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Post Info TOPIC: MARTIN MERE WWT


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MARTIN MERE WWT


Visited Martin Mere yesterday and was quite impressed with the way they have handled the social distancing requirements. (Note by the way, pre-booking is required, even as a member) One way system in operation, limited numbers permitted on site and in the hides which were open and hand cleanser either side of any gates you couldn't open by foot.

Just over 40 species seen in a couple of hours, and quite a few others heard including Grasshopper Warbler and Cuckoo. The highlight being a Wood Sandpiper right in front of the Gordon Taylor hide.

A peregrine falcon was causing havoc amongst the large Lapwing flock with a couple of Marsh Harriers in attendance. Hares were about too.

Thanks to Ian for confirming the id - I was suspicious of the timing, given that spring migration has ended.



-- Edited by Robert Farmer on Tuesday 16th of June 2020 01:47:47 PM

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Late post for Sunday 1st March

2 Greenland White-fronted Geese with flock of Pink-footed Geese from Curlew Lane, Burscough before flying off.

Also:
40+ Corn Bunting - some singing
2 Red-legged Partridge
A few Whoopers Swans



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10.30-14.30

The Long Billed Dowitcher was showing well, although at a distance and through a scope from both the Discovery and

United Utilites hides. It appears to have found a companion to forage with in the form of a Ruff.

An immature Peregrine was causing havoc amongst the Lapwings, gulls and ducks on Vinson's marsh, and had been seen to

attack a Greylag Goose at one point. A female Marsh Harrier, 3 Buzzards and a Kestrel were also seen from the R.Barker hide,

as were a pair of Great White Egrets. 2 adult Mediterranean Gulls were with the numerous Black Heads on Vinson's too.

The Taiga Bean Goose that has been recorded here over the winter is apparently still on the reserve, although tucked away

in a distant part of the marsh. I certainly could not find it, and neither could any of the birders I spoke to there today.

This goose apparently has a badly injured wing and has great difficulty in flying, so it may be around for some time yet.

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John Williams


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Rob Smith wrote:


Long billed Dowitcher showing reasonable well across the lagoon but was best seen from the Raines hide. This bird is thought to be in addition to the Burton Marsh bird?


 

I was at Burton Mere today and thoughts there were that is is the same bird, are there any pictures from today? The folk I discussed it with and I are basing our thoughts on the facts that the Martin Mere bird was there until Sunday, then missing Monday & Tuesday when one was at Burton Mere RSPB. Today the Burton Mere RSPB bird was absent, but one reappeared at Martin Mere WWT. From pictures of the original Martin Mere WWT bird and observers who saw the Burton Mere RSPB bird they thought it was the same. Maybe pictures from today will help on todays bird being the same or different?



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Long billed Dowitcher showing reasonable well across the lagoon but was best seen from the Raines hide. This bird is thought to be in addition to the Burton Marsh bird?

Avocet - ca 48 present


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I'd thought I'd visit again and saw much the same as Monday's visit with an additional 9.
These were.....

A brave mute swan was amongst the whoopers (they usually don't tolerate other swans)
Song thrush
Mistle thrush
Jay
Marsh harrier x4
Collared dove
Wren
Canada goose
Rooks

My favourite highlights include:

Ruff - close
Black tailed godwits - close
Tree sparrow
Barn owl
Sparrowhawk (flew past in style - they seem to be attracted to me this week as it's the 4th day this week they have been showing off in front of me)

Back in Bolton, I was riding back home and a female tawny owl was calling very loudly and I saw her close in a small stumpy tree (mostly silhouetted). Incredible!!!!!

Ta!

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A couple of my friends wanted to visit here, so off we went.

Every year I usually give this reserve one visit at least - and every year I notice gradually fewer whooper swans and shoveler on the main mere. Whether it's just me when I visit days like this or that something else is going on.

Anyway, not managed an as thorough scout as I would normally but nice to finally start getting out again!

Highlights out of 44 species include......

Great spotted woodpecker
Reed bunting
Tree sparrow
2x black tailed godwits close
Ruffs
Stock dove close
Usual Shelducks
Wigeon
Pochard
Teal
Pintail
Lapwings
Kestrel
Sparrowhawk
Buzzard
Barn owl
Little egrets
Great black backed gull
Pink footed geese in their thousands and thousands near dusk


Ta!



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Highlights of todays High Peak RSPB group visit from 12.30-15.45

4+ Marsh Harrier, 12 Ruff, Sparrowhawk, 10 Redwing, 2 Fieldfare, Raven, 100s of Pintail and Shellduck. 50 Whooper Swan, 100 Pink Footed Geese. 3 Stock Dove, Reed Bunting 



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A good solid birding day yesterday (21st August) clocked 58 species at Martin Mere and an additional 3(!) at Marshside. (Curlew, Oystercatcher and Common Gull)

Highlights were the flighty Long Billed Dowitcher (thanks to a kind lady who showed me through her scope in United Utilities Hide and apologies to my friends who didn't get their eyes to the scope before the bird flew!), large numbers of Black Tailed Godwit, several Snipe, at least 6 Greenshank with great elegance, 2 Knott, several Ruff, and 2 Green Sandpipers (Hale Hide).
A female Garganey was resolutely asleep from Ron Barker Hide, and the long staying Whooper Swan was also seen there. A Raven was seen over the car park.

Plenty of Swallows and House Martins and a single Swift.

A relative raptorfest included 2 Buzzard, 2 Marsh Harrier, Peregrine, 2 Kestrel, Hobby and Sparrowhawk.





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Paul


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Day here yesterday:

Goldcrest, chiffchaff, willow warbler, blackcap, whitethroat, reed warbler, sedge warbler, Cetti's warbler (4 heard), tree sparrow, sand martin, house martin, swallow, mistle thrush, etc.
1 swift
1 cuckoo
11 shoveler
10 gadwall
6 tufted duck
3 pochard
150+ shelduck
2 whooper swan
1 little grebe
1 great crested grebe (on nest)
1 (probably 2) ringed plover
50+ lapwing
20+ dunlin
17 black-tailed godwit
c30 avocet
15+ oystercatcher (one chick)
1 curlew (passing through)
1 or 2 little egret
1 or 2 kestrel
2 or 3 buzzard

Walk from Burscough:

1 blackcap
3 whitethroat
3 tree sparrow
4 linnet
2 yellowhammer heard (one singing, one calling)
2 corn bunting
8+ wheatear
6 swallow
2 yellow wagtail
4 pied wagtail
7 skylark
70+ rook
4 lapwing
1 oystercatcher
3 buzzard



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Day spent around here today:

Chiffchaff, willow warbler, blackcap, whitethroat, reed warbler, sedge warbler, Cetti's warbler, tree sparrow, sand martin, house martin, swallow (though few of each; only one swallow), white wagtail, skylark
25+ teal
25+ gadwall
15 shoveler
4 wigeon
1 pintail (a female with a broken wing; seen her here before)
12 tufted duck
6 pochard (4 m 2 f)
c200 shelduck
6 whooper swan
1 mute swan
2 little ringed plover
60+ lapwing
12 ruff
3 redshank
17+ black-tailed godwit
40+ avocet
c20 oystercatcher
2 curlew
2 Mediterranean gull
2 great black-backed gull
1 kestrel
4 buzzard

Walk from Burscough Bridge rail:

3 blackcap
1 whitethroat
4 tree sparrow
2 linnet
1 yellowhammer heard
3 corn bunting
6+ skylark
14+ rook (including occupied nests)
6 lapwing
5 whooper swan (presumably 5 of the 6 noted on the reserve later; 5 seen over from reedbed walk)
2 buzzard

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I was here today from around 11am til just after 4pm.
As craig mentions very quiet & much the same sightings as Craigs but can add a few more...
Sand martin was whizzing around the kingfisher hide in the afternoon & my earliest also.
3 tawny owls
1 marsh harrier
2 buzzard
2 little egret
2 ringed plover
Corn bunting singing as I got out of my car on arrival but couldn't see it. Did get 3 corn bunting down curlew lane just before.



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saburke


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called in for a couple of hours this morning. Very quiet. A Sand Martin through south was the highlight and possibly my earliest ever. Not a let of else of note - Avocets from Ron Barker Hide, Tree Sparrows around the reserve paths and a couple of Ruff and Black-tailed Godwits on the Mere. Very few Pink-footed geese or Whooper Swans now.



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Green Sandpiper in the ditches along Sandy Way / Mere lane on my way between Mere Sands Woods and Martin Mere this morning

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I must have missed you!

Similar birds but the Tree Sparrows were tucked in the bushes leading up to Kingfisher Hide



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Windy and cloudy morning on the reserve but dry. Whooper and Mute Swans, Pink-Footed Geese, Greylag Geese, 1x Greenland Whitefronted Goose, Teal, Pochard, Wigeon, Shelduck Mallard, Tufted Duck, Gadwall, Pintail, Cormorant, Grey Heron. Lapwing, Ruff, Black-Tailed Godwit x2, 1x Tawny Owl, Greenfinch (x1), Goldfinch, Chaffinch, Robin, Blackbird, Magpie, Wood Pigeon, Stock Dove, 3x Marsh Harrier, Blue + Great Tits, Reed Bunting. No Tree Sparrows this week or last week, used to always be a certainty at Kingfisher Hide so not sure what happened.

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A trip to Martin mere was on my "to do" list.

Seen 51 species with several superb highlights including....

My suprise close experience with black tailed godwits - the closest I've physically been to them!! Also the ruffs were showing well too.

First thing in the morning I found 4 little egrets with 2 grey wagtails, and on my walkabouts a sparrowhawk flew past close (and again later), a peregrine was seen twice, a kestrel, buzzard, 2 snipes, reed bunting, pochards were in good numbers but pintails were in small numbers and I couldn't see any shovelers!!

A female goldeneye appeared out of nowhere at 2:30pm from under the water right in front of the discovery hide - it was just a shame the light was from the wrong direction!

I called it quits earlier than i wanted as I didn't want to risk over tiring myself after waking up too early in the morning. So, On my way back i found a flock of corn buntings and several local rooks too.

So overall a great day, and I guess I didn't do too bad either considering the thick cloud up until 2pm.

Ta!



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2 Bearded Tits heard, 1 of which was seen.
Cetti's Warbler 1 heard.
Marsh Harrier 3
Buzzard 3
Kestrel 2
Sparrowhawk 1
Peregrine 1
Ruff
Black-tailed Godwit
Goldeneye 1
Snipe 2
Plenty of the usual wildfowl.
etc.
55 species in total.

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Phil Greenwood


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Hi Gordon, that was my sighting yesterday. I had hoped to see the recent Hen Harrier but a Bittern was quite some compensation, even if it was a brief view. I had a nice day, managed 59 for the day including the walk to and from Burscough.

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Bittern seen in flight over the reed bed, Wednesday 24th October 2018.



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Wood End Marsh 15 Whooper Swans



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Any ideas if the Bittern bred here at all?  I know back in April and May they had a booming bird and maybe 2 caught on a camera trap but then there was no mention except the Inner Reedbed walk opening again? 



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Very blustery day spent round here today:

Sedge warbler, tree sparrow, sand martin, house martin, swallow
2 raven
1 kingfisher
150+ teal
20+ gadwall
5 shoveler
7 tufted duck
1 pochard
20+ shelduck
5 little grebe
1 great crested grebe
170+ lapwing
1 snipe
1 ruff
1 black-tailed godwit
1 little egret
8+ grey heron
1 or 2 great black-backed gull
1 sparrowhawk
1 buzzard

Little over the farmland on the walk from the station, with the following perhaps most notable:

1 chiffchaff
13 tree sparrow
1 corn bunting

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Highlights included:

Hobby 1 hawking dragonflies,etc.
Cuckoo 1 heard.
Ruff 2
Common Tern 2
Water Rail 1 heard on reed bed walk.
Reed Warbler 10+ singing.
Cetti's Warbler 1 singing.
Sedge Warbler 2 singing.
Whitethroat 2 singing.
Avocets.
Black-tailed Godwits.
Reed Buntings 10+ singing.
Pochard 1m 1f plus 2 juvs.
Shelducks with many juvs.
Buzzard 4
Kestrel 2
Shovelers
Teal(s)
etc.etc.etc.

Also a Corn Bunting singing from a wire on Fish Lane.



-- Edited by Ian McKerchar on Wednesday 13th of June 2018 09:59:05 PM

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Phil Greenwood


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10:00-16:00 with granddaughter enjoying activities with a bit of birding

Harrier hide at least 1 booming Bittern fem sparrowhawk hunting

In grounds at least 2 singing Chiffchaffs

Mere c 120 black tailed godwits
C 20 Whooper swans

Ron barker hide

2 Buzzards male Kestrel
Black tailed godwit c 60
Ruff 3
Avocet c 12



-- Edited by Ian McKerchar on Wednesday 4th of April 2018 07:31:11 AM

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Monday 02nd April 2018 - 15.00 - 16.00 - Cold and raining:  Dunnock, Snipe, Blue Tit, Cole Tit, Jay, Wren, Tree Sparrows, Greylag Geese, Chaffinch, Reed Bunting, Bullfinch, Whooper Swans.

 



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Bitterns - 2 booming from the reed bed most days. 1 seen in flight from the Harrier Hide over the week end.



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Enjoyable day spent around here today. Counts:

1 chiffchaff heard singing
13+ tree sparrow (with a couple in and out of nest boxes)
1 raven
c120 teal
20+ wigeon
4 gadwall
15+ shoveler
17+ pintail
25+ tufted duck
8+ pochard (6+ male, 2 female, pair seen mating)
25+ shelduck
6 pink-footed geese
31 whooper swan
2 mute swan
c4 little grebe
c10 lapwing
6 redshank
1 ruff
1 snipe
85+ black-tailed godwit
60 avocet
45+ oystercatcher
1 little egret
5+ grey heron
c400 black-headed gull, with courtship from several pairs
1 Mediterranean gull
1 kestrel
5+ buzzard

Walk from station to reserve; always an enjoyable part of the day:

Greenfinch, goldfinch, chaffinch
1 reed bunting
1 yellowhammer
1 corn bunting singing
1 meadow pipit
3 pied wagtail
2 skylark singing
9+ fieldfare
30+ rook
1 red-legged partridge
2 shelduck
2 lapwing
500+ black-headed gull
4 - 6 Mediterranean gull
4 - 7 common gull
40+ lesser black-backed gull
13 herring gull

As that list implies, two good sized gull flocks in fields being ploughed; Mediterranean gulls present in both (2 each), though a good couple of hundred birds flew from one field to the other as I walked between them (first flock in excess of 400 black-headed gull alone), so could have been the same pair; also two separate birds over nearer the reserve.

-- Edited by Shannon Llewellyn on Sunday 1st of April 2018 10:52:43 PM

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Lunchtime / early pm visit in brightening conditions. 1 x barn owl hunting along the fence line out on Vinsons Marsh. Avocets feeding from the pools in front of Ron Barker, also 3 x little egret from Kingfisher / Ron Barker and later 1 at United Utilities. Much tree sparrow activity in the nestboxes along the footpaths but the mere itself looking a lot quieter a scattering of whooper swans, a big huddle of black-tailed godwits on one of the islands and 2 x Mediterranean gulls on the small spit to the left of Raines Observatory. Just inside the collection area the first mallard brood I've seen this year, six ducklings.

On homeward journey a female sparrowhawk in unsuccessful pursuit of a woodpigeon through Parbold village.

 



-- Edited by Jeff Gorse on Friday 30th of March 2018 04:18:18 PM

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Bittern booming from the reed bed this morning



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12-3pm Today:
-422 Teal
-394 Wigeon
-390 Shelduck
-381 Pink-Footed Geese
-372 Lapwing
-298 Whooper Swan
-225 Black-Headed Gulls
-195 Greylag Geese
-159 Mallard
-133 Pintail
-88 Starling
-87 Ruff
-75 Canada Geese
-47 Moorhen
-41 Avocet
-38 Coot
-36 Woodpigeon
-33 Feral Pigeon
-32 Cormorant
-28 Tufted Duck
-17 Black-Tailed Godwit
-16 Robin (14 Singing)
-15 Pochard
-15 Tree Sparrow
-14 Chaffinch (6 Singing)
-13 Oystercatcher
-11 Goldfinch
-11 Jackdaw
-8 Blue Tit
-7 Pheasant
-6 Greenfinch
-6 Mute Swan
-6 Reed Bunting
-4 Blackbird
-4 Buzzard
-4 Little Egret
-4 Wren (3 Singing)
-3 Gadwall
-3 Great Tit
-3 Grey Heron
-3 Lesser Black-Backed Gulls
-2 Carrion Crow
-2 Long-Tailed Tit
-2 Magpie
-2 Marsh Harrier
-2 Song Thrush
-2 Sparrowhawk
-1 Collared Dove
-1 Pied Wagtail
-1 Shoveler

50 species seen

c200 Whooper Swan, 7 Rook and pair of Grey Partridge in fields opposite Martin Mere.


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Enjoyable day spent around here today; Harrier Hide was being shut up when I arrived there, so no chance to stake out the reed bed there, even for a short time. Plenty to see, with thousands of birds on site. Lovely day for it, too. Highlights:

10+ tree sparrow
7 skylark
12+ stock dove
1 water rail
300+ teal
1 gadwall
4 shoveler
1,000+ wigeon
60+ pintail
15+ tufted duck
7 pochard
231+ shelduck
300+ pink-footed geese
297 whooper swan
1 little grebe
1,200+ lapwing
50+ ruff
c20 black-tailed godwit
4 avocet
24+ oystercatcher
2 little egret
1 grey heron
1 great black-backed gull
1 kestrel
1 peregrine
2+ buzzard
2 marsh harrier

Walk from Burscough Bridge station to reserve:

4+ tree sparrow
c15 linnet
40+ corn bunting
1 grey wagtail
65+ skylark (a couple up and singing)
70+ starling
c5 redwing
70+ fieldfare
3 mistle thrush
50+ rook
8+ stock dove
2 whooper swan over
1 kestrel
1 buzzard

Singing blackbird heard from platform when waiting for train home.


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Bittern booming from the reedbed today



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Early afternoon visit, bright but bitterly cold. Highlights :-

3 x marsh harrier quartering the fields in the strong wind, viewed from Raines Observatory.

Several pairs of pochard in front of Discovery Hide, also usual good numbers of pintail, shelduck, wigeon. Black-tailed godwit and ruff here also.

Little egret from the Ron Barker Hide.

Most feeding station activity was at Kingfisher and not Janet Kear hide - tree sparrow, greenfinch, goldfinch, 3 x male pheasant, great spotted woodpecker and a busy bank vole darting around right in front of the windows.

Reedbed Walk is closed at present.



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Yesterday 31st January 2018, a Bittern was seen from "Outer Reedbed Walk"



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Yesterday (Sunday 7th) Bittern reported from Ron Barker hide.



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around 1 degree but blue sunny skies today at Martin Mere.

Kingfisher Hide:
Tree Sparrows x7
Blue Tit, Great Tit, Wood Pigeon, Magpie, Chaffinch, Greenfinch (just one), Blackbird. Looked for this tree that is a regular roost for the tawny owl very carefully but could not spot it despite spending quite some time looking up around Kingfisher hide (upper and lower area). Is anyone able to describe the tree in more detail? (big ask i know!!).

Ron Barker Hide: Buzzard, Water Rail, Kestrel of note and regulars. No Kingfisher, Linnet or Egrets of any kind though this time.

Plenty of pink footed geese, quite a spectacle still, all three swans, Pintail, cormorants, Teal, Tufted Duck, Greylag Goose, Song Thrush, 1 white farmyard looking goose, lapwing, Ruff.

-- Edited by Rene Griffiths on Sunday 7th of January 2018 04:18:44 PM

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Early afternoon visit in misty and murky conditions. Sightings included :-

Kestrel showing well from Kingfisher and later even better from Ron Barker hides. Also 2x buzzard, 1 x peregrine

2 x little grebe in the dyke at the front of Ron Barker. Little egret also briefly seen here before it flew off to the adjacent farmland.

Large numbers of pintail, teal, shelduck, wigeon whooper swan and greylag goose on the mere, a handful of pochard and tufted duck. Pink-footed geese began accumulating on the outer marsh as the afternoon went on.

Ruff and lapwing in good numbers.

A stoat foraging along the bank in front of Ron Barker hide.



-- Edited by Jeff Gorse on Friday 22nd of December 2017 05:29:21 PM

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On Saturday I visited Martin Mere WWT for the first time in over 10 years!! Wow so much has changed. I must admit I was pleasantly surprised and didn't think that it felt so much like a theme park as I had done on my last visit. I was invited along by friends who are WWT members and for a change Carys & I had a day out there with them. Once away from the visitor centre and collection areas the hides were not too busy (apart from Swan Feed) and we really enjoyed it.

Highlights included a juvenile Greenland White-fronted Goose from United Utilities Hide, found by GM's own Rob Adderley, nice to say hi to Rob & Sonia. A Barn Owl showed at dusk to just three of us in Rob Barker Hide, always a fabulous sight. A Water Rail was seen earlier from the same hide, showing well in the closest ditch. Other good birds were two Kingfishers, a Peregrine, a few Golden Plovers in with distant Lapwings, a couple of Marsh Harriers, several Goldeneye, a large flock of 40 or so Fieldfares, several of which landed near Ron Barker Hide, Cetti's Warbler, Tree Sparrows, large numbers of Ruff, and of course the sight & sound of thousands of Pink-footed Geese and Whooper Swans. 65 species seen, we mustn't leave it as long to come back again!



-- Edited by Doc Brewster on Monday 20th of November 2017 04:19:03 PM

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Superb walk around the outskirts of the reserve this morning following the reedbed path.

Highlight was a flyover Hawfinch at 11.45, calling loudly and quite low. Also Marsh Harrier, Chiffchaff by sewerage works, 1000 Whooper Swan, 2000 Pink Footed Geese, 2 Fieldfare, Kingfisher. 

Intriguingly, a very grey looking snipe like bird was flushed out of  a field by a Common Buzzard , flew above my head, and looked bigger than a Common Snipe. Bill was huge, in my mind looked good for Long Billed  Dowitcher,  but couldn't clinch it with a rump view.



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Mid to late afternoon visit encompassing the vast starling murmuration from Harrier Hide. Other sightings :-

Pintail and shelduck in ambundant evidence on the Mere along with good numbers of teal, wigeon, mallard, greylag. Handful of shoveler and pochard and single goldeneye (f). Relatively low numbers of whooper swan, less than 20 during the afternoon with the bulk out foraging in the surrounding farmland no doubt. Large flocks of pink-footed geese on the marsh with even larger skeins coming in as dusk fell.

Lapwing, black-tailed godwit, snipe and ruff in good numbers, the latter including a very striking bird with a totally white head and breast foraging at the Raines Observatory.

The Janet Kear feeders very quiet save for the omnipresent rat brood. However Kingfisher Hide was busier with fieldfare and redwing in the surrounding trees and goldfinch, tree sparrow and chaffinch on the feeders.

Buzzard and kestrel seen over the Mere / along the entrance road.



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A fine day out and with 54 species, highlights included....

Close encounters of a treecreeper by the kingfisher hide, with goldcrest and, kingfisher, and along where the old Swan hide was, there was a snipe in full view along the waters edge giving me the best opportunity for some ace pictures in many years (a lapwing didn't like him and tried a few times to mob him), and there was a few skylarks over too. I was impressed with the number of cettis warblers on the reserve now as there was at least 4 individuals i know of. Reed buntings were seen at the feeders too!

Other birds to note was thousands and thousands of pink footed geese, usual pintail, wigeon, teal, gadwall, and a kestrel eating a vole on a post.

I was on foot this time from the station and the walk to the reserve added grey wagtail, house sparrow side by side with tree sparrows which was nice to see, mistle thrush and meadow pipit.

The only hitch was I couldn't get any lunch at all as the queues were unbelievable all day and only one till in operation, so ive unfortunately decided any future visits I will take my own lunch from now on!

Todays pics will be released starting next Friday as I've got all weeks to sort now!!!

Ta!

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Long billed dowitcher spotted around 13:20. Distant mostly roosting views from United Utilities Hide against the light for the next hour and then I left.

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I was originally planning to visit Leighton moss but circumstances didn't permit that to happen. So influenced by the reports of the long billed dowitcher I went to Martin mere instead.

When I arrived i went straight to the United utilities hide before it got crowded, I was wrong to assume that, so as the dowitcher lifer would have been a bonus to my trip, I decided to do my rounds to enjoy the wildlife as I normally do but just before I did, someone upstairs said "found it", and everybody but me and another dashed upstairs (as it happens, it was a false alarm) but as I did my rounds, it made me wonder how many in that hide would have seen more then 40 species.....

Out of 52 species seen today, highlights included, A drake pochard posing whilst feeding close, little stint found twice in the day (new for my Martin mere list), 3 whooper swans seen, over 12 mute swans, Marsh harrier, a very pale lesser black backed gull adult, pintail, 14 stock doves, buzzard, skylark, meadow pipit, little grebe and 20+ snipe.

At from lunch tI'll 2:30, i went around the reedbed walk, I loved it as an addition to my usual rounds, when I got back to the United utilities hide, there was only 3 other people in it, so I sat down and guess what? The long billed dowitcher turned up, though briefly!! Many thanks to the guys who found it!!!! Gave reasonably good views and though many have said it's snipe like, it's surprisingly much different from the snipe if you know your waders well enough.

So a lifer and 2 reserve firsts, a bonus indeed!!!!!!!biggrin

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Day spent here today, mainly for the pink-footed goose extravaganza; not many seen in flight whilst walking from the train station (path from there still out of use, btw), but many thousands (10-12k?) on the reserve, frequently spooked and put up whilst blethering away to each other constantly, a lovely spectacle.

Best of the rest:

1 chiffchaff
4 Cetti's warbler heard, two on around a smallish pond (one on each side) as you enter from the farmland, and two on reed-bed walk.
c15 tree sparrow
1 kingfisher
10+ stock dove
1 water rail heard (reed-bed walk)
900+ teal
30+ gadwall
c25 shoveler
130+ wigeon
3 pintail
4 tufted duck
6 shelduck
12 whooper swan
4 mute swan
900+ lapwing
c30 ruff (including a stunning partially leucistic bird with a snow-white head and neck)
22 snipe
5 grey heron
1 great black-backed gull
1 kestrel
3+ buzzard
5 marsh harrier

Farmland from station to reserve:

3+ tree sparrow
7 linnet
1 reed bunting
12 corn bunting
7 meadow pipit
1 pied wagtail
1 grey wagtail
60+ skylark
3 jay
30+ rook
1 stock dove



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Date:

Saturday 7th mid to late morning visit in blustery showers. Sightings included :-

Large flocks of pink-footed geese, with skeins of multiple thousands flying over Southport at sunset

Approx 20 whooper swans now present. Numbers of wigeon and teal noticeably increased since my visit a few weeks previously, also small numbers of shelduck and shoveller.

Ruff in increased numbers.

Little grebe foraging on the pond at Ron Barker hide.

Tree sparrow, goldfinch, chaffinch and greenfinch in good numbers at Janet Kear, also single coal tit, smaller numbers of blue and great tit, 2 x grey wagtail and a brief flash of kingfisher over the pond. More brown rats on here than I've seen in a long time as well.

Kestrel being mobbed by crows over Kingfisher hide, also one hunting over the farmland adjacent to Reedbed Walk. Buzzard on the fence posts from United Utilities hide.



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Date:

Lunchtime / early afternoon visit in cloudy and breezy conditions before the rain. Lots of raptors recorded there of late - I picked up 2 marsh harriers and 4 buzzards (best viewed from Ron Barker or UU hides) and a kestrel over farmland from the Reedbed Walk.

Lots of greylag on the main mere and big build ups of pink-footed geese on the outer waters. Also good numbers of snipe, lapwing, ruff - largely out on the fields at present.

Goldfinch, tree sparrow, chaffinch and greenfinch competing with the mallards and rats on Janet Kear feeding station.

Wigeon, teal and pintail scattered amongst the mallard and greylag on the main mere - teal most abundant at present.



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Date:

Bittern seen in flight from the outer reed bed walk



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Date:

Visited last Sunday 16th:
Oystercatcher
Linnet x2
Buzzard
Kestrel
Tree Sparrows
Blue+Great+ long tailed tit
goldfinch
Chaffinch
the usuals

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Date:

Bittern seen today in flight and flying down into reedbed



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