On a beautiful, sunny May morning, 10 keen Members met at 8am at Childwall Lane for an Early Morning Bird Walk led by Andrew Scott, David Holland and Isabelle Hurdle.  The early start enabled us to make best use of the day and to catch the birdsong before the reserve gets busy.  

A particular attraction was to try and see the newly arrived whitethroats on the lower fields.  These, along with the blackcaps and chiffchaffs, are the three warblers we normally find on the reserve which arrive here in spring after migrating from southern Europe and Africa.


The drier conditions meant we were able to spend more time walking the lower fields listening for, and observing, the warblers.  We then moved to the top field – now dry enough to cross for the first time in weeks – and into the beechwood.

One of the challenges as spring progresses is that there are more leaves on the trees so seeing birds is more difficult and hearing their calls and songs becomes more important.  For this the Merlin Bird ID app is proving increasingly popular and useful.  We recommend it.


There are several advantages to a group birdwatch.  One is the sharing of knowledge: our group was a mixture; some were experienced birders, others were keen beginners, full of questions.  The mix worked well and all seemed to enjoy it.  Another is that there are more pairs of eyes – and ears. This meant we were able to positively identify 25 of the 30 or so birds that David’s records suggest are most commonly seen at Childwall Woods and Fields at this time of year.

This was our second Early Bird Walk and the first for members-only.  It proved as popular as the first public walk and we have been asked for more Bird Walks.  We will keep you posted.

Andrew Scott

(With thanks to Paul Johnson for the photos)

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