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Point of Ayr

From Opus


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Wales

Contents

[edit] Overview

This reserve is situated on the Welsh side of the Dee Estuary and consists of a large shingle spit and associated saltmarsh and mudflats, and sand-dunes facing north into Liverpool Bay.

This estuary forms one of Britain's most important sites for passage and wintering waders and waterfowl.

[edit] Birds

[edit] Notable Species

Waders can reach 20 000 in midwinter, the most numerous species being Oystercatcher, Red Knot, Dunlin and Common Redshank. Others include Sanderling, Black-tailed Godwit, Eurasian Curlew and Ruddy Turnstone but most of the north European waders can be seen in the area in either autumn or winter.

Waterfowl numbers are smaller and Mallard and Common Shelduck form the majority but others occur in small numbers including Eurasian Wigeon, Northern Pintail, scoter and sawbills. In addition, divers, grebes and auks are present in winter.

Other wintering species include Hen Harrier, Merlin and Peregrine Falcon, Short-eared Owl and Water Rail. Scarce species such as Snow Bunting and Lapland Bunting, Twite and Horned Lark are regular.

Autumn provides good seawatching with Northern Fulmar, shearwaters, Northern Gannet and skuas off the point with occasional phalaropes and rarities such as Sabine's Gull.

There are relatively few breeding birds but several species of tern gather here in late summer and include a few Arctic Tern, Roseate Tern and Black Tern among the commoner species. Little Tern is a former breeder.

Other summer birds include numerous Skylark whilst Reed Bunting and Meadow Pipits are present in smaller numbers.

[edit] Rarities

"to do"

[edit] Check-list

Birds you can see here include:

Red-throated Diver, Great Crested Grebe, Northern Fulmar, Manx Shearwater, Leach's Storm-petrel, Great Cormorant, Northern Gannet, Grey Heron, Pale-bellied Brent Goose, Common Shelduck, Eurasian Wigeon, Common Teal, Mallard, Northern Pintail, Northern Shoveler, Greater Scaup, Common Scoter, Common Goldeneye, Red-breasted Merganser, Hen Harrier, Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Common Kestrel, Merlin, Peregrine Falcon, Water Rail, Eurasian Oystercatcher, Ringed Plover, Eurasian Golden Plover, Grey Plover, Northern Lapwing, Red Knot, Sanderling, Little Stint, Curlew Sandpiper, Purple Sandpiper, Dunlin, Ruff, Common Snipe, Black-tailed Godwit, Bar-tailed Godwit, Whimbrel, Eurasian Curlew, Spotted Redshank, Common Redshank, Common Greenshank, Ruddy Turnstone, Great Skua, Arctic Skua, Black-headed Gull, Common Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Black-legged Kittiwake, Sabine's Gull, Sandwich Tern, Roseate Tern, Common Tern, Arctic Tern, Little Tern, Black Tern, Common Guillemot, Razorbill, Barn Owl, Short-eared Owl, Little Owl, Eurasian Skylark, Horned Lark, Sand Martin, Barn Swallow, Meadow Pipit, Water Pipit, European Stonechat, Whinchat, Northern Wheatear, Ring Ouzel, Carrion Crow, Twite, Lapland Bunting, Snow Bunting

[edit] Other Wildlife

The nearby sand dune system contains breeding areas for natterjack toad and several key areas are managed for them. The sandhill rustic moth is also present.

[edit] Site Information

At high tide the wintering waders become concentrated at the point producing an ornithological spectacle unrivalled elsewhere in Wales.

[edit] History and Use

To do

[edit] Areas of Interest

Other localities: The nearby beach and shingle of Gronant contain Wales' only colony of nesting Little Terns which is managed by Denbighshire Council with input from The RSPB.

Flint and Oakenholt Marsh forms part of the RSPB's Dee Estuary reserve and is a good area to see many of the estuaries birds particularly on a high tide.

[edit] Access and Facilities

The reserve is reached via the minor road to Talacre off the A548 Prestatyn to Flint road. From Talacre walk east towards the point or west to the shore and dunes.

Grid reference: SJ124848

[edit] Contact Details

Tel: 0151 3367681

[edit] External Links

Content and images originally posted by Steve

[edit] Reviews

Britner's review

Pros

  • Amount of birds and how close you can get at high tide.

Cons

  • It's not as good at low tide especially in summer
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