Trip reports

Hodbarrow RSPB

Hodbarrow RSPB
Little tern - Steve Settle

Saturday, 29 June 2019

On a sunny but blustery day we drove down the rough road to the sea wall and parked up a few hundred yards from the hide.
On the lagoon the first sight was a mass group of 100+ Canada geese, strangely with no young, (though we did see a pair later with 3 goslings), and at the other side of the lagoon were a few dozen greylag geese, again with no young, and tucked between the two flotilla were two bar headed geese.
A few tufted duck and a dozen mute swans were also on the water as were a couple of great crested grebe and a few red-breasted mergansers.
A grey heron stood poised on the far bank, but the main interest lay in the shingle area in front of the hide.
Here was where the breeding terns were situated, again in their separate groups with the most numerous being the sandwich terns, with slightly fewer common terns.

The little terns took a bit of finding as there were far fewer and were a lot less active, but a handful could be seen sitting on nests. A couple of oystercatchers, a few lapwing, and a pair of ringed plover with young were the only waders present. Other birds present included black-headed gulls, lesser black-backed gulls, and a lone common gull, along with a small flock of starlings, some carrion crows and a single nesting moorhen.
Out to sea there were some eider with young, the terns came and went on fishing forays, and a few herring gulls patrolled the shore. The tide was now receding and an exposed sand bank quickly filled with gulls and a nice sight of in excess of 80 red-breasted mergansers resting on the sand.
The few shrubs and grassy margins around the hide gave us sightings of whitethroat, meadow pipits, linnets, and a single wheatear.

We then headed back and called in at Cumbria Wildlife Trust's Foulshaw Nature Reserve.

Here around the car park and feeding station we had sightings of lesser redpoll, great spotted wood pecker, house sparrow, blue tit, great tit, and goldfinch. The main attraction here are the breeding ospreys and though at some distance we could see the two adults and two young on the nest. Also, out on the mossland, there were stonechat, and reed bunting, and probably the same great spotted woodpecker, along with numerous hawking swallows.
Returning to the car park we had a distant buzzard, and singing tree pipit, chiffchaff, and chaffinch. Plus, the wealth of the non-bird life in the form of common lizard, numerous butterflies, and dragonflies including the white-faced darter and emperor.

38 species seen, 6 attended