Trip reports

Sunday 15th December Coach Trip to WWT Martin Mere

Sunday 15th December Coach Trip to WWT Martin Mere

Sunday, 15 December 2019

As usual, the group dispersed to enjoy the reserve in their own way. I began my day enjoying a hot drink in the outside section of the Discovery Hide overlooking the mere. Many duck and waders were close to the hide; some were eating the remaining grain put out for the whooper swans the evening before. Mallard, wigeon, shelduck, pochard, pintail, coot, moorhen, greylag goose and whooper swan were easily spotted. Good views of redshank, black-tailed godwit and curlew were also enjoyed. More commonly seen birds such as lesser black-backed and black-headed gulls, wood pigeon, stock dove, jackdaw and magpie were also seen. Moving along to the Raines observatory teal and cormorant were added to the tally and to my delight a sizeable gathering of ruff were close by.
On the way to the Ron Barker hide you walk through a lightly wooded section which includes a feeding station. Blackbird and song thrush were busy turning over the leaf litter while robin watched from the bushes. Great tit, blue tit, coal tit, greenfinch, chaffinch and goldfinch were busy darting back and forth to the feeders while dunnock and pheasant were enjoying a meal on the ground below.
I eventually arrived at the Ron Barker hide which overlooked the marsh and surrounding fields where I met many of our group who had started their morning there. I was regaled with tales of birds of prey flying past including buzzard, kestrel and marsh harrier. They had also seen a barn owl quartering a nearby field near a long-horned bull. Unfortunately, none of these birds put in an appearance for me but that is the joy of birding. I managed to spot little egret, Canada goose, pink-footed goose and carrion crow before I decided to move on.
On the return walk past the woodland feeders I spotted a group of tree sparrows. I continued past the visitor's centre along the other arm of hides but I only added a couple of species to my total for the day. They were reed bunting and tufted duck. I then returned to the café for a pot of tea and warm-up before the swan feeding session. We then all headed for the coach and home.