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Cheshire

Wren Troglodytes troglodytes ©Mike Atkinson Website

Birding Cheshire

Cheshire is a county in North West England, bordering Merseyside and Greater Manchester to the north, Derbyshire to the east, Staffordshire and Shropshire to the south and Wales to the west. Cheshire's county town is Chester; the largest town is Warrington. The county covers a boulder clay plain separating the hills of North Wales and the Peak District of Derbyshire (the area is also known as the Cheshire Gap). This was formed following the retreat of ice age glaciers which left the area dotted with kettle holes, locally referred to as meres.

To the west Cheshire is dominated by the estuaries of the Dee and Mersey. Hilbre Island and the RSPB reserve at Gayton Sands on the Dee are well known throughout the country for their vast flocks of waders and duck, but the Mersey, due to it's difficult access is less well known yet can be every bit as good. Frodsham marshes in particular, at the confluence of the River Weaver and the Mersey estuary, is excellent. Both Hilbre Island and the north Wirral coast are good spots for sea-watching with Leach's Petrel a speciality. Cheshire is also blessed with a good variety of inland water, there are the rivers of the Dee, Mersey, Weaver, Dane, Bollin and Gowy, a good selection of canals and many meres, ranging from little more than small ponds to large lakes.

Standing out of the rich farmland of the Cheshire plain are the Peckforton hills and Beeston crag. Well wooded and affording marvellous views of the Welsh hills they are the haunt of peregrine falcons and ravens. Further east the nature of the countryside changes, here the Cheshire border abuts the Peak District and this is a much wilder countryside with forests, rushing streams and desolate fells.

Top Sites

Frodsham Marsh

Information

Satellite View

The marsh is an area of sludge-beds from the River Weaver attracting an excellent range of both breeding and wintering birds, with a fair selection of rarities. Here too the embankments afford good views of the massed ranks of waders and duck on the Mersey estuary.

Gayton Sands

Information

Satellite View

This RSPB reserve is famous for it's high tide bird-watches at Parkgate when hundreds of birders can turn up. They come to see the wheeling massed flocks of waders, pintail, wigeon and teal as well as short-eared owls and hen harrier.

Great Budworth Mere and Marbury Country Park

Website

Satellite View

An attractive area of mixed wetland and woodland set between the village of Budworth and the river Weaver, with the Trent and Mersey Canal winding it's way through the middle. Great Crested Grebes breed on the mere and the woods and marshy areas attract can attract a good selection of species at any time of the year.

Hilbre Island

Website

Satellite View

You can spend high tide on the island cut off by the sea then walk back at low water. Hilbre is a great place to observe the spring and autumn passage when both land and sea birds can be seen. Waders present during winter include Purple Sandpipers as well as the usual Oystercatchers, Dunlin and Knot…

Maccesfield Forest

Website

Satellite View

An ancient forest which includes dark conifers, open moorland and reservoirs. Red Grouse and curlew breed on the moorland but sadly no more the Black Grouse.

Peckforton Castle

Website

Satellite View

The castle sits on a range sticking sharply up from the Cheshire plain. The hills have a range of habitat including rocky outcrops, birch-wood, pine forest, hardwood plantations and heath-land. Breeding birds include pied flycatcher and nightjar.

Contributor

Richard Smith

Editor - Cheshire & Wirral Bird Report

richardsmith@cawos.org

http://www.deeestuary.co.uk

County Recorder

Hugh Pulsford Cheshire & Wirral

6 Buttermere Drive, Great Warford, Cheshire, SK9 7WA

01565 880171

countyrec@cawos.org

Number of Species

Number of bird species: 351

County Bird - Leach's Storm Petrel Oceanodrama leucorhoa
[because the Wirral coast (including Hilbre Island) is one of the best places in the country to see them - particularly in autumn].

Useful Reading

Birds in Cheshire and Wirral - A Breeding and Wintering Atlas

By David Norman on behalf of CAWOS (Cheshire and Wirral Ornithological Society) | 704 pages, 300 colour illus. | Liverpool University Press | Hardcover | 2008 | £44.99
See Fatbirder Review

ISBN: 9781846311529

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Cheshire & Wirral Bird Reports

Cheshire and Wirral Ornithological Society (2003). ?7.70 incl p&p from D.Cogger, 113 Nantwich Road, Middlewich, Cheshire, CW10 9HD. mailto:memsec@cawos.org Back copies also available. Please enquire.

Hilbre - The Cheshire Island - Its History and Natural History

Edited by JD Craggs, 306 pages, 31 b/w photos, 163 figs, tabs. Liverpool University Press

ISBN: 0853233144

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Where to Watch Birds in North West England & Isle of Man

by Allan Conlin, Dr J P Cullen, Pete Marsh, Tristan Reid, Chris Sharpe, Judith Smith & Stephen Williams Christopher Helm Third Edition 2008

ISBN: 9780713664218

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Forums & Mailing Lists

C & W Bird News

https://twitter.com/cheshirebirding?lang=en

This is the place to share all your news,sightings and photos of birds in and around the Cheshire and Wirral area.

Cheshire Birds

Mailing List

Now a forum rather than an email group…

Guides & Tour Operators

Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…

Birding Pal

Information

Local birders willing to show visiting birders around their area…

North West Birds

Minibreaks

We have a passion for birds and we`d like to share it with you - by taking you birdwatching on the edge of the English Lake District. We run mini-breaks for very small groups with all in accommodation on a house party basis, with guests joining us at our home, Barn Close.

Trip Reports

Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…

CloudBirders

Trip Report Repository

CloudBirders was created by a group of Belgian world birding enthusiasts and went live on 21st of March 2013. They provide a large and growing database of birding trip reports, complemented with extensive search, voting and statistical features.

2014 [12 December] - David Nixon

Report

...On 16th December I set out to photograph woodpeckers and buzzards - both are common and overlooked in my opinion. Woodpeckers are spectacular and particularly photogenic, even in tough lighting conditions...

Places to Stay

Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…

Chester Canalside Holidays

Accommodation

Luxury 4 star apartment with balcony set overlooking the Shropshire Union Canal in the City of Chester. Ensuite master bedroom, twin bedroom, 2nd bathroom, lounge with balcony and fully equipped kitchen. Private parking. Sleeps 4 guests. Wifi available. 5 minute walk to City Centre. Weekend breaks, midweek stays available as well as weekly holidays. Rates start from £250. Tel: (UK) 01244 312788

Lamb Inn

Accommodation

Here at the Lamb Inn we offer quality bed & breakfast at economy prices.

Peel Hey Country Guest House

Accommodation

…we offer excellent B&b accommodation on the Wirral, close to West Kirby Hilbre Islands, Hoylake and The whole dee estuary…

Organisations

Cheshire and Wirral Ornithological Society

Website

David Cogger, 113 Nantwich Road, Middlewich, Cheshire, CW10 9HD. 01606 832 517
The Cheshire and Wirral Ornithological Society. The county society that has so much to offer… Information on conservation issues and local bird studies… A nationally acclaimed annual Bird Report… An unrivalled quarterly newsletter: BIRD NEWS… Workshops, high tide and migration watches. A winter programme of monthly illustrated talks.

Cheshire Wildlife Trust

Website

Cheshire Wildlife Trust's Homepage and Website. Cheshire Wildlife Trust (CWT) are the premier conservation organisation within the county of Cheshire and are a subsidiary body of the Wildlife Trusts, this being the central organisation underpinning each of the regional Trusts around the country…

Chester & District Ornithological Society

David King, 13 Bennett Close, Willaston. Neston, Cheshire . CH64 2XF 0151 327 7212 . davidking623@btinternet.com

Knutsford Ornithological Society

Website

A well presented site. It all began in September 1972, a short article in the Knutsford Guardian announced a series of evening classes organised by the Workers Education Association devoted to the subject of Ornithology. The tutor was the late Bill Mulligan, despite his advancing years a man of boundless enthusiasm and energy who managed over the next two years to transfer some of his immense knowledge to his band of disciples. Eventually Bill declared that he`d done as much as he could and it was now up to us! So early in 1974 the inaugural meeting of the Society took place, a constitution was drawn up and the first committee elected. Bill of course became a life member and the organisations first President.

Merseyside Ringing Group

Website

The Merseyside Ringing Group operates in Merseyside, Cheshire, Wirral and North Wales.

Mid Cheshire Barn Owl Conservation Group

Website

The barn owl is in decline throughout Great Britain…

Mid-Cheshire Ornithological Society

Website

MCOS is one of the longest established ornithological societies in Cheshire catering for all tastes in bird watching and all level of skill. This home page is the entry to more information about our varied programme of meetings, both indoor and outdoor, and the role we and our members play in the Cheshire birding…

North Cheshire Barn Owl Group

Website

I am interested in setting up a voluntary Barn Owl group for the North Cheshire Area, If you are interested would you Email me or fill in the on line form, at the moment I am collecting names and will arrange a meeting at a later date…

RSPB Chester Group

Website

The Chester RSPB Members Group was formed in 1987. The membership numbers around 350 people.

RSPB Macclesfield Group

Webpage

This is the website of the Macclesfield Local Group. RSPB local groups are a great way to meet friendly, like-minded people in your area while learning more about birds and wildlife.

RSPB North Cheshire Group

Website

North Cheshire RSPB Group. Includes events and recent newsletters, and etc.

South Cheshire Barn Owl Group

Website

This group is working to save the barn owl in South Cheshire…

South East Cheshire Ornithological Society

Website

In 2014 we celebrated the Golden Anniversary of the first SECOS meeting way back in 1964. We were fortunate to have two of the original founding members, Alan Goodin and Pat Whalley still attending our meetings. In a newspaper article at the time Alan Goodin is reported as saying “we intend to carry on for at least a year” – little did he know that it would still be running fifty years later. Also John Barker, who joined them at the second meeting, has had continuous membership ever since.

Wilmslow Guild Birdwatching Group

Webpage

The Birdwatching group is a friendly, active and enthusiastic mix of birdwatchers of varying abilities and experience. We welcome new members and visitors, whether as interested beginners or more experienced birdwatchers, to all our events. The group provides indoor and outdoor programmes throughout the year. A monthly illustrated newsletter is provided at all indoor meetings and by email.

Wirral Barn Owl Trust

Website

In 1999, Cheshire Wildlife Trust, the R.S.P.B. and Wirral Ranger Service got together and invited interested people to the inaugural meeting of The Wirral & Ellesmere Port Barn Owl Group. The group had an initial membership of 33 people…

Wirral Bird Club

Website

Wirral is the peninsula of land between the rivers Dee and Mersey in north west England. The area, particularly the Dee Estuary, is of national and international importance for thousands of birds in winter, species such as Redshank, Dunlin, Knot, Oystercatcher and Shelduck…

Witton Area Conservation Group

The Witton Area Conservation Group is made up of local birdwatchers and naturalists, between them they share a wealth of knowledge about the wildlife of the area. The group provide help and advice on wildlife management on the site and assist with the surveys and monitoring of the flora and fauna of the area.

Observatories

Hilbre Bird Observatory

Observatory

Satellite View

Steve Williams, 2 Westbourne Road, West Kirby, Wirral, CH48 4DG. 0151 625 2146

Reserves

Eastwood Nature Reserve

Information

Satellite View

The reserve is open every Sunday to members of the R.S.P.B. and Cheshire Wildlife Trust as well as the general public from 10am to 4pm. Due to the sensitive nature of the site dogs and cycles are not allowed. Midweek there are usually working parties doing general maintainance and repairs. Eastwood has been owned by the R.S.P.B. since 1932 and is now managed by the Cheshire Wildlife Trust.

Hatton's Hey Reserve

Information PDF

Satellite View

MCOS took out a lease on a stretch of the River Weaver near Kingsley in September 1986 and created the Society’s reserve called Hatton's Hey. The reserve covers 29 acres and includes a strip of woodland, drive scrub and extensive reed bed. A hide overlooks the open water lagoon. We have a very active nest box programme both on the reserve and in adjacent woodland. One of our members closely monitors nest box activity and a report is filed annually to the Cheshire and Wirral Ornithological Society records officer.

Marbury Reedbed

Webpage

A reedbed with boardwalk trail and woodlands, part of Budworth Mere at Marbury Country Park

Moore Nature Reserve

Information

Satellite View

Moore Nature Reserve is a 200-acre site in Warrington, north Cheshire. The reserve consists of five large lakes surrounded by extensive woodland, meadows and wetlands, made accessible by a network of paths and bird hides. Its many habitats provide a home for a variety of birds, mammals, insects, plants, amphibians and fungi. The reserve is open to the public at all times, 365 days a year…

Northwich Community Woodland

Website

Satellite View

Walk amongst dragons and kings! Explore the walks and trails around Marbury Country Park, Anderton Nature Park, Dairy House and Witton Mill Meadows, which together form Northwich Community Woodlands…

Red Rocks Marsh

Webpage

Satellite View

Red Rocks Marsh is a nature reserve part of which maintained by the Cheshire Wildlife Trust. It is a 28 acre site of brackish marsh and sand dunes open to the public…

Sandbach Flashes

Website

Sandbach Flashes are an SSSI managed by Natural England. The website was created by a few devotees interested in maintaining a photo gallery, latest news, sightings and year list information for the local flashes.

Woolston Eyes Bird Reserve

Website

Satellite View

The Woolston Eyes Reserve is situated to the east of Warrington between the River Mersey and the Manchester Ship Canal near Latchford Locks and the Thelwall Viaduct which carries the M6 Motorway over both the River and the Canal…

Blogs

A Tale of 2 Halves

Blog

Tales of travel and birds from Cheshire to Shetland and back, with a bit of other stuff in between…

A Wirral Birders Blog

BLOG

Welcome to my blog about birding on the Wirral, in Cheshire and beyond. This blog will be updated regularly to include photographs of birds (and other wildlife) I've photographed both in the UK and abroad

Al Orton's Birding Blog

Blog

Birding in Cheshire and the occasional twitch…

Birding for Fun - Paul Shenton

Blog

37 year old birder who just loves birding.I have been at it since the age of 10 but with a few years break due to beer and then my own nippers I dont have my own patch as I like to go where ever my mood takes me. Tittersworth Greenway Rudyard & Norh Staffs Moors are my most regular Staffordshire spots. While in Cheshire Frodsham and Sandbach Flashes are always top of my list I am playing around with digiscoping as it seems to have become very popular since my break from the birding world. Opticron with HDF 32x eyepiece and Samsung Nv100hd (as of 2011) are my choice (well actualy TSBs choice)…

Camo Dave - My Birding Patch

BLOG

Latest News From My Local Patch Saltersford Locks - This is my local birding patch Saltersford Locks in Cheshire, It's only a 15 minutes walk from my house. Saltersford Locks is one of four locks located along the river Weaver in Cheshire, It's situated between Barnton and Weaverham and is 15 metres above sea level...

Diaries of a Cheshire Wildlife Watcher – Mike Mottram

Blog

Hi my names Mike and I love to film and photograph wildlife of the uk. Heres abit of what I will be posting on this blog. I love to observe and film wildlife in my local area cheshire by using different ideas used by the pros and a few of my own ideas and inventions thrown in so I thought I would start a blog so I could share my wildlife encounters and storys with other nature lovers around the world…

Frodsham Marsh BirdBlog

Blog

Bill Morton's Blog of the birds of Frodsham Marsh - Welcome to Frodsham Marsh Bird Blog! I have started this blog to highlight the birding life of one of Cheshires top avian spots. One particular feature I would like to include is, an article section which promotes birders recollections of their best days birding on the marsh…

Frodsham Marsh BirdBlog

BLOG

Frodsham Marsh is situated in the north-west of Cheshire, a county in the North West of England. Roughly half way down the west coast of the U.K. it is sandwiched between Liverpool and Manchester, and on the south banks of the Mighty River Mersey.

General Ornithologists Association

Blog

The General Ornithologists Association,GOA for short was formed on the 9th June 2007 at around 2pm(ish) at Burrafirth,Unst,Shetland… which must be hard to say with your tongue in your cheek!

Mike Fenney - Fen Photography

Blog

Birding blog and my photo gallery…

Moore: A Patcher's Tale

Blog

Birds & Birding at a Local Cheshire Spot - So, this is me… It said 'Description' in the box so here it is… About 5' 9". ~170lbs. Married. Old. 'Mad as a box of frogs', apparently. Loves his patch. Nuff Sed…

Paul D Shenton's Birding Blog

Blog

A Chester birder's peregrinations near and far… The purpose of this blog is to provide regular updates of recent bird sightings and general musings on all things avian and beyond…

Phil Woollen - Wirral Birder

Blog

Moved to the Wirral in 1983 and settled there after marrying in 1986. I've been birding since I was 7 or 8 - it was that long ago I can't remember! My formative years were spent in Suffolk and birds became a passion in my teens. I started twitching whilst still at school but began seriously whilst at University in the late 70's and early 80's.

Pixie Birding

Blog

Nature, wildlife, photography and birding from the UK and beyond.

Pod’s World

Blog

Local Cheshire patch birder’s BLOG – with extraneous thoughts on footie. Beer etc…

Rambles with a Camera

Blog

A blog of my rambles in the countyside - Welcome to my blog. I spend most of my leisure time walking in the countryside and only take photographs for memories although i do get real pleasure from some of my wildlife pictures…

Stephen Menzie - Menzie Birding

Blog

BLOG from a Liverpool birder…

The Birds of Frodsham Marsh

Facebook Page

Frodsham Marsh Bird Blog is a replacement for the pen on a string in a box nailed to a post birdlog and keeps a visiting birder informed and ready to bird.

WildeAboutBirds

Blog

I'm Findlay. I am really interested in wildlife, especially birds. I want to do everything I can to protect nature now and in the future, as well as enjoying it of course. Follow my birding journey..

Other Links

Birds along the Sandstone Trail

Webpage

Cheshire’s Sandstone Trail has long been popular with birdwatchers and nature lovers. The Trail traces the line of wooded sandstone hills that run roughly north to south across the county and crosses a variety of other habitats from marshland to lowland heath, which means you’re likely to spot a good variety of Cheshire birds.

Bob Rigby Photographic Ltd (UK)

Website

Bob Rigby Photographic Limited are Professional Photographic dealers based in Bollington, Cheshire, United Kingdom. We have been supplying the worlds finest photographic equipment to professional & amateur photographers, colleges, universities, police photographic departments, dental technicians and other professional bodies for over 24 years…

Breeding Bird Atlas of Cheshire and Wirral Project

Website

Why are we doing this? The Breeding Bird Atlas of Cheshire and Wirral was published over 10 years ago (1992) based on fieldwork now 20 years old (1978-84). Nationally, those 20 years have seen perhaps the biggest changes ever in bird populations and distribution…

Camo Daves Wildlife

Website

Dave Harazny's LIVE cams, pictures and wildlife videos of British Birds mainly from his village garden…

Cheshire Falconry

Website

We are Cheshire Falconry. Prepare to be amazed as you get hands on with magnificent birds of prey in our range of truly incredible flying experiences

Congleton Birding

Website

A site promoting birdwatching and recording within the Congleton area. The site also includes live weather conditions and a forecast together with details of Willow warblers…

Dee Estuary Birding

Website

The Dee Estuary, on the North Wales/North-West England border, is one of the United Kingdom`s premier birding locations for wetland and shore birds. This Web site describes the best Dee Estuary birdwatching areas with detailed maps and latest bird news for dedicated twitchers and casual birdwatchers alike.

Mersey Birders

Website

Birders Diaries, Bird news Bird sites, Weather and Travel, Photo Gallery, Gulls Page, Quick Reference, Bird Lists, articles…

Moore: A Patcher's Tale

Website

So, this is me… It said 'Description' in the box so here it is… About 5' 9". ~170lbs. Married. Old. 'Mad as a box of frogs', apparently. Loves his patch. Nuff Sed…

Nature Sign Design

Website

Nature sign maker and photographer

Red Barn Wild Bird Products

Website

Red Barn Wild Bird Products have been established in the garden centre and retail trade for 35 years and in the wild bird food trade for 6 years, and our extensive experience has enabled us to build up an enviable reputation and a broad customer base. We supply wild bird foods to retail/ garden centres nation-wide and we are noted for our excellent service and success in customer satisfaction.

Tom McKinney's 2006 Birding Diary

Website

Welcome to Tom McKinney’s (that’s me) all new 2006 birding journal. There’s going to be some wacky, fun-filled, expletive-laden, crazy-a*s sh*t going down this year, such as a big birdspotting trip to Peru in the summer, so strap yourselves in and prepare for the ride… [From which you can see that this really funny and irreverent birding [mostly] diary is not for those easily offended; I love it - Fatbirder]

Photographers & Artists

Artist - Chris Shields

Gallery

Chris has produced to date in excess of twenty thousand wildlife illustrations in over 300 books, numerous calendars, greeting cards, posters and jigsaw puzzles. He has exhibited his paintings widely in the UK and China and has paintings in public and private collections all over the world…

Photographer - Andy Astbury - Wildlife in Pixels

Gallery

Still & Video Images of the Natural World… the Website of Cheshire based nature photographer and cameraman Andy Astbury…

Photographer - Chris Galvin

Gallery

Some really excellent images from the UK and beyond…

Photographer - David Cookson

Gallery

Some really really good photos…

Photographer - Malc Richings

Gallery

Bird And Wildlife Photography…

Photographer - Mike Atkinson

Gallery

Collection of images covering both common and scarce British birds. Many images are displayed full-screen…

Photographer - Richard Steel

Gallery

Most of my photography is undertaken locally on Merseyside, the Wirral and in North Wales but I always like to try and take a camera with me when I travel anywhere, just in case the opportunity arises…

Photographer - Steven Round

Gallery

Some very nice images from an improving photographer…