The sun shone brightly, low in beautiful pale blue sky but it was bitterly cold as I walked along the old sea wall at Parkgate, Wirral.
The first thing I saw when I looked out onto the marshes was a stunning hen harrier. It was flying up, hovering over the ground and then swooping down again. It was such a delight to see and I would have been happy if that was all I had seen all day…..but it wasn’t. Parkgate is a wonderful place to watch birds and even better when there is a high tide.
As I walked further down the promenade, lapwings suddenly lifted into the sky, startled by a peregrine. They squeaked loudly and flew in swirling plumes above the marshes.
I saw little egrets plodding through the wet marshy ground looking for food and a crow squawking loudly perched on a piece of driftwood.
Getting nearer to the old baths car park, I stopped to watch a heron sitting very still by the edge of the water waiting to catch a bite to eat; and saw black back gulls soaring high up in the air.
As I reached the car park, it was heaving with bird watchers eagerly awaiting the high tide and the wildlife drama it can bring.
Unfortunately the wind seemed to stop and it suddenly went very still and where I stood by the wall, felt like a little sun trap with the low sun trying its best to warm me.
Standing by the car park wall, I saw marsh harriers then hen harriers and a great egret too.
The high tide was meant to peak at 12.20pm but unfortunately the tide didn’t really make it in due to the drop in wind and high pressure.
I bet the little mammals were happy the tide never came in too far and flooded their homes. The birds of prey still managed to find some food further out in the marshes though.
I missed out on seeing the owl and saw no sign of the bittern either but it’s always worth going just to see the beautiful harriers, and just being out in nature is a joy.
After seeing the spectacular events of a decent high tide, it’s hard not to feel slightly let down, but I had a great day. The sun shone brightly and I saw lots of birds and met some great people too….. What more could I ask for??
I’m so grateful that this beautiful place full of wildlife is practically on my doorstep and if you are ever visiting Wirral and love bird watching then it’s definitely a place to visit.