A Summary of the WeBS Counts on the River Mersey - 2017
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August 2017 Mersey WeBS Count Summary
Canada Geese numbers had dropped from 7,700 in July to 4,700. Shelduck had also fallen from over 10,000 to just over 7,000 which is still more than twice the threshold for international importance. 291 cormorants was a good count reflecting an increase in this species, especially around Hale where they breed and roost.
Among the waders we had nationally important counts of ruff with 13 and redshank with nearly 2,000. The most unusual wader was an early purple sandpiper at Garston.
However, the most amazing count was made by Rob at Hale a week after the WeBS count with 4,000 ringed plover roosting in the field behind Hale lighthouse. This is the highest ever count of the Mersey beating the previous record of 2,600 set in August 2013 when we had 1,100 at Hale and 1,500 at Frodsham. Looking at the WeBS database it might also be the second highest count in the UK in the last 5 years.
Along with a few thousand dunlin, a few sanderling, a little stint and a curlew sandpiper this must have been quite a sight and shows the value of reporting casual counts of good numbers of birds, especially migrants like ringed plover that can be here one day and gone the next and so hard to track with a once a month WeBS count. If you have any good counts please send to me and I can add them to the WeBS database as casual counts.
The next count is September 10th and we should be expecting good numbers of curlew and redshank as they both peak in September and October.