Trip reports

Visit to Marton Mere, Blackpool

Drake teal profile
RSPB Images

Monday, 21 November 2016

Our November outdoor meeting took us to Marton Mere, an urban nature reserve that is managed by Blackpool Council. This reserve covers some 40 hectares in total, comprises areas of scrub woodland, a freshwater lake and eight hectares of phragmites reedbed. Accompanying us that day was the warden Iollan Banks who described how in the none too distant past, the area had been a rather unsightly and toxic landfill site. Since the 1980s Marton Mere has been returned to nature through an on-going process of careful land management and now is proud to be the home of over seventy species of bird if one includes winter and summer migratory species.

Over our five hour stay at Marton Mere our party of seven members enjoyed sightings of the following birds and mammals: magpie, herring gull, chaffinch, blue tit, great tit, robin, blackbird, woodpigeon, ring-necked parakeets*, cormorant, mute swans, tufted duck, coot, mallard, moorhen, shoveler, great-crested grebe, teal, Canada geese, reed bunting, dunnock, wren, sparrowhawk, greylag goose, carrion crow, and perhaps the highlight of our day, a solitary waxwing. There were also glimpses of grey squirrel, weasel and brown rat.

Our day ended with a visit to the reserve's information centre which lies within the adjacent Marton Mere caravan park. Again, many thanks to warden Iollan Banks for his time and informative guidance.

*birds probably descendents of aviary escapees from nearby Blackpool Zoo!

Michael Gardner