Marshside and Mere Sands Wood 10.11.15

Blue skies, warm breeze and plenty of sunshine

photo 1
(Photo HP)

The tide was well in as Team Tuesday gathered in the car park at Marshside and we were soon looking across the marsh to be greeted by a small group of little white egrets and beyond them little white horses on the sea. Flocks of knot flew along the shoreline and many birds were noted flying over but soon with the hint of a rainbow in the sky we turned and headed for the visitors’ centre.

The main hide gave us plenty of opportunity for honing our waterfowl identification skills with teal, wigeon, pink foot, greylag and shoveler as just a few of the species we spotted. A passing helicopter raised hundreds of birds we hadn’t previously sighted, but it gave us a flavour of the sheer number of birds that must have been there. With thanks to the friendly and knowledgeable volunteers, we left the hide to head back to the car park, stopping for a look through the screens, but the sun being low and shining completely in the wrong direction to see anything we wasted no time in travelling on to Mere Sands Wood for lunch.

    (Photo HP)
(Photo HP)

Lunch was a companionably warm affair seated round a table in the centre’s lecture room where we heard about the work being done on the site to attract willow tits back to breed. At the feeding station attention focused on Rattus norvegicus and Erithacus rubecula the latter being a particularly red red variety ( cue for song.)

We spent the afternoon walking through the woodland around the lake revelling in the warm sunshine and autumn colours. Dipping into the first hide gave us a juvenile cormorant and two unidentified birds hiding under willow branches. In Ainscough Hide despite the bright sunlight, we saw shoveler, and Redwing Hide gave us good views of great crested grebe and shoveler again. On to Rufford Hide to see close views of a wren and yes a shoveler, this one a female, in the sunshine looking rusty brown in places, going round in circles to stir up the water and the mud.

Arriving back at the car park we left in good spirits after time spent with the sun in our faces, temperatures that would match a summer’s day and ready to face any roadworks on the way home.(HP)

Bird List for Marshside (BP)

  1. Little Grebe
  2. Little Egret
  3. Pink-footed Goose
  4. Greylag Goose
  5. Canada Goose
  6. Shelduck
  7. Wigeon
  8. Gadwall
  9. Teal
  10. Mallard
  11. Moorhen
  12. Lapwing
  13. Knot
  14. Ruff
  15. Black-tailed Godwit
  16. Black-headed Gull
  17. Great Black-backed Gull
  18. Pied Wagtail
  19. Magpie
  20. Greenfinch
  21. Starling

Bird List for Mere Sands Wood (BP)

  1. Little Grebe
  2. Great Crested Grebe
  3. Cormorant
  4. Grey Heron
  5. Mute Swan
  6. Shelduck
  7. Teal
  8. Mallard
  9. Shoveler
  10. Tufted Duck
  11. Moorhen
  12. Coot
  13. Black-headed Gull
  14. Wood Pigeon
  15. Collared Dove
  16. Wren
  17. Dunnock
  18. Blackbird
  19. Robin
  20. Long-tailed Tit
  21. Coal Tit
  22. Great Tit
  23. Blue Tit
  24. Jay
  25. Carrion Crow
  26. Chaffinch

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