Woolston Eyes

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Woolston Eyes Bird ReserveWoolston Eyes Bird Reserve
Woolston Eyes Conservation Group, a voluntary organisation formed in 1979, manages the rich and varied wildlife of the deposit grounds with the agreement of the Manchester Ship Canal Company. Its aim is to promote the study and conservation of the wildlife and habitat of the area with particular regard to the ornithology. The group undertakes management work to preserve or maximise the ornithological value of the Reserve, provides and maintains hides for the use of the public and permit holders, keeps the paths open and discourages disturbance. The group produces an Annual Report which summarises the work carried out and the results obtained including the scientific study of the flora and fauna of the Reserve. To carry out this work the group raises funds by the sale of Permits, Annual Reports and by applying for grants from various organisations.

In all, two hundred and thirty two species have been recorded on the Reserve, including thirteen species of raptor, more than thirty species of wader, all five grebes, the three woodpeckers, and five species of owl.

Lying next to the Mersey, the flooded beds inevitably attract large numbers of dabbling ducks moving inland from the estuary. The Mersey Valley Pochard flock also spends time here, making this an excellent place to see winter wildfowl. Typically a thousand or more Teal are present, sometimes several times this figure, with several hundred Mallard and Pochard, a hundred or so Shoveller, Gadwall and Tufted Duck, and from a few dozen to several hundred Pintail. Ruddy Duck were also a regular feature. Other species of wildfowl occur less frequently or in smaller numbers, and scarce or rare species such as Ring-necked Duck, Feruginous and Long-tailed Duck, Green Winged Teal, Common Scoter and Smew have been noted. In late autumn and winter skeins of Pink-footed Geese can often be observed making hard weather movements to the east coast.

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