Sunderland Point and the adjacent Middleton Sands are together one of the richest bird watching areas in the North of England. Given the right timing and state of the tides, a spectacle of up to 50000 birds can be almost guaranteed. (Try counting them!)
Surprisingly the site is little visited, only two or three people regularly record the comings and goings of the local bird life. Your visit could easily make a real contribution to the ornithological records of the area. Please submit your records.
When and where to see the birds.
At low tide: Drive to the Sunderland Point car park. (Note that the road is tidal. A high tide of more than about 8.0m will cover the road and leave you stranded. A slightly higher tide will cover the car park! Liverpool tide times are correct for Morecambe Bay. )
The mud flats and skears of the Lune Estuary are very attractive to large no's. of shore birds, especially in winter and at migration times. An incoming tide pushes thousands of birds up the river to their high tide roosts.
At high tide: Drive to the Potts corner car park. ( It takes a 10m tide to cover this one.) Depending on the size of the tide, the birds could be either directly out from the car park or at the southern end of the salt marsh, which will require a walk along the coastal path. Winter is the best time to visit. This is one of the major roosts in Britain for Dunlin and Knot. The sight of this many birds wheeling in the sky, being pursued by a raptor can be truly awe-inspiring.
At Migration times: Interest now turns to passerines. The tip of Sunderland point is at the confluence of two significant migration flyways. In autumn birds fly south along the coast and south along the River Lune, meeting up at the point. On a suitable day over a 1000 birds will fly overhead in the first couple of hours after dawn.
At any time of the day or year. There is invariably something of interest to see!