Trip reports

Walk from Churchtown to Nateby

Long-tailed tit perched on branch
RSPB-images

Saturday, 15 June 2019

Sunny with rain showers

A party of 8 set off from the Horns Inn at Churchtown at 10.30am. It was a beautiful summers day but rain was forecast. We walked through the Village and turned right at the old cross. Turned left at the main road then crossed the road to walk up the access to Kirkland Hall Farm. A lone Swift was seen plus plus two Swallows. Continued along a track through a gate to the left then investigated a barn for birds in the next but one field. A lone Stock dove flew out rapidly. This might have been a feral Pigeon. Couldn't see any Owl Pellets on the ground under the beams.

A solitary Common Buzzard flew up from a perch behind the barn. I had seen it in this area before.
Continued walking along a hedge in the next field and found a splendid Oak that must have been at least 300 years old. Crossed a footbridge then along the side of an area of recently planted trees. Suddenly Roe Deer was seen walking then running through the trees to the right. Also a female Reed Bunting flew up to perch on a rail giving us perfect views of its beautful plumage.

The path continued ending up at Humblescough Farm. Had to make a run for it when heavy rain drove us to shelter in a barn here. There were chairs and tables. Ideal for lunch. The Farmer's wife came out and talked to us about the things that they do to encourage wildlife. She showed us a pool covered in Lilies and told us about Fylde Bird Club that came here to survey the pools.

Continued south down a lane then through the grounds of Popular Grove Farm. This was a large complex. A track beyond led to Hag Wood then Sharples Lane beyond. Turned left along the lane then after a few hundred yards looked at a large pool on the right where gravel had been extracted. This pit had attracted many flocks of birds to the water including; Mallard, Shelduck, Greylag and Canada Geese with young. Also about 20 Coot.
Continued along Sharples Lane to the main road. Turned right to walk along the road for about half a mile to an access on the left. A path on the right led to the River Wyre and the Wyre Way. Followed this to the left to the famous footbridge then the Church. Walked through the Village to the cross then right to the pub. Most of the party relaxed and had a drink in the busy Horns Inn.

Species seen or heard: Greylag Goose + Young, Canada Goose + Young, Shelduck 10+, Mallard 15+, Pheasant, Cormorant, Grey Heron, Buzzard, Kestrel, Moorhen, Oystercatcher, Curlew, Swallow 5+, House Martin, Sand Martin, Swift 1, Black Headed Gull, Lesser Black Backed Gull 6, Wood Pigeon, Stock Dove/Feral Pigeon, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, Magpie, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Long Tailed Tit, Whitethroat, Blackcap, Willow/Chiff, Wren, Robin, Blackbird, Song Thrush, Dunnock, House Sparrow, Tree Sparrow, Pied Wagtail, Meadow Pipit, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Reed Bunting, Roe Deer

Graham Thomas