Trip reports

Wyre Estuary Country Park and Fleetwood Marsh Nature Reserve

Wyre Estuary Country Park and Fleetwood Marsh Nature Reserve
Group at Fleetwood by Graham Thomas

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

A dozen members of RSPB Lancaster Local Group met at the Wyre Estuary Country Park at Stanah for a walk along the side of the Wyre Estuary towards Skipool Creek. The Country Park lies on the western shore of the Wyre and was formerly a landfill site, but now has paths, areas of grassland and woodland, car parks and a cafe. Chiffchaffs greeted us as we started our walk and scanned the mudflats and creeks for shelducks, tufted ducks, redshanks, curlews and oystercatchers. Black-tailed godwits on the far bank were coming into breeding plumage as dunlins fed amongst them. Cormorants, lesser black-backed gulls and black-headed gulls flew low over the river. Skylarks sang overhead and them came down onto the salt marsh to give us a close view. As the river was reaching high tide our path became impassable as the water lapped over the path before we reached Skipool, so we returned via the grassland and woods to see a variety of species including goldfinch, chaffinch, blue tits, and great tits.

In the afternoon we relocated to Fleetwood Marsh Nature Reserve, which lies in an old railway cutting near to the former Fleetwood Dock complex. The ponds held several coot, tufted ducks and Canada geese, along with a pair of little grebes. A pair of reed buntings showed briefly before we walked down to the shore where it was becoming increasingly misty and drizzly! A snipe was flushed as four unidentified geese flew in the mist. Our visit was brought to an end by the welcome sight of four recently arrived wheatears, three males and one female, who perched on a fence and gave us excellent views to end our visit before we made our way home.

Species seen or heard: Pink-Footed Goose, 
Canada Goose, 
Greylag Goose, 
Teal, Shelduck, 
Tufted Duck, 
Black-tailed Godwit, 
Dunlin, Snipe, 
Wood Pigeon,
Carrion Crow, 
, Skylark, 
Blue Tit, 
Great Tit, 
Song Thrush,
 Mistle Thrush, 
Meadow Pipit, 
, Redpoll, 
Reed Bunting, Little Grebe, Little Egret, Black-headed Gull, Herring Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull.