Trip reports

Middleton Sands and Sunderland Point

Middleton Sands and Sunderland Point
Group at Sunderland Point (c) Graham Thomas

Friday, 6 October 2017

A group of 23 RSPB members met at Potts Corner for our walk to Sunderland Point to watch the wader spectacle over the high tide period. We scanned the trees and bushes at Potts Corner and saw a great spotted woodpecker, house sparrows and tree sparrows, while a sparrowhawk flew over. The salt marsh and distant tideline revealed little egrets, shelducks and cormorants. We looked to the sky after hearing the call of a buzzard to see it being mobbed by carrion crows. A family of mute swans, 2 adults and 5 cygnets, then flew over towards Sunderland Point. A couple of skylarks flew up from the marsh while our search of the bushes revealed a family of wrens, a blackbird, a robin, several linnets and a charm of goldfinches.

As the tide came in the waders began to gather, with strings of oystercatchers joining the curlews on the tideline. Several skeins of pink footed geese, newly arrived from Iceland, flew over to spend their winter with us on the Fylde, while a couple of wheatears lingered before moving south to their winter haunts in Africa.

We stopped for lunch near Sambo's grave and marvelled at the large flocks of knot as they swirled along the tideline. The tide began to cover the salt marsh, leaving numerous islands where redshanks, grey plovers and dunlin took refuge. A peregrine sat on the marsh, plucking at its prey, presumably an unfortunate wader. Three snipe flew in front of us and disappeared into the edge of the marsh. Other birds on the marsh and tide edge included wigeon, teal, shoveler, black-tailed godwit, bar-tailed godwit, red-breasted merganser, black-headed gull, great black-backed gull and herring gull.

As the route around the point was difficult to navigate at high tide, we took the lane to Sunderland village. The River Lune was very quiet bird wise, so we returned to Potts Corner to end our visit.

Ken Harrison