Bird Reports

These reports are kindly produced by David, our resident ornithologist

100+ bird species have been spotted in or around Port Sunlight River Park.


The download includes a table of past years records covering 2015 – 2023 (at the end of the file)


  1.  Mute Swan 

None were recorded on the lake this year. A first-year bird was on the mudflats 

close to Mersey View Walk (13.2) & 7 were seen flying south over the Mersey (13.3). 

  1.  Whooper Swan 

17 were observed flying north over the Mersey (27.2). 

  1.  Pink-footed Goose 

Birds regularly fly over the park as they move between the Lancashire Mosses and the 

Dee Estuary outside their Icelandic breeding season. The last spring record was of 12 

flying N.E (27.3). 42 returning birds (18.9) were the first of the autumn to be seen. 

Skeins regularly flew noisily over with a peak over 2,000 within twenty minutes (5.10). 

  1. Greylag Goose 

There were 3 records for the year: 1 flying low over the lake (9.5), 1 flying S.E. (10.5) & 

8 flying south (12.6). 

  1. Canada Goose 

A pair nested on the island and 5 goslings first appeared (22.5); however, there appeared 

to be feeding problems and all the goslings eventually died (the last was seen 26.6.).  

Canada Geese can regularly be seen on the mudflat/saltmarsh area as well as flying over the Mersey. 

  1. Shelduck 

Up to 70 birds were to be seen feeding out on the mudflat until the spring when numbers fell 

to some 20 birds. A pair with 6 ducklings were on the tideline (12.6). Numbers slowly rose in 

the early autumn and by December there were over 75. 

  1. Mandarin Duck 

2 females were on the Dibbin (18/19.5). A female with 10 ducklings was on the Dibbin (9.6). 

These had probably swum down the Dibbin from nearby Dibbinsdale where they are known to 

breed. There were two further sightings all on the Dibbin: 4 (18.6) & 1 juvenile (23.6). 

  1. Wigeon 

A female was on the lake (14.10). 

  1. Gadwall 

A pair were briefly present on the lake (18.6). High rainfall in the autumn filled the lake  

attracting more water-fowl. From late October to December there were up to 4 males & 

2 females on the lake. 

  1. Teal 

Up to 90 are usually present outside the breeding season. The birds feed on the tideline 

and the mussel-beds at low tide. They are invariably present on the lake where they can 

sometimes be seen displaying. 

  1. Mallard 

2 pairs were often present in the early part of the year. A female appeared with 4 ducklings 

(7.5) which survived into maturity. Another brood of 5 ducklings was present (7.6). Over 50 

adult birds were on the lake by late June as they undergo their molt. Only a pair were to 

be seen in the late autumn. 

  1. Pintail 

Up to 62 were recorded, usually on the tide-line though sometimes on the lake. A pair 

was seen in early April though most had disappeared to their distant breeding grounds after 

 mid -March. The first returning bird was a female on the lake (30.9) then numbers built up 

to 40+ by December. 

  1. Shoveler 

Up to 5 were recorded on the lake in early spring. By late March the birds disappear until the 

Autumn. A female (12.9) was the first returning bird. By late October there were up to 14 

present (8 males). 

  1. Tufted Duck 

A pair appeared on the lake in early March shortly to be followed by two others. As in recent 

years there was no breeding. There were occasional sightings on the lake of a male in June & 

the early winter months. 

  1. Eider 

A male was roosting on the mudflats with a flock of Shelducks in stormy weather (9.1). 

  1. Common Scoter 

A male was just off the tide-line close to the northern edge of the park in bad weather (9.1). 

  1. Goldeneye 

A female was with a flock of Pintail just off the tide-line (17.11). 

  1. Red-breasted Merganser 

A female flew low over the lake in misty conditions (20.11). 

  1. Little Grebe 

A singing bird was heard on the lake (7.2) shortly followed by a second male. Two pairs were 

present throughout the spring and early summer. A juvenile bird was seen (15.6). A single 

adult was on the lake until late November. 

  1. Great Crested Grebe 

An adult was on the Mersey close to the park (8.11). 

  1. Cormorant 

Seen regularly from the park throughout the year. Recorded on most visits, birds can often 

be seen perched on the outflow pipe marker near the park, maximum count 8 (15.6). 

  1. Little Egret 

Recorded outside the breeding season usually by the salt marsh but also far out on the  

mudflats at very low tide. A single is the norm but up to 4 were present in October. Birds occasionally visit the lake and sometimes the Dibbin after high tide 

  1. Cattle Egret 

One was near the tide-line in cold conditions after a night of light snow (17.1). 

       24.  Grey Heron 

               Seen regularly flying over the park but also out on the mudflats or feeding in the Dibbin. 

       25.  Pheasant 

A male was regularly heard calling from January usually on the land south of the Dibbin 

and around the southern slope of the summit. A pair were seen on the access road (3.4) 

and two males were often heard from mid-day, the second bird frequented the area by  

the wood. The last record was of a female (17.6). 

        26. Sparrowhawk 

There were sightings, usually of a single bird, throughout the year. Prey was carried off site 

suggesting that they bred outside the park. 

27. Buzzard 

2 birds were often perched near the access road in January. Flying birds were often visible 

from the park usually from mid-morning when birds rise with the thermals.  

28. Osprey 

A bird was observed from the eastern edge of the summit flying low in a southerly direction 

over the Mersey.  

       29. Kestrel 

A pair is usually present around the summit throughout the year. Breeding took place in a 

nest-box on a nearby industrial site and 5 fledged birds were seen there (27.6). 

30. Peregrine 

There were 4 sightings in the year usually of birds seeking prey among the wader flocks on 

the nearby mudflats. 

       31. Water Rail 

Up to 4 were heard calling from the reedbed in early part of the year. Silent from late March 

until mid-September when up to 3 were heard. 

32.  Moorhen 

        Up to 4 pairs were present around the lake. The first chicks were seen (5.6) with broods being 

        produced by each pair. Up to 15 adult/juvenile birds were present in late October. 

33.  Coot 

Up to 6 birds were in residence in January though there were 4 breeding pairs by May. Chicks 

were seen from 7.5 with several broods being raised. 20+ birds were on the lake by mid- 

September but only 10 by December. 

34.  Oystercatcher 

Flocks of up to 80 were on the mudflats and mussel-beds by Mersey View Walk at the start 

of the year. Only 5 were present by late May/early June. Numbers rose form early September 

as the over-wintering flocks became re-established. 

35.  Little-Ringed Plover 

One was repeatedly engaging in display flight on the cleared industrial land by the River Dibbin 

(10.5), where recent heavy showers had created large puddles. There were no subsequent sightings. 

36. Ringed Plover 

A regular passage migrant of Spring and Autumn to be seen on the nearby mudflats: 15 (3.3), 

12 (6.), 2 (9.6) then regular sightings with a maximum of 65 (20.9) but none subsequently. 

37.  Lapwing 

One was displaying on land by the Dibbin (7-10.5). A bird was on the muddy area of the lake  

(8.6 & 23.6). 

38. Knot 

A single bird was present in a Dunlin/Redshank wader flock on the mudflats (23.11). 

39.  Dunlin 

A flock of 20 was on the mudflats (16.1) then there was the occasional single bird present until 

late March.  6 were by the tide-line (7.5). Up to 16 were present from mid-September to mid- 

October then numbers rose steadily 80+ by late October. By the middle of November there 

were 300+ though these figures fell back to 100+ by December. 

40. Snipe 

The cutting of the reeds especially on the island in the lake revealed 25+ birds roosting (17.3). 

A few birds remained until early April. Heavy autumnal rains resulted in a full lake and 

no exposed mud, nevertheless, up to 6 birds were present from mid-September, usually 

perching on reed stalks. 

41.  Woodcock 

One flew up by a path just below the summit before disappearing into the wood (21.11). 

42.  Black-tailed Godwit 

Mainly a passage migrant of spring and autumn. Birds appeared on the mudflats by late 

February and numbers peaked by late March- 200+. Returning birds were seen from mid- 

September. Early October saw a peak of 370+ and then none were recorded until 2 were 

regularly on the tide-line in December. Birds would roost on the north-east corner of the 

lake at high tides. 

43.  Bar-tailed Godwit 

A single bird was roosting on the lake with a flock of 65 Black-tailed Godwits (29.9). 

44.  Curlew 

A maximum count of 31 was recorded on the nearby mudflats (both in January and February). 

Numbers fall as birds move off to their breeding grounds in the spring and build up in 

September. At very high tides birds move to nearby playing fields but especially the cleared 

industrial land by the River Dibbin. 

45.  Redshank 

Some 200+ were to be found out on the mudflats and mussel-beds outside their breeding season. None were recorded in April/May. Up to 4 appeared by late June and by 

mid-September numbers were back to 200+. 

46.  Greenshank 

One was briefly on the lake (18.6). 

47.  Common Sandpiper 

Only two sightings each of single birds feeding on the muddy sides of the Dibbin (12.9,6.10). 

48.  Turnstone 

These birds feed mainly on the mussel-beds and then roost on small boats at high tide. Usually 

20+ birds are present from September to early March. 

49.  Mediterranean Gull 

2 adults were in the gull roost on the mudflats close to the lake (15.6). 1-2 were regularly 

in the gull roost from 14.9- 5.10. During very windy conditions 1 was with a flock of Common 

and Black-headed Gulls over the Mersey. 

50.  Black-headed Gull 

The most numerous of the gull species. The highest count of the winter months was 

270+. By mid-March there were some 80 present which disappeared by 23.3. Up to 10 were 

recorded in early May but all were 1st year birds (the adults having departed to their breeding grounds). By mid-June numbers had risen to 120+ and by mid-September over 200. 

51.  Common Gull 

In the first two months of the year there were usually 25-60 birds present out on the mudflats 

though 90+ were recorded in bad weather (12.1). There was a noticeable spring passage in 

March: 87 (20.3), 171(22.3) & 110(23.3) thereafter less than 10 were recorded until early 

April. From mid-September 25+ were recorded though on a day of strong & gusty 80+ were to 

be seen in the Mersey. 

52.  Lesser Black-backed Gull 

A fairly common gull out on the mudflats with some 25+ usually present in the winter months. 

In late May and early June 45+ were often seen. Birds do breed in nearby urban/industrial areas 

on roof-tops though many are winter visitors and passage migrants. Over 60 were on the mudflats (16/18.9). At least 3 wintering birds were of the intermedius race indicating eastern 

European origin. 

53.  Herring Gull 

Another gull that is both a local breeder as well as a winter visitor, passage migrant and summer 

feeding ground for non-breeding birds (up to 4 years old). Up to 150 birds can be present especially in inclement weather during the winter months. During the summer months 50-80 

birds can be recorded (the majority of which are non-adults). The latter half of September saw 

over 200 birds present (about 2/3 adults). 

54.  Yellow-legged Gull 

There were two separate sightings of adult birds present in the gull roost (17.2 & 6.3). 

55.  Great Black-backed Gull 

Present in small numbers out on the mudflats/tideline mainly outside the breeding season. 

Up to 3 (usually adults) present January – March. 7 (6adults & 1 2nd.winter) were recorded (5.10). In December up to 5 birds were usually seen. 

56.  Black Tern 

An immature/1st year bird was sat out on the nearby mudflats close to the gull roost (29.9). 

57.  Feral Pigeon 

Present in variable numbers especially on nearby industrial/waste-land areas. Up to 20 can 

sometimes be seen feeding around the summit. 

58.  Stock Dove 

Several pairs breed close to the park and this species is regularly recorded throughout the 

Year. 4 were seen feeding on the summit (30.9). 

59.  Woodpigeon 

A common bird of the park with an estimated breeding population of around 25 pairs. 

60.  Collared Dove 

There were 4 breeding pairs in or next to the park: by the centre, by the entrance on Dock 

Road North, by the Water Plant and by the Dibbin close to the bridge. Birds were to be heard 

Singing from January to October. 

61.  Cuckoo 

1 was seen flying along the bushes close to Mersey View Walk (26.5). 

62.  Swift 

2 were regularly seen over the lake (from 9.5) and the 6 from early June. Over 35 were to be seen flying over the northern edge of the summit in late June. 

63.  Kingfisher 

There were 2 sightings of single bird on the Dibbin by the access road (24.3 & 13.9). 

64.  Great Spotted Woodpecker 

This species is regularly recorded in the park outside the breeding season. 

65.  Skylark 

First heard singing in mid-January there were 4 regularly singing by late May and 2 were  

Still in song towards the end of June. The autumn brings visible migration with calling 

birds flying over the park in a south-westerly direction. The main concentration was from 

late September to mid-October. Over 50 flew over in some two hours (12.10). 

66.  Sand Martin  

There were three records all of birds flying over the lake: 1 (22.3), 3 (31.3) & 1 (16.6). 

67.  Swallow 

The first record of the year (29.3) was of a bird flying around the lake. Up to 3 adults were 

regularly seen in June with a juvenile bird present on one occasion (27.6), suggesting that 

they are possibly breeding in the area. 

68.  House Martin 

2 were flying low over the lake (7.5) and were then regularly recorded from the middle of 

the month with the highest count of 10 birds. As well as feeding over the lake the birds were 

often seen collecting mud from the mudflats. The local breeding population appears to have 

crashed with none nesting on Bolton Road East or Dock Road North. The last records of the 

autumn were 2 (13.9) & 1 (16.9). 

69.  Meadow Pipit 

A small flock of about 12 over-winters around the summit with birds present from mid- 

September to early April. There is also passage movement as birds fly over as they head south and west in late September and early October – over 40 flew over in two hours (30.9). 

70.  Grey Wagtail 

A few birds can be seen around the park throughout the year, either around the Dibbin or 

the water-plant. 3 juvenile birds were often feeding on the Dibbin in early June. The autumn 

sees passage movement as birds fly over heading usually south-west. 

71.  Pied Wagtail 

Only occasionally seen in the park even they breed in nearby sub-urban areas. Most of the 

records occurred in the autumn as fly-overs indicating passage movement. 

       White Wagtail 

The continental race of Pied Wagtail also occurs as an autumnal passage migrant. There  

were 3 records of fly-overs: 1 (26.9), 1(27.9) & 2(5.10). 

72.  Wren 

The most numerous resident breeding bird with an estimated 40 pairs. The first juvenile 

to be recorded was 6.6. 

73.  Dunnock 

Not always an obvious bird there were nevertheless an estimated 16 breeding territories. 

They started singing in late January but generally became more secretive in the latter half 

of the year. 

74.  Robin 

A common resident with an estimated breeding population of 15 pairs. In the autumn numbers 

are augmented by over-wintering continental visitors- 32 birds present (12.10). Young birds 

were recorded from 24.5. 

75.  Stonechat 

Recorded in the spring and autumn as birds move to and from their breeding grounds. A male 

And 2 females were around the summit in mid-March (10/20.3) & 1 female (17.10). 

76.  Wheatear 

There were only 2 records of this passage migrant: a pair on the summit (22.3) and a female (17.10). 

77.  Blackbird 

A fairly common resident with up to 9 pairs. Additional birds also appear in the autumn when the hips and haws are rapidly eaten. 

78.  Fieldfare 

A flock of some 40 birds flew low and over the wood (18.10). 

79.  Song Thrush 

9 were singing in early February and up to 7 were still in song by mid-June. Birds were more 

secretive in the autumn with few records. 

80.  Redwing 

A winter visitor with only small numbers recorded this year usually 1or 2 birds calling 

from the trees near the lake, a total of 9 sightings. 

81.  Mistle Thrush 

An irregular visitor to the park even though they breed in neighbouring areas. Only two 

records: 1 feeding on berries close to the lake (5.10) & 6 flying low over the summit heading 

north (21.11). 

82.  Cetti’s Warbler 

A resident with probably 3 pairs: 2 around the lake and 1 near Mersey View Walk. 

       83. Reed Warbler 

6 were singing in the reeds around the lake from early May to late June. 

       84.  Whitethroat 

Another summer visitor with up to 6 territories held in the bushy areas circling the summit. 

The birds were present from early May and the first young bird was seen 17.6. 

85.  Blackcap 

A fairly common summer visitor with at least 8 breeding pairs. First heard singing (7.5) their 

Warbling could be heard from the trees throughout the summer months. Up to 3 were calling near the lake (15.9). 

86.  Chiffchaff 

There were two records of calling birds near the lake (9.2/28.2), either over-wintering birds or 

very early arrivals. The first singing bird was heard 2.3 and regularly thereafter. By early April 

9 were singing in established territories. In mid-September there were 8 calling around the lake. 

A single bird was heard calling 9.11. 

87.  Willow Warbler 

One was singing by the lake (2.4) and by early May 7 were in song. There were 4 well-defined territories but none were singing by the end of June. 

88.  Goldcrest 

Largely this species is present outside the breeding season. A lack of suitable breeding habitat 

explains its absence after early April until September. 3 pairs over-wintered. 

89.  Long-tailed Tit 

A common resident usually encountered in flocks outside the breeding season. There were at 

least 3 pairs which successfully raised broods. 

90.  Coal Tit 

There were 3 records all of single birds: (21.9), (17.10) & (6.11). 

91.  Blue Tit 

A common resident with some 5 pairs breeding. The first fledged birds were seen 7.6. and two 

days later there were 3 mobile family parties moving through the trees and bushes. 

92.  Great Tit 

A fairly common resident seen or heard on most visits to the park. There were at least 3 breeding pairs. 

93.  Jay 

A secretive bird with a least one resident pair around the wood. Seen throughout the year but 

Especially in September when up to 4 birds were seen collecting acorns for storing. 

94.  Magpie 

A noisy and obvious resident with 5 breeding pairs. Non-breeders can often be seen in loose 

parties on the summit. 

95.  Jackdaw 

Small numbers can often be seen from the park. The species is a common breeder in nearby 

Port Sunlight. They visit the summit in late spring to find food for their young. They are also 

a passage migrant especially in the autumn when high flying flocks heading west pass over 

the park- 425 recorded in 20 minutes (16.10) & 65 (17.10). These are probably continental 

birds which over-winter in Ireland. 

96.  Carrion Crow 

A resident with probably 4 breeding pairs. Small flocks sometimes gather on the summit 

to feed on the Sea-buckthorn berries- 20 (30.10). Birds can also be seen scattered over the 

mudflats and mussel beds at low tide where they feed. The highest count was 55(5.10). 

97.  Raven 

4 out of the 5 records were in February & March with 1 in December: 2(10.2), 2(13.2),3(15.2) 

1(3.3) & 1(5.12). Ravens are known to breed in the nearby locality. 

98.  Starling 

None were seen in or from the park until mid-March despite being a fairly common breeder 

in nearby urban areas. From early May to late June small flocks visit the summit to feed. 

In the autumn small numbers can be seen roosting on a nearby communication mast. 

99.  House Sparrow 

These are still quite numerous in the surrounding area. A small colony breed by the Shorefield 

Steps and birds visit the bushes surrounding the lake. 

100. Chaffinch 

  Small numbers can be found in the bushes around the lake and Mersey View Walk outside 

  the breeding-season. Late September and October sees passage movement as birds move 

  south and west. 

101. Brambling 

  A bird was calling from a Willow bush near the lake (24.3). 

102. Greenfinch 

  Small numbers can be found in the park throughout the year but the spring sees an increase 

  as breeding territories are established, some 20 by late March. The first young were seen 


       103. Goldfinch 

     This species can be seen throughout the year. The number of breeding pairs was estimated 

                at 18. Birds were still in song at the end of June. A flock of 200+ was present (27.9). Smaller 

                flocks were scattered around the park for the rest of the year. 

       104. Siskin 

                There was single spring record (6.3). Small numbers were present from late September to 

                early December. Birds can usually be seen feeding in tops of Birch and Alder trees. 

       105. Linnet 

                There were a few records in early spring then a flock of 20 briefly frequented the summit 


                There were 5 pairs (12.5). The species largely disappeared in the latter half of the year. 

       106. Lesser Redpoll 

                A flock of 7 was briefly in the Pussy Willow bushes by the Access Road (15.2). There were 

                2 records of single birds flying over later in the year (3.11 & 11.11). 

      107. Bullfinch 

                A resident species with 5 pairs present in May. 

      108. Reed Bunting 

               Usually present in the park with an estimated breeding population of 3 pairs: 1 summit, 2 lake. 

               Early October saw some passage movement as birds flew over. 


1.   Mute Swan

There was no breeding this year though a pair were present on the 14.3. A male was regularly

present from the 10.5-20.6. Then 7 birds, all sub-adult were on the lake from the 28.6 – 6.7 until

the rapidly falling water-level saw them go.

2.  Pink-footed Goose

Skeins regularly fly over the park between late September and early March as the birds move

between the Lancashire Mosses and the Dee Estuary.

3.  Greylag Goose

2 flew low over the park, 11.3.

4.  Canada Goose

3 pairs were seen regularly on the nearby mudflats off Shorefields in the early part of the year.

A pair bred on the lake producing 8 goslings but these were rapidly predated and none survived.

A flock of 31 flew over the park, 23.5. During the autumn up to 8 were often to be seen on the


5.  Shelduck

Often to be seen on the nearby mudflats, the Mersey and sometimes on the lake, the highest

count was 60 on the 9.3. By late spring there were usually 8 pairs around, one often on the lake.

The only sign of successful breeding was of 8 tiny ducklings near the tide-line, 22.6; they all

appeared to survive. Small numbers were present until late autumn.

6.  Ruddy Shelduck

A male was present either on the lake or the nearby mudflats between 19.5 – 6.6.

7.  Mandarin Duck

This species breeds in nearby Dibbinsdale and 2 to 3 birds were regularly on the Dibbin between

late March and early July.

8.   Wigeon

2 males were on the lake between the 4 – 8.7.

9.  Gadwall

A male was on the lake from, 6.6 – 24.6 when it was joined by 2 females.

10.  Teal

A common visitor outside the breeding season either on the lake or the tide-line and mussel-beds.

Numbers peaked at around 80 in late January the fell rapidly by late March. The first returning

birds were a pair on the lake, 1.7. The autumn saw birds either on the tide-line or the Dibbin

because the lake had completely dried up in the summer. Heavy rains in the autumn enabled

the lake to slowly fill up and by late November over 90 teal were counted on the lake.

11.  Mallard

Up to 4 birds were regularly on the lake in the early part of the year. A female with 8 ducklings

were present, 25.3. Birds come to the lake during their moult and by late June there were over 30

present. A female with 8 ducklings was on the lake 29.6.

12.  Pintail

A winter visitor- the highest count was of 41 on the tide-line, 19.1. Numbers fell and the last spring

sighting was of a pair on the Mersey, 31.3. Early October saw a pair on the tide-line and by late

November there were 32.

13.  Shoveler

There was a maximum of 7 birds to the end of March. 3 birds were present from mid-November as

water returned to the lake.

14.  Tufted Duck

A male was on the lake from 30.5 – 6.6.

15.  Common Scoter

Seen from Mersey View Walk a bird was seen flying low and then landing on the Mersey, 8.7.

16.  Pheasant

A male was regularly recorded around the northern edge of summit, 5.10 – 16.11.

17.  Cormorant

Small numbers seen on most visits to the park.

18.  Little Egret

The first record of the year was of a single bird feeding on the edge of the nearby saltmarsh, 30.5.

During September there were up to 3 birds present sometimes feeding in the Dibbin depending on

the tide-level.

19.  Grey Heron

Single bird sightings scattered throughout the year; regularly flying over the park, sometimes on

the mudflats and occasionally feeding in the Dibbin.

20.  Little Grebe

As in previous years birds started to establish breeding territories by late February and by March

there were 3 pairs; however, there was no evidence of breeding success and the last sighting of a

single bird was 28.6.

21.  Great Crested Grebe

A single bird was fishing in the Mersey close to Mersey View Walk, 9.9.

22.  Sparrowhawk

Regularly seen throughout the year -16 sightings . Birds were seen carrying prey away from the

park, suggesting that they bred nearby but not in the park this year.

23.  Buzzard

Occasionally seen flying either over or near the park.

24.  Water Rail

Generally heard calling outside the breeding season with at least 3 around the reedbed. I saw an

adult on the mud, 8.7. and a reputable birder told me that he had seen a young bird at that time.

This confirms breeding but suggests that this secretive bird may have bred in past years.

25.  Moorhen

At least 3 pairs were on the lake. 2 chicks were seen 28.6.

26. Coot

A pair was present in January, later to be joined by two more. Each successfully raised at least one

brood (there were 5 older juvenile birds by 12.7.) The species was absent from late summer to

the late autumn when the lake dried up.

27.  Oystercatcher

A fairly common sight on the mudflats and mussel-beds outside the breeding season. Up to the end

of February 40+ were usually present at low tide then numbers rapidly decline. By September

birds return. A flock of 73 were on the edge of the tide-line, 29.11.

28.  Grey Plover

Three records of single bird out on the mudflats: 24.3, 22 & 23.6.

29.  Lapwing

A single bird was on the muddy area of the lake from 18 – 21.3 & then 2 birds from 24.6 – 2.7.

30.  Ringed Plover

Small numbers were recorded on the nearby mudflats in the spring: 8 late March, up to 8 mid-

March & 7 mid-May. There was a more marked autumn passage from September to mid-October

which peaked at a flock of 70+ , 13.9.

31.  Curlew

The first two months of the year regularly saw up to 32 on the mudflats. On high tides the birds

fly off to nearby cleared land by the Dibbin where they were easier to count from the summit.

Birds move off in the spring though additional birds use the Mersey mudflats as they migrate

to their breeding grounds. Returning birds start arriving back in late June. There were up to

27 birds from mid-September onwards.

32.  Black-tailed Godwit

Numbers rise in late-winter and early spring with birds roosting/feeding on the mudflats & the lake

Spring records                                                                           Late summer records

No.            Date                                                                          No.         Date

1                 17.1                                                                          1              28.6

17               21.1                                                                          160        10.7

115             26.1                                                                             90        12.7

250             28.1                                                                             40         12.9

35                  3.2

95                  7.3

170                9.3

215               11.3

170               16.3

There were scattered records in the late autumn of less than 10 birds.

33.  Turnstone

A fairly common visitor mainly feeding on the mussel-beds and the tideline with up to 16 seen

regularly in January and early February. The autumn saw birds appearing from early October 

with 28 being the maximum count.

34.  Knot

5 were seen flying low over the Mersey close to Mersey View Walk, 19.10.

35.  Dunlin

Fairly modest numbers (maximum 17) were recorded from mid-January to early February. Two were

seen 13.5. and from mid-November up to 5 were usually feeding on the tideline with the redshanks.

36.  Common Sandpiper

A regular passage migrant usually to be found on the muddy sides of the Dibbin: 1 (23.3), 2 (9.5),

2 (4-12.7) then 1 (9.9-21.11).

37.  Green Sandpiper

A single bird frequented the muddy area of the lake, (3-12.7).

38.  Redshank

The most numerous of the visiting waders, usually to be found on the mudflats or the mussel-beds,

outside the breeding season. The highest count was 300+ (19.1) then numbers rapidly decline in

the latter half of March until only one was recorded by the end of that month. Birds started to

return in June- 3 (21.6) and by mid-July over 80 were present. By the late autumn there were

regularly 250+.

39.  Snipe

Small numbers can be seen around the edge of the lake in the reeds from early September to late

March. Usually up to eight are present though an indeterminate number are in the salt-marsh.

40.  Sandwich Tern

2 were seen off Mersey View Walk ( 30.6 ), then a single bird was over the river ( 8.7 ).

41.  Common Tern

2 were seen flying over the Mersey close to the park ( 21.5 ).

42. Black-headed Gull

The most numerous gull with typically 250+ on the mud-flats and mussel-beds outside the breeding

season. Birds move off to their breeding grounds from mid-March before starting to return from late

June. The highest winter count was of 400+ (21.11).

43.  Mediterranean Gull

Single birds were regularly seen usually with roosting Black-headed and Common Gulls out on the

nearby mudflats close to Shorefields, from early July to late October.

44.  Common Gull

Up to 20 are present in the winter months but rise to 60+ in February indicating some passage

movement before disappearing to their breeding grounds. Birds start to trickle back in June & July.

Poor weather conditions with high winds saw up to 35 birds present.

45.  Lesser Black-backed Gull

35-40 are usually present outside the breeding season but unlike other gull species numbers rise in

late March to 65+ and over 100 in late June. Up to 4 birds present in the winter were of the

intermedius race ( i.e. of eastern European origin ).

46.  Herring Gull

Seen throughout the year though during the breeding season most of the 60-90 birds present are

non-adults. Adult numbers vary from 50-100 according to the tides in the winter months.

47.  Great Black-backed Gull

Small numbers, typically 1 – 5, are present outside the breeding season.

48.  Feral Pigeon

A fairly common bird breeding on land adjacent to the park.  Flocks of 15-20 birds regularly feed

across the summit. There were fewer birds present from late September.

49.  Stock Dove

Seen in small numbers (up to 5) regularly around the park throughout the year.

50.  Woodpigeon

A common resident with some 25 breeding pairs.

51.  Collared Dove

There were two breeding sites: by the centre and the Shorefield Steps/Water Plant area. Birds

were recorded throughout the year.

52.  Swift

Up to 5 could be seen flying over the park from early May to July.

53.  Kingfisher

5 sightings of single birds on the Dibbin from mid-June to early October.

54.  Great Spotted Woodpecker

From late May to early July birds were regularly seen and heard due to post-breeding dispersal.

Regular sightings in September/October were probably indications of passage movement.

55.  Kestrel

A pair successfully bred, raising two birds in a nest-box close to the park.

56.  Peregrine

Only one record – a male was seen making two unsuccessful swoops over a wader flock (18.11).

57.  Magpie

A common and visible resident with some 5 breeding territories. A party of up to 14 is usually

around the north end of the summit.

58.  Jay

       Regularly heard and occasionally seen in the park. Birds are more visible in September/October

       when they collect acorns. A pair bred in the wood.

       59.  Jackdaw

       A regular visitor to the park from nearby Port Sunlight especially in May when adults hunt

       for insect food on the summit. There is also some visible migration as birds fly over the park

       especially in the autumn – 104 flying west late October.

       60.  Carrion Crow

       A resident with 3 breeding pairs. Large numbers can be seen feeding on the mudflats at low-tide

       e.g. 52(7.3) & 58 (3.10).

       61.  Raven

       Single bird sightings were regularly made in February and March.

       62.  Goldcrest

       A visitor mostly outside the breeding season. At least two were present from January – March. The

       Autumn saw four pairs scattered around the park though 12 were present (18.10) indicating a fall

       63.  Blue Tit

       A common resident with at least 5 pairs. The first juvenile birds were seen 30.6. The largest winter

       flock was of 12 birds (17.1).

       64.  Great Tit

        A resident species with some 4 pairs.

       65.  Coal Tit

       A bird was in bushes and trees near the lake from 9-11.11.

       66.  Skylark

       Two birds were singing territorially from 3.2. then 3 from 22.2. This was the maximum number

       of pairs heard though there were probably multiple broods since birds were still singing by

       mid-July. There is visible migration in the autumn as calling birds fly over regularly from

       late September to mid-November.

       67.  Sand Martin

       Two were flying over the lake,13.5 and a single bird 21.6.

       68.  Swallow

       Several birds were seen over the Dibbin and around the Dock Road North entrance to the

       Park from early May onwards suggesting two territories; however, no young birds were

       ever recorded suggesting breeding failure. There was a single bird over the lake,12.7 and

       passage migration in the autumn ( 2- 11.9 & 2- 13.9 ).

       69.  House Martin

       There was no breeding on two sites close to the park ( Dock Road North & Bolton Road East ).

       The first record was of a single bird over the land, 13.5. The next record was of 10 feeding

       over the summit, 20.5. From late May up to 7 were seen regularly collecting mud from

       mudflats. Some 20 birds were over the summit, 12.9 and the last record was 11 over the lake, 15.9.

       70.  Cetti’s Warbler

     Present throughout the year though secretive when outside the breeding season. First heard

     singing from 3.2 there were 4 pairs around the park. A juvenile bird was seen 1.6.

     71.  Long-tailed Tit

     At least 5 breeding pairs though not all were successful. The party of young was seen close to the

     Lake, 5.6. There were subsequently at least 2 mobile flocks around the park for the rest of the year.  

     72.  Chiffchaff

     A common summer breeding species with at least 7 pairs. 2 were singing from, 14.3 and 7 by 23.3.

     Birds continued to sing through the summer, evidence of either multiple broods or breeding attempts

     and there were birds calling around the lake until 12,10. A single bird was in the bushes adjacent

     to the lake from the 18-23,11.

     73.  Willow Warbler

     First heard singing 31.3 and by early May there were 4 well-established territories. 2 were still

     singing -23,6 when a juvenile bird was also seen. A single bird probably on passage was seen 28.9.

     74.  Blackcap

     First heard singing 24.3 and soon there were at least 8 territories with birds singing until the end

     of June. Birds were noticeably feeding up on elderberries during September. A late record was of

     a single female, 18.10.

     75.   Lesser – Whitethroat

     A bird singing near the lake ( 27.5 ) was the only record.

     76.  Whitethroat

     There were at least 13 territories by mid-May and up the 6 were still in song by mid-July.

     77.  Reed Warbler

     From mid-May there appeared to be at least 9 territories around the reed-bed of the lake

     and an isolated one in a small area of reed close the Mersey View Walk.

     78. Wren

     The most numerous breeding species of bird with an estimated total of some 40 pairs.

     79.  Starling

     A fairly common breeding bird in the urban area adjacent to the park but tending to be only

     present from early-May to early-June when birds collect food for their young on the summit

     80.  Blackbird

     A common resident with passage movement in the autumn. Probably 20 breeding pairs. The first

     juvenile bird was recorded on 25.5.

      81.  Song Thrush

     12 territories had been established by early February. 5 birds were still singing by the start of July.

     There was some passage movement in September though birds were generally much more

     skulking by the late autumn.

     82.  Redwing

     Only three records: 6 birds were in hawthorns near the lake, 17.1 and birds were heard calling 19.1

     & 7.3.

     83.  Mistle Thrush

     Single birds were seen flying over the park on 3.6 & 4.7.

     84.  Robin

     A common resident and also winter visitor. There were at least 12 breeding pairs by the late spring

     and 2 very young juveniles were near the lake 21.5. By mid-October 21 singing birds were

     establishing their winter territories.

     85.  Whinchat

     An occasional but annual passage migrant. A female was on the summit 10.5 & 19.5.

     86.  Stonechat

     A male was present around the northern end of the summit from late January to early February

     and a male was seen 17.3.

     87.  Wheatear

     A large female ( Greenland Race ) was on the summit 13.5.

     88.  Dunnock

     A common but rather secretive resident. There were an estimated 15 territories by mid-March.

     89.  House Sparrow

     Although a fairly common breeding bird in the urban areas adjacent to the park the bird is not

     present in the park for much of the year. One was singing within the park close to the Shorefield

     Steps from mid-March and 4 were seen together 31.5.

     90.  Grey Wagtail

     Present throughout the year with 2 breeding territories either within or very close to the park.

     Birds are around the Dibbin and the Water Plant/lake areas usually. A juvenile was feeding on the

     Dibbin 3.6. There is some visible migration from mid-September & October.

     91.  Pied Wagtail

     An irregular visitor to the park but the appearance of a pair with 2 advanced juveniles on the grassy

     area by the Centre from 17.6 onwards suggest that breeding took place either in or close to the

     park. October saw 3 records of birds flying over the park as they moved south.

            White Wagtail

      The continental race can sometimes be seen flying over in October as they move south. There

     were 3 records: 4 – 9.10, 1 – 12.10 & 1 – 13.10.

     92.  Meadow Pipit

     A visitor outside the breeding season with small mobile flocks of 10/15 birds scattered over the

     summit. Birds are present from mid-September to late March. There is also visible migration

      taking place in September.

     93.  Chaffinch

     Small scattered flocks of 20+ are usually present from October to late March. They tend to

     frequent the bushes around the lake, Mersey View Walk and the Dibbin. Over 45 were present

     1.10. There were two records, both of females near the lake in the summer ( 3 & 24.6 ).

     94.  Bullfinch

      A breeding resident with at least 4 pairs. A juvenile bird was seen 30.5.

     95.  Greenfinch

     Present throughout the year though numbers rise during the breeding season. The first song was

     heard 22.1. Some 20 birds were singing by 10.5. and 2 were still singing in early July.

     96.  Linnet

     An irregular visitor outside the breeding season. By May there were 4 established territories.

     4 juveniles were seen 10.7. Small numbers were around the edge of the summit during September

     to mid-October.

     97.  Lesser Redpoll

     1 was in the willows by the lake, 25.3.

     98.  Goldfinch

     Present throughout the year though numbers can vary considerably. By mid-May there were an

     estimated 24 breeding pairs. The first juveniles appeared 30.5. A good food supply of various

     plant seeds saw a mobile flock of 70+ roaming the park in September. Smaller flocks were present

     until at least the end of November.

     99.  Siskin

     Attracted to the alder seeds, this species is essentially a passage migrant and winter visitor.

     A flock of up to 7 were usually near the Centre, from 7 – 21.3. A single bird flew over 28.6 &

     3 birds were present from early October onwards.

     100.  Reed Bunting

     A resident species with up to 5 breeding territories. Singing was heard from 29.2 and the first

     juvenile was seen 26.5.

     The above data was made from 96 visits made between 17.1 – 31.3, 9.5 – 12.7 & 9.9 – 29.11.

Estimation of the number of breeding pairs of species in the park:(* failure)

Canada Goose  1  111
Mute Swan     11 
Mallard1211 112
Tufted Duck2423    
Little Grebe1212   2*
Water Rail       1
Collared Dove11121222
Carrion Crow32333433
Blue Tit44444475
Great Tit33332434
Swallow11111 1?2 *
Cetti’s Warbler 1111 14
Long-tailed Tit24333554
Willow Warbler111 2224
Lesser Whitethroat  1111  
Sedge Warbler 211 22 
Reed Warbler8861061079
Grasshopper Warbler      1 
Song Thrush544587812
House Sparrow  242222
Grey Wagtail1222 212
Meadow Pipit1?1?      
Chaffinch3341  1? 
Reed Bunting45434445