News archive

November 2011

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Male wigeon swimming

'Pleasureland' Southport

Although not great the weather at least co-operated by not being too cold or wet. After parking at Marshside we went in search of possible Twite but sadly came up with only flocks of Goldfinch, Greenfinch and Linnet in the rough marsh grass. The 'honging' of geese drew our attention upwards just as a massive skeen of Pink footed Geese flew over. They were not the last of these winter visitors we were to see today. Back to the hides of the reserve and we were faced with huge numbers of Teal, Wigeon, Gadwall and Pintail plus large flocks of Pink footed and Greylag Geese feeding on the rough grass. An amasing number of Snipe could be seen (or at times not seen, as their superbly camouflaged plumages made them blend into the background) in amongst the other waders of Lapwing, Black tailed Godwit and Ruff. A bit further along the coastal road is the marsh of Hesketh Bank and here we were lucky enough to see up to 4 Marsh Harriers and a number of Little Egret (with one trying its hardest to look like a Great white egret !!). Back in the car and the short trip to martin Mere with the call of a hot meal and drink. Up to 900 Whooper Swan were present but no sign of any Bewicks yet. We added Pochard, Tufted Duck and a female Wood duck to the ducks seen on the day. Plenty of Ruff to keep us on our toes with their varying leg colours and plumages. Again geese featured heavily with Pink Feet, Greylag, Canada and at least 2 lovely White Fronted Geese all flying or feeding on the fields. The ever present Tree Sparrows fed with the tits and finches on the feeders but alas no Brambling just yet. Some had the fortune to see both Merlin and Peregrine which, with Buzzard, proved to be our complete tally of birds of prey. Bird of the day was a lovely Kingfisher which rather than just flying by actually sat on a post next to one of the dykes in front of our hide - oh the colour of its plumage as the sun caught its feathers. Martin Mere rarely disappoints and so we all went home with a spring in our step.