Trip reports

Weekend Field Trip - Lancashire & Fylde Coast - Day 1 RSPB Marshside

Oystercatcher wading in shallow water

Friday, 16 October 2015

A full coach left Sheffield for the north-west coast where our first stop was RSPB Marshside near Southport. Once there, we set off in groups to various parts of the reserve.

Good numbers of Meadow Pipits, Wheatear and Skylarks were seen on the way down to a coastal viewing point, feeding on the masses of fluffy seed heads of Sea Aster. A Stonechat was seen in the Gorse bushes by the sand works.

Numbers of geese were disappointing being fairly low for the time of year. The few that were grazing on the saltmarsh included Pink-footed, Greylag and Canada Geese. Higher numbers were found on the reserve itself until these left together to fly onto the coastal areas.

The weather was fine but a cool breeze was blowing at the sea edge where a good portion of our group gathered at around 2 pm to watch the tide coming in. Good views of of waders were obtained as the water covered the mudflats. These included hundreds of Oystercatchers (all lined up on a sand bar) as well as wheeling Dunlin and Knot. Closer in, on the edge of the estuary, Grey Plover with a few Golden Plover were to be seen. Curlews were showing well and were very vocal. A few Little Egret and the odd Grey Heron were hanging around the small creeks.

Up on the main reserve, lots of Moorhen, Coot, Shelduck, Wigeon plus a bonus Pintail were spotted from the Sandgrounders Hide.

With a total 'bag' of 56 species for the day, our coach picked us up and we made the way to The Ashton Park Hotel in St Anne's where we were given a warm and friendly welcome along with a drink and swift allocation of our rooms.

36 people attended
56 bird species seen