Our first outing of the 2011/12 season was to the Wirral coast on 21st Sept 2011, hoping to catch some waders, some late summer leavers and some early winter arrivals. We made our first stop Thurstaston Country Park, starting at the visitor centre there. A Buzzard kicked the list off, soaring high above the car park. A couple of tardy Swallows were seen around the buildings before the croaking of 3 Ravens drew our attention on the walk down to the beach, followed quickly by a Sparrowhawk.

As we walked along the beach, waders proved reluctant to show, with only Oystercatcher, Curlew, Lapwing and 4 early-arriving Knot. We climbed up off the beach towards the Wirral Way, to be greeted by 60 Goldfinch prospecting the field margins. Birds were again scarce as we made our way back to the car park and visitor centre.

After lunch we drove to Parkgate village, and sat on the prom in the sunshine in front of Donkey Stand Flash. Here we saw more migrating Swallows and added Pied Wagtail, Meadow Pipit and Linnet to our list. Despite a reluctance to move from our warm seats, we relocated to Parkgate Baths. The wind began to pick up, but we quickly spotted one, and then two ringtail Hen Harriers battling the strong breeze. With the threat of rain looming over the Welsh mountains, we drew our watching to a close, with 39 species on the list.

Wirral List 21 Sep 2011

Common Shelduck Thurstaston
Mallard Thurstaston, Donkey Stand
Green-winged Teal Thurstaston
Great Cormorant Thurstaston
Grey Heron Thurstaston, Donkey Stand, Parkgate Marsh
Little Egret Thurstaston, Donkey Stand
Northern Harrier Parkgate Marsh
Eurasian Sparrowhawk Thurstaston
Eurasian Buzzard Thurstaston
Eurasian Kestrel Thurstaston
Common Moorhen Thurstaston, Donkey Stand
Eurasian Coot Thurstaston
Eurasian Oystercatcher Thurstaston
Common Redshank Thurstaston
Eurasian Curlew Thurstaston
Red Knot Thurstaston
Black-headed Gull Thurstaston, Donkey Stand
Common Gull Thurstaston, Donkey Stand
Lesser Black-backed Gull Thurstaston, Donkey Stand
Stock Dove Thurstaston
Common Wood-Pigeon Thurstaston
Eurasian Collared-Dove Thurstaston
Eurasian Magpie Thurstaston
Rook Thurstaston
Carrion Crow Thurstaston
Common Raven Thurstaston
Barn Swallow Thurstaston, Donkey Stand
Coal Tit Thurstaston
Great Tit Thurstaston
Eurasian Blue Tit Thurstaston
European Robin Thurstaston
European Starling Thurstaston, Donkey Stand
Dunnock Thurstaston
White Wagtail yarrellii Donkey Stand
Meadow Pipit Donkey Stand
Chaffinch Thurstaston
European Greenfinch Thurstaston
European Goldfinch Thurstaston
Eurasian Linnet Donkey Stand
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