Places to see birds

Seaforth Nature Reserve - a local treasure

Seaforth Nature Reserve - a local treasure
Seaforth Nature reserve lagoon - Laura Bimson

Situated at the north end of the Liverpool/Bootle docks system this 30ha reserve consists of two lagoons one freshwater and the other saltwater and enclosed by an area consisting of overgrown rubble and debris. The reserve which is contained within the docks system, is owned by the Mersey Docks And Harbour Company and managed by Lancashire Wildlife Trust.
The unlikely setting of the reserve is not reflected in its wildlife, the location of the reserve at the mouth of the River Mersey, acts as a magnet for many migrants with wind blown 'yanks' regularly making an appearance at the reserve.

Large numbers of Redshank and Oystercatcher, and smaller groups of Turnstone, Knot, Godwit, Plover Dunlin & Curlew roost on the reserve (Wader roosts form 2-3 hours before high tide) along with the largest coastal roost of Cormorants in the UK.
For the gull enthusiasts this site is one not to miss, with most if not all of the gulls on the British list having occurred here. A breeding colony of 150+ pairs of Common Terns is one of the largest in the north of England, with up 2000 roosting In summer. Up to 15 species have been recorded including- Ross's, Bonaparte's, Yellow-legged and Med gull. The spring migration of the Little Gull brings several hundreds to Seaforth, en route to their breeding grounds of Finland, making it the hotspot for these birds at this period.

Teal, Pochard, Mallard, Coot, Shelduck, Canadian Geese and Tufted ducks are regulars with visiting flocks of Goldeneye and Scaup.

During spring and summer, Swifts and other hirundines feed over the freshwater pool. Whilst White, Pied & Yellow Wagtails, Meadow Pipits, Wheatears, Stonechats, Whinchats, Finches, Dunnock, Starling and Linnets are found on the grasslands.

With several species of raptor resident in the area, regular sightings of passage migrants and with winter visitors to the estuary the roosting birds are often put to flight by a hawk or falcon, hunting or passing over the site. Raptors seen have included Osprey, Marsh harrier and Red kite.

The reserve has a small reed bed established alongside the main path aimed at encouraging more species to visit/roost. Snipe and Jack Snipe have been recorded in Winter.

It's not all birds, with good numbers of butterflies and dragonflies to be seen through the summer period. The Sefton Coast sand dune system begins just to the north of the reserve and this influences the flora of the reserve, with many of the species to be found amongst the dunes, growing here.

Three hides are located by the freshwater lagoon.
There are no seawatching facilities.
Toilet facilities are located in the visitor centre.

Access: You need to be a member of the Lancashire Wildlife Trust. Please note you will need a visitors pass and a vehicle pass to get through the dock gates and go to the reserve. Passes are issued for a period of two years. They must be obtained in person from the Port Police once the application has been forwarded to them by the Wildlife Trust. A charge of £10.00 will be made to cover the Port Police's administrative costs.

Enter via Liverpool Freeport entrance. Crosby Road South.

More information/passes
Contact Steve White Tel: 0151 9203769
by email at
Seaforth Nature Reserve,Royal Seaforth Docks, Liverpool L21 1JD