Trip reports

Hay Bridge and Foulshaw Reserves

Hay Bridge and Foulshaw Reserves
Wood Sandpiper - Steve Settle

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Having met at Lancaster Services we headed firstly for the Nature Reserve at Hay Bridge in the South Lakes.
Before reaching the reserve, we stopped near Haverthwaite, where we soon had a couple of Ospreys fly over. Then, there was the sound of Cuckoo with two males competing in song and then chasing one another, while a third was also present.
Also in the area was a Whitethroat and House Sparrow, with quite a few Swifts and House Martins feeding in the air, and a couple of Carrion Crows saw off a Sparrowhawk.
We then saw three egrets flying in and landing in the distance. As there are a few Cattle Egret in the area we drove round to try and locate them but unsuccessfully, with only a calling Green Woodpecker as reward.

We then headed to Hay Bridge Reserve where our guide for the day Dennis (only by virtue of the fact he'd visited two days before and knew where to look) soon pointed out an Adder sunning itself on a grass banking, and then took us to see a couple of Grass Snakes which were similarly warming themselves up.
For birds, we had sightings of Spotted Flycatcher, Redstart, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Siskin, Tree pipit, and Lapwing.
House Martins were nesting on the building and a few Swallows whizzed around.
The resident Osprey was on its nest and stayed put (presumably its mate being one of those we saw earlier). As we left we saw a Song Thrush busily hammering away at a snail.

We then headed for Foulshaw Reserve. Here the Osprey is at a much greater distance and difficult to pick out, and the wind kept most of the small birds down but we did get views of Sedge Warble and Stonechat, and Redpoll, along with some of the other more common woodland birds.
A couple of Common Lizards had to be carefully stepped around as they sunned themselves on the boardwalk.

For lunch, we decided to call at Warton Crag to see the Peregrine and Raven.

We then headed to the Morecambe hide at Leighton Moss where on one pool there were Black Tailed Godwit, Avocet, Lapwing, Oystercatcher, Little Egret, and Redshank, but no sign of the Spoonbills we had hoped for.
On the other pool which was completely devoid of water there was only the weird sight of a ewe and two lambs stood in the middle.

We called at the visitor's centre to see what was about, and were told of a Wood Sandpiper on the Griesdale pool. We had to wait a while before it flew in from the direction of Lilian's. It then wandered round giving good views for 30 minutes before flying off back towards Lilian's. Black Tailed Godwit and Little Egret were also present with Gadwall and Mallard.

We decided we might as well go for the Cattle Egret on Brow Foot Farm near the Lower Hide. We parked up under a tree with a nestful of noisy young Great Spotted Woodpecker being fed. After the short walk down from the road, the Cattle Egret were present at the far side of the field, but after waiting a while they followed the feeding cattle to afford us much better closer views. On the way back to the road, a Woodcock was flushed and seen by some.

66 Species seen/heard on the day