Southport, Merseyside, UK. 4th July, 2016. UK Weather: Sunrise over Southport, A new dawn breaks over ‘Hesketh Out Marsh' in Southport. The glorious sunrise reflects in the water of the nature reserve. After recent heavy rain downpours, the beautiful sunshine glows with warm seasonal weather expected to return. In the 1980's this natural saltmarsh was drained to provide arable land for crop growing. Nature reversed this decision by using the land as a sea water overflow basin providing a natural habitat to the many migratory birds that now occupy the marshland. © Cernan Elias/Alamy Live

- Image ID: GA5MJ2
Southport, Merseyside, UK. 4th July, 2016. UK Weather: Sunrise over Southport, A new dawn breaks over ‘Hesketh Out Marsh' in Southport. The glorious sunrise reflects in the water of the nature reserve. After recent heavy rain downpours, the beautiful sunshine glows with warm seasonal weather expected to return. In the 1980's this natural saltmarsh was drained to provide arable land for crop growing. Nature reversed this decision by using the land as a sea water overflow basin providing a natural habitat to the many migratory birds that now occupy the marshland. © Cernan Elias/Alamy Live
EnVogue_Photo / Alamy Stock Photo
Image ID: GA5MJ2
Marshside is one of the best places for birdwatching on the internationally important Ribble Estuary, which holds more birds than any other estuary in the UK. Up to 40.000 birds in winter. Marshside has some of the best lowland wet grassland in the north-west of England, including the habitats of swamp, saltmarsh and scrub with 11 km of ditches, (Migrant hawker dragonflies patrol the ditches on sunny days). It is an important refuge in winter for Pink-footed geese, Wigeons, Black-tailed Godwits and Golden Plovers and in spring provides nesting places for Lapwings, Redshanks, Shovelers and Skylarks. A favourite haunt of up to 4,000 Golden Plover this area also attracts up to 1,500 Black-tailed Godwit and small numbers of Ruff, with ‘lekking’ spring males reported recently. Other typical waders of the area are Snipe and Curlew. Rarer visitors seen recently are Little Egret, Spoonbill, Marsh Harrier and a variety of waders such as Curlew Sandpiper and Little Stint on passage. On the seashore Bar tailed Godwit, Knot, Sanderling, Dunlin, Ringed and Grey Plover can be seen. Birds of prey regularly hunt the area such as Peregrine, Merlin, Hen Harrier and rarer the Short-eared Owl. Flocks of smaller birds which feed on the saltmarsh and scrub along marine drive include various finches & buntings, Skylark, Meadow Pipit, Whitethroats and the occasional Twite flock.

Similar stock images