Places to see birds

North Wirral coast - Leasowe lighthouse area

North Wirral coast - Leasowe lighthouse area
Leasowe lighthouse path - L Bimson

The North Wirral Coastal Park, on the Wirral Peninsula, England is a coastal park including public open space, common land, natural foreshore and sand-dunes. The park lies between Dove Point in Meols, and the Kings Parade in New Brighton. From the east end of Meols to New Brighton promenade stretches a large concrete embankment protecting the low lying land behind.

The Leasowe lighthouse conservation area offers a choice for the arriving birdwatcher, a vantage point on the sea wall behind the screens -with great views of the Dee and Mersey estuaries; on a clear day you can scan the waves all the way past the burbo bank wind farm and beyond to the Sefton coast sand dunes. The embankment gives good view points both at low tide to see the waders and high tide for sea-watching. Or head inland to search through the varied habitat behind the embankment.

The sand banks here are called Mockbeggar Wharf, named after Mockbeggar Hall - otherwise known as Leasowe Castle. Low tide Wetland Bird Survey counts show that some species feed almost exclusively here, Ringed plovers, grey plovers, sanderlings and bar-tailed godwits. In addition it is a major feeding area for knot. Other feeders can include curlew, whimbrel, oystercatcher, turnstone, dunlin, lapwing, redshank, shelduck and little egret.
The area around Leasowe lighthouse includes scrubland, areas of standing water, a small fishery, wildflower meadows, paddocks and reed beds. Coming out of the car park, to the right of the lighthouse, there is a convergence of 3 paths. Straight ahead takes you down Lingham lane to the popular Lingmere fishery and the river birket -kingfisher and grey wagtail maybe seen here. Furthest right leads down the foot path past the horse paddocks to Park lane and the caravan park. Right follows the coastal embankment/dunes path.

The whole area behind the coastal embankment is a haven for resting migrants and nesting birds. Chiff chaff, willow warbler, whitethroat, spotted flycatcher, blackcap, reed bunting and sedge Warblers are migrants found amongst the more common finches in the shrubs, hedges and reed beds. Swallows, wheatear, whinchat and redstart join linnets, meadow pipits, skylarks and white wagtails, in the paddocks, if you're lucky you may find ring ouzel. The Reed bed pools host the usual occupants of coot, moorhen and mallard.

The embankment/coastal path give good views of the shore line and of the enclosed common/sandy area. Flowering gorse providing safe nesting and look outs for stonechats, sparrows, linnets and goldfinches.

No toilet/refreshment facilities on site.
Footpaths, no/limited disabled access.
Car parking

Leasowe common
Moreton CH46 4TA

New Brighton:
Moving onto to the east end of the coastal park, you will find New Brighton promenade - the Kings parade. This stretch of sea front all the way to the Fort Perch Rock lighthouse can be good for sea-watching, particularly during gales in late autumn.
Next to the Fort Perch Rock car park is New Brighton Marine Lake, a good place to check out for unusual gulls such as Mediterranean gulls. The marine lake pontoon is a favourite daytime roosting point for wader flocks. As long as the seadogs haven't hauled in their boats on to the pontoon that is) a recent group visit in January 2013 recorded 1 ruff, 18 purple sandpiper, 310 turnstone, 130 dunlin and 1,200 redshank all huddled together on the pontoon, a great view sight as the pontoon is close to shopping complex. To the west of the Marine Lake is the Old Baths site and car park which can be good spot to see spring migrants such as wheatears and white wagtails along with resident gulls.
In June 2012 there was a birding commotion when a little swift was seen circling the floral hall theatre, it stayed long enough for a major twitch.