Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Spring Tide

Today, I witnessed one of the most eagerly anticipated events on the British birding calendar...Spring high tide at Parkgate.
Several hundred birders descended on this usually quiet part of the Wirral for the annual pilgrimage and were treated to a morning of bright sunshine and a good variety of species.

I arrived with my friend Andy at around 9.30am and spent the first half hour or so following a beautiful looking Stonechat...This is a species I see quite often at Parkgate, but yet again I failed to capture a shot that pleased me!

A quick walk along the sea wall was next and a Little Owl was just visible in a tree close to the golf course.
Across the marsh, Kestrel were perching on driftwood and Gulls & Corvids were scouring the landscape.
In the far distance towards Wales, large flocks of Gulls and Waders were getting restless.

By 11am the tide still looked a long way out, but hoards of people were still arriving by any means possible...

The real fun started around midday as the tide crept ever closer to the wall...
flocks of Waders such as Oystercatcher, Dunlin and Knot passed by with Spoonbill, Curlew and Marsh Harrier also present if not all too far away!

Grey Heron waited patiently along with a couple of beautiful Little Egrets...

By 12.15pm, the tide was up against the wall, causing almost chaotic scenes as Water, Meadow and Rock Pipit's joined dozens of Skylarks desperately looking for relief from the rising waters.
Small mammals were also on the look-out for dry land including a lovely little Harvest Mouse which dived into a rare dry area close to my feet!

Around 12.30pm, the crowds of people headed back towards the Boathouse and we decided to leave and see what was happening at West Kirby...Sadly this proved to be a mistake and the only bird of note was a young female Shag on the Marine Lake.

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