Trip reports

Visit to LWT Far Ings and RSPB Blacktoft Sands

Visit to LWT Far Ings and RSPB Blacktoft Sands
Humber Bridge from Far Ings [Photo: Peter Berrill]

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Clear roads and skies all the way north to our coffee break at Tibshelf Services on the M1. Back on the road again and soon passing over the River Trent we arrive at our first destination at 10am.

Passing through the entrance to Far Ings we had an early 'festive treat' when the 'seven swans a swimming' turned out to be whoopers. They had apparently arrived overnight. The Visitor Centre was still closed but the loos were not. Eventually a member of staff arrived and said we weren't expected so I produced our group permit.

The Saltmarsh on the estuary produced a stonechat hovering above the reeds and further along redshank, bar-tailed godwit and rock pipit. The reported snow bunting proved elusive. The reedbeds south of the coastal footpath produced fleeting glimpses of bearded tit and several calling Cetti's warbler.

Arriving back at the coach for a lunchtime departure several group members including the organiser were 'yellow carded' for being late.

The route to Blacktoft Sands took us over the Humber Toll Bridge, a first for many of us.

Feeding in fields opposite the reserve entrance were c800 pink-footed geese, several skeins were seen north of the reserve, flying west during the afternoon.

We were welcomed and briefed by staff at the Visitor Centre after watching tree sparrows at a feeding station.

The group split up and we made our way to the Singleton hide and from there a large flock of golden plover disappeared from view. A couple of marsh harrier quartered the reedbed adjacent to the Trent outflow. On the tidal pool in front of the hide little egret, shoveler, wigeon, gadwall, teal and black-tailed godwit fed. A kestrel was also seen hovering in the distance.

We then moved to the other end of the reserve and visited the Ousefleet hide. From here we saw several shelduck and small flock of dunlin. The nestbox adjacent to the hide held a resident barn owl and the bird was clearly visible from the Marsh hide as we retraced our steps to the Centre and the waiting coach.

Peter and Lesley Berrill