Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Big Tide Walk at Marshside, Southport

I had a great day out at Marshside today on one of the RSPB's Big Tide Walks. Here's a rundown of what I saw:

The Sand Road
  • 1 Kestrel
  • Loads of Swallows in the air, and a large group of at least 25 on the ground
  • Five or six Little Egrets
  • Lots of Oystercatchers, Shelduck, Curlews and Cormorants in a continual flypast as the tide rolled in
  • Fantastic views of several Dunlin and Knot on the ground (down to just 2 metres)

  • Many Ringed Plovers which were a lot more skittish

  • Several Skylarks and Meadow Pipits
  • 2 Carrion Crows
  • 2 Grey Herons
  • Many Gulls quartering the marsh for flushed rodents

  • Many distant swirling 'clouds' of Starlings and Dunlin
A sight that I've never seen before was that of a large mixed group of Starlings and Swallows (50-ish birds in total) flying low above the marsh vegetation, presumably to flush insects? When the Swallows had flown about 10 metres they'd veer up into the air and fly back to the start of the party and begin again. The whole flock thus slowly rolled forward down the marsh - stunning teamwork which I'd be interested to hear more about if anyone knows of this behaviour.

Soundgrounders Hide
  • Coffee and not much else
Nel's Hide
  • Lots of Black-tailed Godwits
  • 1 Little Grebe
  • 2 Pink-footed Geese Over
  • 1 Redshank
  • 1 Sparrowhawk which flew straight across the hide window
  • 2 Little Egrets
  • 1 Grey Heron
  • 1 Canada Goose
  • Some Teal (none of the blue-winged variety though)
  • Several Shovelers (males starting to get winter plumage)

  • 2 Mute Swans
  • Several Mallards
  • Many Coots
  • 2 Moorhens
  • Loads of House Martins skimming the water
  • 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull
I can thoroughly recommend the Marshside area (if not always Soundgrounders Hide) for a day out that has never disappointed me.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please leave a comment by typing your message in the text box, selecting 'Anonymous' from the 'Comment as' drop down menu and then finally clicking the 'Publish' button. It would be nice to see your name in the text if possible - thanks.