Trip reports

Foulshaw Moss and Roudsea

male stonechat perched on bramble
rspb images

Saturday, 2 July 2016

On Saturday the 2nd July twelve of us met up at Foulshaw Moss - a Cumbria Wildlife Trust reserve that lies just off the A590 road on the northern edge of Morecambe Bay.

Since 1999, Foulshaw, hitherto a commercial conifer plantation, has been restored to its original waterlogged condition and can now offer a habitat for many specialist plant and invertebrate species that require an acidic bog.

As is often the case, the British weather was not too kind as we had to endure frequent showers and a cool breeze, nonetheless and undaunted, we made our way along the boardwalk to one of the observation platforms.
The current main attraction was of course, the pair of ospreys that this year have so far successfully raised two chicks. Although we could make out the osprey nest with its two attendent web cameras, the adult birds failed to show for us, likewise the two chicks failed to appear (they were probably `hunkered-down` in the nest).
On a more positive note, when the sun made a brief appearance and applied a little warmth, the following birds and insects were spotted: stonechat, meadow pipit, swallow, buzzard, carrion crow, great tit, blue tit, black-headed gull, herring gull, greater spotted woodpecker, small skipper butterfly, damselfly and burnet moth.

After lunch, five of us took up the option of visiting the National Nature Reserve at Roudsea which lies a few miles to the east of Foulshaw. This year Roudsea can boast its own beeding pairs of ospreys and it was here that, unlike our time at Foulshaw, we enjoyed good (albeit distant) views of one of the adult birds. Like Foulshaw Moss, Roudsea is a peat bog home to such plants as bog asphodel, cottongrass, bilberry and the rare large yellow sedge. It would have been interesting to see that other speciality of Roudsea -the raft spider (the largest of the British spiders) but probably because of the cool conditions it failed to show.
Our thanks to Mr. Rob. Petley-Jones the Senior Reserves Manager at Natural England for allowing our visit to Roudsea to take take place.

Michael Gardner.