Visit to Woolston Eyes – 10th May 2016

By | May 19, 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.
Turnstone at Woolston Eyes by Graham CawdellThe surprise visitor was a solitary Turnstone (my first) it resembles a ringed plover with chestnut feathers to back and wings, and was seen very close to the hide.
There were large numbers of breeding Pochard, a migrant duck whose numbers are decreasing in the UK, also large numbers of breeding Gadwall.
Black-necked Grebe at Woolston Eyes by Graham CawdellThe rare Black Necked Grebe was the main attraction, we saw 7 or 8 including one on a nest. Woolston Eyes has 25% of the UK breeding population. They return to northern Russia after breeding.
A flock of Swifts overhead gave a splendid aerobatic display. We also saw and heard 5 species of warbler (Garden Warbler, Reed Warbler, Chiffchaff, Blackcap and Whitethroat) assisted by Douglas who guided us throughout the visit and had an excellent ear for birdsong identification.

In total, 33 species were seen:

Species Number Seen Breeding
Blackcap Two  
Black-headed Gull Many  
Black-necked Grebe A few  
Bullfinch One  
Canada Goose A few With Young
Carrion Crow A few  
Chiffchaff Two  
Coot A few  
Cormorant A few  
Gadwall Several  
Garden Warbler Heard only  
Great Crested Grebe A few  
Greenfinch Three  
Grey Heron One  
Greylag Goose A few With Young
Lapwing Two  
Lesser Black-backed Gull A few  
Magpie One  
Mallard Several  
Moorhen A few With Young
Mute Swan One  
Pheasant Heard only  
Pochard Several  
Reed Warbler One  
Shelduck A few  
Song Thrush One  
Swift Several  
Teal One  
Tufted Duck Several  
Turnstone One  
Whitethroat Three  
Woodpigeon Two  
Wren Two


Last Updated on May 19, 2016