Yesterday a visit at high tide proved very fruitful for the warden and colleague. There were plenty of waders on the reserve pools before the tide covered them including 12 Avocet, 3 Greenshank, 2 Green Sandpipers, Little Ringed Plover and some nice flocks of Ringed Plover (50) and Dunlin (180) with a few more on the estuary. At least 25 Little Egret were using the reserve and there were more waders on the salt-marsh including 1050 Oystercatchers, 300+ Lapwings, a Bar-tailed Godwit, 40 Black-tailed Godwits, 20 Knot and 80+ Redshank. A Marsh Harrier was seen and what appeared to be an escapee Lanner (with jesses) attacking a Buzzard and "playing" with a Raven. Small numbers of duck around but nice to see 9 Gadwall and still a few Swifts with the hirundines over the reserve.
A quick visit late morning produced 3 Marsh Harriers (incuding one with prey), 8 Kestrels, 15+ Little Egrets, a Shoveler, 2 Teal, Spotted Redshank, 2 Greenshank, 200 Ringed Plover, 125 Dunlin, a Turnstone, Common Sandpiper, 10 Avocets, 2 Swifts and 2 Yellow Wagtails.
Incidentely, the Tide Table for Southport can be accessed at -
Thanks to the warm,moist weather the whole reserve looks completely amazing, the vegetation has germinated, grown and spread much quicker than any of us could of imagined.
Today, a good count revealed an adult female & 2 juvenile Marsh Harriers, an adult female & 1 juvenile Merlin, a huge juvenile Peregrine, a Buzzard, 8 Kestrels, 5 Little Egrets, 8 Teal, 13 Avocets, 220 Black-tailed Godwits (over the river), 12 Curlew, a juvenile Little Ringed Plover, 9 Golden Plover, 2 Greenshank, 3 Common Sandpipers, 8 Snipe, 400 Lapwings, 30 Stock Doves, 25 Swifts, 170 Swallows, a male Yellow Wagtail, a juvenile Lesser Whitethroat, a Grey Partridge and a singing Corn Bunting.
This season Avocets have faired better here than at Marshside. Six pairs left it late but managed to fledge a very impressive twelve young. In the last few days 49 little egrets have been using the reserve along with greenshanks, a green sandpiper, ravens, yellow wagtails and a rare American visitor - a pectoral sandpiper.
The bird food crop and nectar rich mix is already starting to work; four species of bumblebee and eight species of butterfly have been seen in there and a corn bunting has set up territory in the crop - very exciting!
Contractors have been busy completing two bridges on the outer part of the reserve and next week will begin working on a system of ditches, two ponds (to the east of the car park) for the benefit of water voles and other wildlife and a disabled access footpath (to the west of the car park). The hedgerows we planted back in early April are starting to look good, although the drought saw off some of the Holly.
If you visit HOM please take away any litter you see in the car park or viewing area, keep an eye out for hare coursers and other undesirables and make sure you see loads of birds!
Thanks to warden and volunteer for the information in this report.
Hesketh is busier than it's neighbouring Marshside at the moment. Yesterday afternoon a female Marsh Harrier was mobbed by a Peregrine, a Sparrowhawk was seen with prey and there was a juvenile Peregrine around as well as a Common Buzzard and several Kestrels.
Two Greenshank and six Avocets were on the main pool and minimum of 16 Little Egrets on the reserve as a whole. A Corn Bunting, 2 Grey Partridges and 110 Canada Geese were on the way out to the River Douglas.
Aside from birds there were plenty of butterflies-Common Blues, Meadow Browns, Gatekeepers and Peacock Butterfly were seen as well as 2 Brown Hares.
Today at lunchtime 45 Little Egrets, 6 Grey Herons, 2 Ravens, 1 female Wheatear, 2 Greenshanks, 11 adult and 8 juvenile Avocets, a Buzzard, 3 Kestrels and a female Marsh Harrier were counted.