Trip reports

The Mockbeggar Trail - Wet weather waders!

The Mockbeggar Trail - Wet weather waders!
Oystercatchers on Hoylake Shore -Laura Bimson

Saturday, 16 March 2013

The name of the walk takes its name from a section of the Wirral coastline known as Mockbeggar Wharf, with a small extension added on for today's outing.
The main attraction of the walk is the coastline, which on the Wirral is noted for its waders and other seabirds. The 9.02 m high tide at 1.40pm meant the sea was some distance away at the start of our walk, meaning a slow start at first, but on the horizon vast numbers of birds could be seen, which boded well for later.
We decided on a early and somewhat wet lunch - the weather testing us at times.

Heading back to the shore, we watched as the tide came in like a galloping horse, flushing hundreds of waders off the sand spit and coming closer towards us. The main waders were Redshank, Curlew, Turnstone, Knot, Dunlin and Sanderling, often creating the superb swirling flight patterns of waders admired at such times. There were also good size flocks of Oystercatchers present, and we were fortunate to observe at close quarters the markings and behaviour of some Turnstones. Total numbers of waders seen were possibly 6,000 or more, a sight to behold, enhanced only by the quality of the water, looking exceptionally lovely, with beautifully diffused light and an almost flat sea. The view across to Blundellsands was just amazing, so clear.

Later on, we ventured inland a little, and were very fortunate to see, within a few minutes of each other, a White Wagtail and a Pied Wagtail, noting the subtle differences between the two. Strolling around the green we noted Greenfinches, House Sparrows, Starlings and a Blackbird. An owl was also spotted, but alas it was a plastic one!

We then turned towards Leasowe Lighthouse and spotted some bird watchers near the shore. We walked over to them and were told that they had seen an Eider Duck and some Scaup. Thanks the kindness of one gentleman, we were able to observe through his telescope, a small flock of Scaup bobbing about near the Mersey bar wind farm, Rhodie I asked if we could perhaps see the Eider and was told the nearest she would get was probably on her bed at home, as it had gone out of the scope range!

Some outings end on a high note, and this time it was a sighting of that superb raptor, the Peregrine Falcon.

Linnets and Dunnocks lined our route to the station and so back to a dry-ish Liverpool.

A total of 37 species were recorded, :- Blue tit, Great tit, Woodpigeon, Starling, Dunnock, Blackbird, Collared Dove Magpie, Shelduck, Lesser Black Backed Gull, Black Headed Gull, Crow, Redshank, Knot, Dunlin, Cormorant, Gt Black back gull, Sanderling, Oystercatcher, Egret, Turnstone, Common Gull, Curlew , House Sparrow, Greenfinch, Robin,, White Wagtail, Goldfinch, Pied Wagtail, Coot ,Moorhen, Linnet, Mallard, Scaup, Linnet, Peregrine