News archive

January 2018

Saturday, 20 January 2018

Oystercatcher wading in shallow water

Winter's wader wonderland !

Winter on the coast can seem bleak and uninteresting but look a little closer and you'll see a hive of activity. The coast at this time of year is home to thousands of waders as they feed and roost on the rich mud off the north end of the Wirral peninsular. During low tide they are spread across the huge mud / sand flats feeding but at high tide they are squeezed into the area close to the promenade which is left uncovered by the tide. Often the birds can be numbered in the thousands but on this occasion we struggled to get into the hundreds!! However, we did get the opportunity of working out how to differentiate between Dunlin and Sanderling; Bar-tailed Godwit and Curlew and Knot and Grey Plover. Oystercatchers, easy to identify in their black and white livery, jostled with other waders at the edge of the tide - their 'piping' calls carrying to us across the sand. A large number of Cormorant could be found either resting on the sand or 'loafing' about in the shallow waters edge. Small numbers of Black headed, Common and Herring Gulls could be found resting on the sand over the tide. Although a cold wind blew it wasn't strong enough to bring the tide higher - although it was cold enough to make the few hours we spent on the front 'uncomfortable' so we had to remedy that by having a nice coffee and bacon buttie in a local cafe !