat for a good range of unusual species which we viewed from 6 hides all overlooking the lagoon. The surprise visitor was a solitary… Read More »

Visit to Speke Hall – 26 April 2016

A cold but clear morning with many trees not yet in leaf made for good conditions for spotting woodland birds. We had planned to also look out over the estuary but with restricted time available decided to stay in the gardens and woodlands around the hall.  Five group members attended on this occasion. Highlight of this visit:  A Merlin flying overhead – the… Read More »

Visit to Pennington Flash – 12 April 2016

The weather was cloudy but mostly dry for this visit to Pennington Flash which was attended by nine members of the group.  The light winds made conditions much more favourable for spotting smaller birds than on our previous outings in 2016. Highlights included: Seeing (rather than just hearing) a Cetti’s Warbler, and at close quarters. Great Crested Grebes Willow… Read More »

Visit to Brockholes 8th March 2016

Just three members of the group braved the cold drizzly weather for this visit.  Conditions were far from ideal, but nevertheless we managed to record a total of 29 species. Highlights included: Goldeneye Mediterranean Gull Last Updated – Friday, March 18, 2016

Uncommon Birds 1 – The Water Rail

Seen (through heavy rain) at Martin Mere on February 9th 2016 in mid afternoon from Kingfisher Hide, immediately below the hide in a shallow pool amidst reedbeds 10 metres away.   Status: Resident breeder and migrant winter (October – March) visitor. Recognition: Lead grey face and breast, chestnut upper including cap with black streaks, long down curved dull… Read More »

Visit to Martin Mere 9th February 2016

A cold and blustery February day with heavy showers but also sunny intervals. Despite the weather twelve members of the group attended the morning session for our first outing of 2016. Highlights of the morning included: large flocks of Whooper Swans, Geese and Shelduck Marsh Harriers Only two members were able to stay on after lunch, but were treated… Read More »

19 January 2016 – “St Kilda, The Lonely Isle”

The 2016 programme of bird group meetings began on 19 January with Steve Halliwell’s excellent talk ‘St Kilda the lonely Isle’, based on 4 visits to the group of islands which have double World Heritage Site status. The 15 resident bird species include significant breeding populations of Gannets, Petrels, Fulmars, Kittiwakes, Puffins, Razorbills, and Guillemots, but we learned… Read More »

Bird Watching Group AGM 19 January 2016

The AGM followed on from the St Kilda Talk, with 10 group members in attendance: The meeting began with a personal tribute from Peter Hatfield to Eric Morris who had led the group so well for 12 years until handing over at the beginning of May 2015. This was endorsed by all present. Eric continues to be active with the… Read More »

Visit to the Wirral 10th November 2015

For this visit, which included both the Burton Mere RSPB reserve and the Dee Estuary, Denhall Lane, the group had the benefit of a guest leader, Peter Twist. Highlights of the visit included: The largest number of species recorded in a single visit by the group (63) Two Marsh Harriers, a Hen Harrier and a Peregrine A Great White Egret, as well… Read More »

An extra visit – Hesketh Outmarsh 27th October 2015

Arranged at the last minute to catch the high ‘Spring’ tide and good weather, just two members were able to attend this extra visit. Highlights included: Lots of Little Egrets, many at close range Whooper Swans Last Updated – Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Visit to Lunt Meadows 13th October 2015

  A beautiful sunny October morning for the Bird watching group’s first visit to this new wetland reserve near Sefton.  The reserve is still being developed and an additional hide screen was being installed at the time of our visit. Eleven group members attended and a total of thirty seven bird species were recorded. Highlights of the visit included:… Read More »

New location for October visit

The October meeting on the 13th has been switched to Lunt Meadows near Sefton instead of Pennington Flash. It’s a new venue for the bird group, only 15 minutes away, quite a large reserve with 2 sizeable lakes, reed beds, wild flower meadows and woodland.  The reserve is quite large, has good paths and 3 screen hides; it’s managed by… Read More »