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Post Info TOPIC: MARTIN MERE WWT


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RE: MARTIN MERE WWT


Spur of the moment visit on Sunday morning...

Cloudy, blustery day with a little drizzle.

My first hack around the new reed bed walk was rewarded with a flyover male cuckoo and charming Little Grebes. Reed buntings were still very vocal as were reed and sedge warblers.

The United Utilities hide affording views across Woodend Marsh gave up a pair of common terns, many black tailed godwits, avocets, swifts, house martins, etc. and was capped by a pair of SPOONBILL flying in. After an initial dive bomb welcome from the local lapwings the pair were allowed to settle. A Barn Owl was spotted hunting in the fields on the far side of the marsh. 11am, blustery and drizzle are not the BO's usual modus operandi and gives away hungry young mouths to feed. Numerous Tree Sparrows from the Kingfisher hide were the last tick on a 52 species day.

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Full morning visit in what started as utterly miserable, wet and windy conditions and eventually dried out a bit. Highlights :-

Cuckoo seen from Reedbed Walk, also much swift and house martin activity alongside the usual reed and sedge warbler and reed buntings.

Very busy at the Janet Kear feeding station with family broods of tree sparrow, blue tit, great tit, goldfinch, chaffinch, moorhen and mallard. Also a single great spotted woodpecker and greenfinch.

Across the reserve lots of young mallard, coot, moorhen and shelduck. Little egret seen from Kingfisher Hide along with good views of singing sedge warbler. Avocet, oystercatcher and black-tailed godwit. Two great black-backed gulls lurking ominously on the main water body.

Just off the reserve 4 x corn bunting and a hunting barn owl in the surrounding fields



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Day spent here today; absolutely belted it down on the walk to the reserve, and I was a hair-breadth away from giving it up as a bad job. Very glad I didn't. Highlights:

Station to reserve:

1 whitethroat
1 reed bunting
3 yellowhammer
12+ corn bunting
10+ house martin
3 pied wagtail
2 yellow wagtail
c10 skylark
4 rook
20+ stock dove
13 shelduck (in someone's garden)
c15 lapwing
1 oystercatcher
1 buzzard

Main reserve:

Goldcrest, chiffchaff, willow warbler, blackcap, whitethroat, reed warbler, sedge warbler, Cetti's warbler, tree sparrow (lots), linnet, reed bunting (lots), swallow, house martin, skylark, song thrush, etc.
10+ swift
1 cuckoo
Moorhen and coot with broods.
1 teal
7 gadwall
3 shoveler
5 wigeon
1 pintail (female with damaged wing)
c15 tufted duck
5 pochard
79+ shelduck
3 mute swan
4+ little grebe
2 great crested grebe (one on nest)
1 ringed plover
30+ lapwing
1 little stint (first time I've seen one in spring plumage)
4 redshank
25 black-tailed godwit
14 avocet
5 oystercatcher (including one chick)
2 little egret
4 grey heron
1 little gull
300+ black-headed gull

Cracking day, with the new reedbed walk from the Harrier Hide an excellent addition (especially if you're partial to reed buntings; never seen so many outside a winter flock); spectacular views of the female cuckoo sat on a fence directly in front of the hide from here; very much the highlight. Fantastic day though it's been, I am, though, extremely glad to be out of my wet socks.

Worth noting, too, that if you're coming here by train, the path immediately from the station has been closed, so you now have to walk around the village to the level crossing; adds around 10-15 minutes to the walk.

-- Edited by Shannon Llewellyn on Monday 29th of May 2017 11:02:36 PM

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Mid-morning to lunchtime in overcast conditions.

Main reserve - scattering of avocets including a pair evidently preparing for a new brood. 2 male wigeon and 2 male shoveller mixed amongst the usual shelduck and mallard summer waterfowl.

Reedbed walk - far more productive. Large numbers of singing reed warbler and smaller numbers of sedge warbler and whitethroat. Little egret, grey heron, kestrel hunting over the adjacent farmland. Wren with fledged young and best sighting a female cuckoo patrolling the reedbeds directly across from the Harrier Hide, to the displeasure of the reed warblers.

Also a beautiful banded demoiselle near the United Utilities hide.



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I was working in the Southport area and stopped off at Martin Mere on the way back.  Nothing special to add - no rarities on the reserve and no passage migrants.  I was hoping to take some photographs of Warblers and any butterflies although it did not plan out that well.  Main targets were  Reed Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Whitethroat and Grasshopper Warbler- the latter reeling on the newly opened Reed bed Walk.  2-3 Brimstone butterflies and some Chaser dragonflies were nice to see.  Neither was in the mood to pose though. 

Martin Mere have opened up a new walk opposite the Harrier Hide - it can be accessed from here and loops through the reed bed and onto United Utilities Hide - I think you can get to the two viewing screens but that does not appear encouraged.   It adds a much better perspective to the reserve and enables those who spend too much time in cafes (me) to burn a few of those calories off.  Makes me wonder though any reason for so many bushes in the reed bed?  I am surprised a lot of it has not been cleared out to manage the place.    



-- Edited by Sarfraz Hayat on Wednesday 10th of May 2017 10:57:00 PM

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Booming bittern heard this morning. A bittern also seen around lunchtime near the harrier hide.



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An interesting visit yesterday with my family; totalling 50 species. Highlights includes 4 Mediterranean gulls (a couple of whic gave fantastic views), ringed plover, blackcap, tree sparrows close, redshank briefly close, pochard, and on a nice walk back to the station we had skylarks, corn bunting and a wonderful suprise- around half a dozen yellowhammers -a 1st Martin Mere area record for me!!

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This morning from the reedbed walk, a bittern seen in flight from the 2nd viewing screenn



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Visited the reserve from 10am until closing at 16.30, other than the first hour which was cloudy, the weather was dull, cool and misty, accompanied by a heavy drizzle.

Sightings similar to Shannon's below although probably saw in excess of 40 Ruff. Spent an hour or so from the Ron Barker Hide trying to find the Green winged Teal but failed miserably!

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Day spent around here today; some of the highlights:

Station to reserve:

3 linnet
Goldfinch, greenfinch, chaffinch
3 reed bunting
6 yellowhammer
50+ corn bunting
1 pied wagtail
c25 skylark
2 mistle thrush
40+ rook
8 stock dove
1 snipe
1 - 3 buzzard

Main reserve:

15+ tree sparrow
1 song thrush
2 stock dove
1 green-winged teal
1,000+ teal
1,000+ wigeon
60+ pintail
c300 shelduck
12+ pochard
8 tufted duck
2 pink-footed geese
c70 whooper swan
2,500+ lapwing
11 snipe
5 ruff
17+ black-tailed godwit
2 little egret
28 cormorant
2 great black-backed gull
1 buzzard
All the usuals.

Otter from the Harrier Hide.



-- Edited by Shannon Llewellyn on Sunday 15th of January 2017 10:38:24 PM

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10.30-2pm in murky conditions.

1 Mediterranean gull
1 buzzard
1 possibly 2 little egret
1 great black backed gull
1 tawny owl
1 goldcrest
20+ ruff
2 black tailed godwit
4 snipe
2 goldeneye
whooper swan
pink-footed goose
shelduck
pintail
wigeon
teal
pochard
shoveler
tufted duck
plenty of lapwings around
plenty of tree sparrows around
plus all the usuals around.



smile

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saburke


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By far this has been the best birding day out this year!!! With 55 species seen in total, the main highlights include; the dark phase snow goose which arrived on his own just before 11am and gave some belting views later from the kingfisher hide. The Green winged teal showed exceptionally well from the brook right outside the Ron barker hide at 3:30th also a female kingfisher in the morning along with 2 water rails in full view. Also a barn owl was seen close at dusk on New Lane as I was passing after leaving the centre. Other highlights included a little egret, merlin (distant), 3 buzzards, female marsh harrier, skylark, fieldfare, snipe, black tailed godwit (close) and a little grebe.... that's me for now- many thanks.

-- Edited by Richard Thew on Monday 2nd of January 2017 08:38:03 PM

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10-4pm

1 green-winged teal, found it preening at first on the grass inbetween vinsons & sunleys from the ron barker hide then feeding with the other teals on the back of sunleys.
3 buzzards
1 sparrowhawk
2 kestrels
1 kingfisher
1 little egret
as you would expect at this time of year there was big numbers of wildfowl....
pink-footed geese
whooper swans
shelducks
teal
wigeon
pintail
3 goldeneye on the mere
pochard
shoveler
gadwall
tufted duck
lapwings all around
43+ ruff
15 snipe
3 black tailed godwit
2 great black backed gulls
plus all the usuals around.

I also had 6 corn buntings on curlew lane before here.
smile

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day out for the "NW Birdwatchers Festival", ended up hardly looking through the festival though as we were having so much fun on the reserve :)

3 Marsh Harriers
2 Tree Sparrows
Greenfinch
Blue+Great Tit
Robin
Blackbird
Wood Pigeon
Magpie
Teal
Goldeneye
Pintail
Buzzard
Pheasant
Carrion Crow
Rook
Shelduck
Pink footed geese
Greylag geese
White Fronted Geese
Mallard
Mute Swan
Bewicks Swan
Whooper Swan
Black headed Gull
Herring Gull
Gadwall
Kestrel
Starling
Wigeon
Ruff
one or two Redshank
Lapwing
Grey Heron
Tufted Duck
Probably a few others I forgot


Others said they saw 2 Peregrine Falcons and an Owl (possibly short-eared). There was also some hijinks at Ron Barker hide where a big white bird that people thought was an owl or raptor was almost hovering near the trees... we had left the hide and then went back to have another look upon hearing about it. We were pretty convinced this had a wire attached to it and was actually a kite or bird scarer - pesky!

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An interesting day with 51 species found. Highlights including 2 white fronted geese amongst 30000 pink footed geese, a Jay, a kingfisher that kept hovering along the brook from the United utilities hide with also a female pied wagtail landed on the ground floor roof within a couple of feet from the upstairs hide windows, goldcrest, grey wagtail, a dozen plus snipes and a flock of redwings flying over. The Swan link hide no longer exists which surprised me (although the new discovery hide was built to replace it), they have put a couple of screens in place which are quite neat! Thanks......

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The day spent around here today, mainly for the pink-footed geese, who put on a good show; thousands seen in the air on the walk to and from the station, and thousands more on the reserve, occasionally being put up en masse. Always worth the trip at this time of year. Some of the other species encountered included:

From station to reserve:

3+ goldcrest
6 tree sparrow
1 (several other probables) linnet
10+ corn bunting
10+ meadow pipit
1 grey wagtail
40+ skylark
Jackdaw and rook
2 stock dove
1 kestrel
1 buzzard

Main reserve:

4+ goldcrest
1 blackcap
15+ tree sparrow
c500 starling
8 stock dove
c300 teal
7 shoveler
c20 gadwall
200+ wigeon
4 pintail
1 tufted duck
300+ greylag geese
5 - 10 whooper swan
6 little grebe
600+ lapwing
28+ snipe
15+ ruff
16 black-tailed godwit
1 buzzard
1 marsh harrier (fairly distant, and being harassed by a much smaller raptor, which was almost certainly a sparrowhawk)

The board also said a yellow-browed warbler was about, but I didn't see that. Also, sadly, a couple of greenfinch with trichomonosis.


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930-13.30 today with Dave Morris, Dave's first visit to the reserve and a few lifers as a result I believe.

38 species in a fairly relaxed wander around, the main thing was the arrival in giant flocks of a couple of thousand Pink-footed Geese, against a bright blue sky the sight and sound was wonderful. These are birds fresh in I guess? By the time we left, the main water and most of the immediate fields were carpeted, if you can carpet water...nothing scarcer I could see in amongst them.

Other highlights were a juvenile Marsh Harrier perched up really close on the edge of the Mere, which gave us a couple of close fly-bys, and a quick look at the currently present Pectoral Sandpiper viewed from the UU Hide. It was skulking in vegetation so we were lucky with it. Other birds were as you'd expect, plenty of Ruff and Snipe, chirpy Tree Sparrows, hundreds of Teal, first handfuls of Wigeon and the odd Pintail.




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Friday 30th. 7000+ pink-footed Geese

-- Edited by Ian McKerchar on Saturday 1st of October 2016 03:48:39 PM

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Y'day 21 Sept, pm

1 Greenland White-Fronted Goose, from Ron Barker
1+ Kingfisher (h), from United Utilities
1+ Green Sandpiper (h), from Ron Barker
15 Ruff, from United Utilities
1 Marsh harrier (ad f)
1 Peregrine, caught prey (possibly a teal)
Many Lapwing
2000++ Pinkfoot Geese
1 Snipe
1 Grey Heron
4 Buzzard
2+ Swallow

Also reported by others earlier on:
1+ Little Stint, from United Utilities & Ron Barker
1 Pectoral Sandpiper, from Ron Barker but was flushed by Peregrine

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Nice, if very blustery, day spent around here today; highlights:

Station to reserve (always as enjoyable as the reserve itself):

1 chiffchaff
2 whitethroat
c30 tree sparrow
1 linnet
3 reed bunting
1 yellowhammer
25+ corn bunting
10+ swallow
20+ house martin
1 skylark
20+ rook
4 grey partridge

Main reserve:

1 chiffchaff
1 sedge warbler
2 tree sparrow chicks poking their heads out of a nest box (only one adult seen)
25+ stock dove
300+ teal
30+ gadwall
6 shoveler
2 wigeon
1 shelduck
3 tufted duck
4 whooper swan
4 little grebe
200+ lapwing
1 snipe
2 common sandpiper
1 green sandpiper
1 redshank
15+ ruff
5 black-tailed godwit
8 grey heron
1 hobby (Finally!)
1 (or 2) buzzard
2 (at least) marsh harrier (fabulous views of one from the Ron Barker hide)

Usuals in all their different shapes and sizes.

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I took my friend out who has recently recovered from not been well over the past 2 months to Martin mere for the day. Saw 45 species including goldcrest, stock dove, buzzard, Marsh harrier, chiffchaff, green sandpiper, ruff, snipe, black tailed godwit, and 4 moorhens that were persisting with fighting with each other for over half an hour at the feeding station- one in particular was trying to chase the other 3 away.

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Quiet - both people and bird wise.

Didn't see the kingfisher at Ron Barker Hide but others reported having seen it before I arrived (of course.. :)
Only bird of note that I saw myself was a Marsh Harrier

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10.00-14.30

1 Buzzard, 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 Kestrel, 8 Little Ringed Plovers, 2 Common Sandpipers, 100+ Black tailed Godwits, 3 Whooper Swans, 16 Oystercatchers,

2 Little Egrets, a single drake Wigeon plus masses of Lapwings, Black Headed Gulls etc. Lots of newly fledged Black Headed Gulls around too, although the Avocets have all moved on.


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Late post for yesterday:

Mallard - 180 (inc. 23 chicks)
Shelduck - 200 (inc. 2 chicks)
Moorhen - 60 (inc. 9 chicks)
Coot - 30 (inc. 2 chicks)
Wigeon - 4 on Mere
Ruff - 3 including a male in breeding plumage
Black-Tailed Godwit - 2
Curlew Sandpiper - 2 (LIFER) on Mere
Lapwing - 46 (inc. 4 chicks)
Pintail - 2 on Mere
Greylag Goose - 1 on Mere
Avocet - 17 (inc. 5 chicks)
Tufted Duck - 5
Black-Headed Gull - 100 (inc. 30 chicks on Mere)
Oystercatcher - 7
Gadwall - 10
Great-Crested Grebe - 1 on nest from Harrier Hide
Little Grebe - 1 also from Harrier Hide
Mute Swan - 1
Shoveler - pair from Ron Barker Hide
Whooper Swan - 2
Grey Heron - 2
Canada Goose - 29 (inc. 4 chicks)
Blue Tit - 3
Great Tit - 2
Long-Tailed Tit - 4
Blackbird - 4
Mistle Thrush - 1 carrying food
Sand Martin - 1
House Martin - 2
Swift - 2
Swallow - 4
Pied Wagtail - 3
Chaffinch - 9
Feral Pigeon - 30
Woodpigeon - 5
Collared Dove - 1
Robin - 3
Dunnock - 2
Wren - 1
Chiffchaff - 5
Blackcap - 2
Reed Warbler - 1
Magpie - 2
Great Spotted Woodpecker - 1
Sparrowhawk - 1 from Janet Kear Hide
Kestrel - 1 from Ron Barker Hide
Reed Bunting - 2
Starling - 35
Jackdaw - 4
Carrion Crow - 4 including one that took a Lapwing chick
Rook - 1
Pheasant - 1


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May 24th. Around edge of kingfisher pool from kingfisher hide...1 Cetti's warbler..feeding..(watched on/off for around 5 minutes. Also on sunleys marsh 1 little egret.

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Not quite Martin Mere, but on my way home from Ainsdale I headed Curlew Lane way and picked up one singing Corn Bunting on the wires and two Red-legged Partridges in the fields.



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2nd May 11.30-2.30pm

A cold day here. Highlights included:
1 Swift (my first of the year)
1 Common Tern
2 Trees Sparrows seen and more heard in the undergrowth.
1 Corn Bunting singing on Curlew Lane (Outside of the reserve)
1 Common Whitethroat singing

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Nice day spent here today. Highlights:

From station to reserve:

4 meadow pipit
2 pied wagtail
2 tree sparrow (one poking its head out of a nestbox)
4 yellowhammer
23 corn bunting (all together; one singing)
3 skylark (one singing)
Jackdaw and rook (both with pairs beginning to nest build around the station)
3 stock dove
10+ lapwing (several displaying)
3 greylag geese
c40 black-headed gull (following a tractor ploughing a field)
3 buzzard
Plenty of singing dunnock, and gold and greenfinch in good numbers.

Reserve:

1 chiffchaff (singing; first of the year)
2 long-tailed tit nest building
Tree sparrow and reed bunting in good numbers
Hundreds of teal, wigeon, shelduck, whooper swan and black-headed gull
c15 pintail, 5 or so shoveler and 2 gadwall
3 pochard (two males and a female; on a small pond in the reedbeds)
30+ pink-footed geese
40+ ruff
2 redshank
5 black-tailed godwit
23 avocet
c50 oystercatcher
1 tawny owl
5+ buzzard
Lapwing, greylag geese, cormorant and all the other usuals.

As an aside, a Ross's goose on the mere; obviously of dubious origin, but still nice to see, and the eiders in the collection are beginning to display, which is hilarious. Frankie Howerd's born again.

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A really enjoyable leap day at Martin Mere.  Stars of the show were...

Whooper Swans - reliably informed that there are still about 1,000 around, certainly hundreds were on site.  Such fun to watch them bugling away together!

Marsh Harrier - at least one 'cream-crown' harrier seen hunting, from United Utilities hide, Raines Observatory and Ron Barker hide

Ruff - about 50 from UU hide and a few feeding right in front of Raines

Barn Owl - just a delight to watch one hunting from Ron Barker hide - it flushed several Snipe, in the process

Plenty of Wigeon, Pintails, Shelduck, Lapwing
9 Pink-footed Geese
1 Black-tailed Godwit
1 Pochard
1 Ross's Goose

Tawny Owl roosting (but well hidden)
Tree Sparrows

 



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7 Avocet 2 Barn Owl 2 Merlin 3 Marsh Harriet

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My original plan for the day was to drive over to the Wirral, but with high winds whipping around (at least in the morning) I decided that somewhere sheltered might be a better idea.  ITs a fe years since I last visited Martin Mere and I was pleased to say that there were a lot more birds present than the last time I was here. I spent most of my time in the Discovery and United Utilities hides with a half hour or so at the end of the day at the Ken Barrett Hide.

While I do normally try to count numbers ( to add to my Birdtrack records), there were just too many birds on the Mere and too much activity from the birds, prompted to some degree by Marsh Harrier(s) and Peregrine that were hunting. I recall some of the WWT estimates for numbers, but by no means all of them

c1650 Whooper Swan

1 Berwick Swan (seen by one of the WWT staff around 3PM)

1000+ Wigeon

1000+ Teal

500+ Shelduck

c350 Pintail (I've never seen so many)

1000+ Pink-footed Geese (These were off the reserve most of the day, so I only saw a small part of the est 5000 in the area)

1-200 Mallard, c20 Tufted Duck, c10 Pochard and a handfull of Gadwall

4000+ Lapwing (with, reportedly some Ruff in amongst them)

c50 Oystercatcher

1-2 Marsh Harrier (4 reported)

2-3 Buzzard

1 Peregrine

3-400 Black Headed Gull, 1 Herring Gull and brief glimpse of probably Great Black-backed Gull 

A small number of Pheasant and Reed Bunting plus typical tits and finches on the feeders.

I had 42 species in all and a few welcome year-ticks.

Not seen by me, but reported from the Ron Barker Hide - 1+ Barn Owl giving great views mid-afternoon, 1 Kingfisher



-- Edited by Charles Farrell on Saturday 30th of January 2016 01:24:36 PM

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2 marsh harrier
3 barn owl (first time I have seen 3 birds together; all from the Ron barker hide
1 tawny owl
3 buzzard
1 sparrow hawk
3 ruff
1000 whooper swan
Maybe a couple of thousand pink footed geese
300 teal
400 wigeon
200 pintail
600 shelduck
30 pochard
2 male goldeneye
4 tree sparrow
1 stonechat
15 fieldfare
20 long tailed tits


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10.30-4.15pm.  51 species seen.

hundreds of whooper swans spread around, not a lot of pink footed geese around, lots coming in late on, 1 ross's goose.

big numbers of teal all around, eventually paid of for me just before 4pm when I located the green-winged teal from the united utilities hide but all teal were soon put up by something.

wigeon, pintail, shelduck, pochard, shoveler, gadwall, tufted duck, no sign of the goldeneye.

30+ruff amongst the many of thousands of lapwings around.

3 marsh harrier, 3-4 buzzard, 2 barn owl, 2 tawny owl, short-eared owl had been seen but not by me, 1 peregrine falcon, 1 sparrowhawk, 2 kestrel.

2 stonechat, 1 kingfisher, 7 snipe, 2 goldcrest, plus all the usuals around smile



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Really enjoyable visit this afternoon with surprisingly good weather for once.

-540 Whooper Swans (Majority on mere)
-220 Greylag Geese (All on mere)
-450 Shelduck (Split between mere, harrier and Vinson's Marsh)
-900 Teal (Most on Vinson's Marsh)
-250 Mallard
-500 Wigeon (Most on Vinson's Marsh)
-60 Pintail (All on Mere)
-12 Tufted Duck (All from Harrier Hide)
-13 Pochard (All on Mere)
-34 Gadwall (My highest count here - all from Harrier Hide)
-60 Coot (Most on Mere)
-40 Moorhens (Most in the Captive enclosures)
-10 Cormorant (9 on the Mere, 1 on Vinson's Marsh)
-5 Grey Herons (4 on Mere, 1 from Harrier Hide)
-1500 Lapwing - Great spectacle (1200 on Mere, 150 from each Vinson's & Harrier)
-14 Ruff (Didn't really look for them but saw a few on the Mere)
-40 Black-Headed Gulls (All on Mere)
-1 Lesser Black-Backed Gull (Mere)
-1 Great Black-Backed Gull (Mere - really impressive adult)
-70 Pink-Footed Geese (Flock in field behind mere plus 2 on Vinson's Marsh)
-1 Mute Swan (all alone with 500 Whooper Swans on the Mere)
-1 Canada Goose (alone with 200 Greylag Geese)
-4 Buzzards (2 on fence posts plus 2 circling)
-1 Marsh Harrier (lifer - from the Ron Barker Hide)
-3 Stock Doves (across the road on field opposite the reserve)
-Woodpigeon (quite a few singles and pairs around plus ones overhead)
-Feral Pigeon (over a hundred around the Discovery Hide & Visitor's Centre)
-Carrion Crow (a few on fence posts)
-Jackdaw (8 flew over during the swan feed)
-Magpie (One seen in a tree from Discovery Hide)
-Blue Tt (About 10 in total)
-Great Tit (A few around the Janet Kear Hide)
-Long-Tailed Tit (5 near In Focus Shop)
-Goldfinch (A few around Janet Kear)
-Greenfinch (One at Janet Kear feeders)
-Chaffinch (About 20 in total)
-Blackbird, Robin (Both a couple around)
-Tawny Owl (Only one seen near Kingfisher Hide)
-Reed Bunting (One at Janet Kear feeders)
-Tree Sparrow (6 near Hale Hide)
-Pheasant (4 in total)


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Cold wind but good weather otherwise. Highlights included; female pochard close, female sparrowhawk flying over low, about 30+ Fieldfare, 12 redwing, 1000 whooper swans, lapwings and common teal (i couldnt find the green winged teal), 1 oystercatcher, a goldcrest that almost decided to land on me as I stood still watching it close (changed its mind just when it was 1ft from me in the air) and 1 lesser black backed gull and his mate - a hybrid herring/lesser black. Finished feeling very tired but glad I got out. Managed 47 (excluding hybrid gull).

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1-4 with High Peak rspb (check out our Facebook page). Highlights :

Green Winged Teal from lovely new Discovery hide

2 Marsh Harrier

Barn Owl

4 Ruff



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Nice day spent here today; best of the sightings:

Railway station to reserve:

1 goldcrest
1 meadow pipit
20+ tree sparrow, most in a single flock.
1 yellowhammer
30+ fieldfare on the ploughed field running parallel to the road leading to the entrance.
5 or so redwing with them
Plenty of rook and jackdaw
A couple of stock dove picked out from large feeding parties of ferals and woodpigeon, undoubtedly more.
1 sparrowhawk (a male, watching the tree sparrow flock intently)
1 buzzard
100+ whooper swan in a semi-flooded field
2 pink-footed geese in the same field (though away from the whoopers), and perhaps 250 over, in two skeins.

Reserve:

2 goldcrest
15+ tree sparrow
100s of shelduck, teal, wigeon and lapwing
40+ pintail
c40 gadwall
2 shoveler
7 pochard
10+ tufted duck
1 goldeneye
c70 pink-footed geese, coming in in the late afternoon
c100 greylag geese
c150 whooper swan
5 ruff
2 sparrowhawk
2 marsh harrier
1 barn owl

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Visited Martin Mere yesterday. When I arrived (11.30) I went in the new hide which I thought was brill, great work has been done on that. I watched for a while the whooper swans coming and going which is really impressive. I then moved around the hides ending up in the United utilities hide. This is where a spent pretty much the rest of my day. I had a raptor spectacular!! Out in the one of the fields was a carcus (possibly a lapwing) As I arrived a Buzzard was feeding on it with several crows and magpies trying to get their turn. Then a Marsh Harrier appeared and started feeding. Next a Perergrine Falcon appeared. Whilst all this interchanging was going on I, together with a couple I got chatting to, counted 3 Marsh Harriers, 2 Buzzards, 2 Peregrines, a kestrel, and a male Sparrowhawk. I was surprised to see the harriers and peregrine feeding like scavengers but I suppose any food is all that matters for survival!! Also, top of the pecking order was the Buzzard. It saw off both the harrier and peregrines as and when it decided it was time for it to feed. I stayed on until closing time hoping to see either the Barn Owl or the recently sighted Short Eared Owl but sadly they never appeared. Still a brilliant afternoon.

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Also at the NW Birdfair for most of the day yesterday.  Had much the same as Steve, but of note I had a single Golden Plover in with approx 1,000 Lapwings out from the UU hide (unusual record at Martin Mere), a lone Dunlin in a similar area, plus a few Goldcrest along the pathways and a Raven overhead.

I was also asked by an elderly lady to help ID a bird she had photographed in the collection area on some ivy, it was a lovely Chiffchaff (not a Siberian though!?).

Nice day pottering about up there as ever......



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all day here 63 species inc birds on route from burscough train station.

on route..

flock of 57 corn bunting
5 yellowhammer
1 female merlin sat on mud pile
1 sparrowhawk
several large flocks of redwing & fieldfare
skylarks & meadow pipits.

martin mere...

hundreds of whooper swans
thousands of pink footed geese
2 barnacle geese
greylag & Canada geese
3 marsh harrier
4 buzzard
1 sparrowhawk
2 kestrel
2 barn owl
2 tawny owl
1 grey heron
11 snipe
30+ ruff
60+ black tailed godwit
lots of lapwing
lots of pintail, wigeon, shelduck, teal (I did try for a green winged but no joy)
few shoveler, gadwall, just 1 tufted duck & 1 pochard
1 little grebe
1 treecreeper
plenty of tree sparrow around
plus all the usuals around
smile

the new discovery hide looks good also.

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Spent the day here for the NW Bird Watching Festival. I was interested what people got in the "first annual North west Bird race" but stupidly forgot to check the board on the way out (was instead checking out the hot chocolate..). Our group of 4 casually got 40 species during the course of the day, we didn't participate in the actual contest though.

1 Merlin
circa. 30 Goldfinch, small numbers of Chaffinch and Greenfinch
Long-tailed Tits, Blue Tits, Great Tits, Coal Tits
Flock of around 14 Tree Sparrows
Grey Heron
Shelducks, Pochard, Pintail, Wigeon
1 single Barnacle Goose (next to Ron Barker hide), Pink-footed and Greylag Geese
5 Ruff
Black-Tailed Godwits
Whooper Swans x many, 2 Bewicks Swans and only 1 Mute Swan that we noticed (later in the afternoon when we realised we hadn't seen one and looked out for one)





No Kingfisher today, no Marsh Harrier, no Buzzard, no Tufted Duck and surprisingly no Collared Dove or Canada Geese!

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9.30 - 14.00. 4 Marsh Harriers, Pink - footed geese in large numbers as were Whooper Swans. Plenty Ruff and Common Snipe. Couple of Common Buzzard. All the usual stuff, but a distinct lack of Pochard!

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9:30am - 5:15pm. 10,000s of pink footed geese were the main activity on the reserve today. I went to look for the reported bewicks swan but no sign of it all day. But, just before leaving, my experience told me to give it one last try from the Hale hide. So at 4:40pm and sure enough, found it! My 2nd and best view which also made a few other people including my mother happy. Other highlights included 2 peregrines, 1 buzzard close, a female kingfisher, a common gull and a goldcrest. And that's that for now. Ta.

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Green-Winged Teal y'day, seems to favour left corner of Sunley's, though has flown. Viewable from Ron Barker.

Eclipsed drk, shabby vertical line visible on RHS, only a fragment remains on LHS. Almost impossible to ID with bins - scope essential to nail it.

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Steve Burke and I had a decent day today, arrived at around 1030 and left at 5 as the Mere was filling up. It was as atmospheric as ever watching the squadrons of geese flying in.

Walking over from Burscough we saw 5 Corn Bunting, including a nice close perched one, and then when we rounded the corner to head across the fields Steve noticed a raptor and we were thrilled to see a Merlin chase a Skylark right across the field in front of us. Stunning agility, from both birds really. Steve also clocked 3 Redwings and 3 Siskins over us, I missed them both, which was irritating.

On the reserve we had high hopes for a Bean Goose and so we spent an hour or so in the UU Hide first, staring out at hundreds of Pink-footed Geese. No joy on the Beans but great views of 2 juvenile Marsh Harrier and a female Peregrine at pretty close range in front of us. With a Sparrowhawk, the usual Buzzards and a Kestrel that made 6 raptors.

There were hundreds more Pink Foots visible from Ron Barker Hide so we headed over there next. The geese were largely much nearer so we were feeling confident about picking a Bean out. I got onto an interesting bird with orange legs and we spent at least an hour glued to it. It was ticking a few boxes, especially with those legs, but we just never quite got the clinching view we wanted. However Steve spotted 2 interesting birds together and when we looked at them and checked Collins they were juvenile Greenland White-fronted Geese! They disappeared again in the maelstrom but what great birds to pick out. Also present 2 Barnacle Geese and a showy Kingfisher. More great views of the Marsh Harriers from there too.

We went over to consult Andy in In Focus on the geese and he was able to clarify from photos that the 'Bean' was just a Pink-foot, which I think we knew deep down. But it was a great bit of learning for me certainly, and they were my first Greenland White-fronts anyway. In a final twist of irony, the numerous Teal we had largely been ignoring included a male Green-winged, which we obviously hadn't seen at all. In eclipse plumage apparently, so we didn't feel too incompetent after hearing that. But 3 solid hours staring at geese certainly keeps you honest. I deserve a nice easy twitch after that!

Walking back we flushed a Grey Wagtail from the ditch opposite the gate into the reserve. Also notable a flock of 20 or so Pied Wagtails heading into town, perhaps to roost by the big Tesco? Steve's quick photo of the White-fronts made it onto the WWT website too!

-- Edited by Simon Gough on Sunday 11th of October 2015 09:30:53 PM

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Here today, primarily for the pink-footed geese, who didn't disappoint. Thousands to be seen from the Ron Barker hide alone, with thousands more in the fields. More pouring in when I left for my train at around five. Wonderful.

Also of note:

10+ tree sparrow
1 grey wagtail
5 snipe
8 ruff
700+ lapwing
7 pintail
c40 wigeon
2 juvenile shelduck
Shoveler, gadwall, teal, mallard, tufted duck
6 little grebe
10 whooper swan
1 kingfisher
1 marsh harrier
1 buzzard

As usual, the walk from Burscough Bridge railway station also yielded some interesting species:

1 goldcrest
10+ meadow pipit
5 linnet
2 corn bunting
20+ skylark (very active and vocal, many chasing each other around)
1 wheatear
1 jay
2 stock dove
Plenty of rook and jackdaw

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Afternoon visit to Martin Mere to see the Pink footed Geese come in from Iceland and what a spectacular sight today with thousands arriving at the mere .I recon over 30000 Pink footed geese came into the mere today many coming in from very high which means they are new arrivals from Iceland.
If you want to visit the mere once this year make it in the next week for the spectacular geese arrival, last year 42000 were here at this time ,I recon they may top that this week.
Also today 4 Marsh Harrier (1 ad female + 3 Juvs) Kingfisher-1,a few Ruff, Snipe and Wigeon.

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5 Whooper Swans from the Ron Barker hide.
c5000 Pink-footed Geese
2 Snipe
Lots of the usuals on a nice sunny afternoon.

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2 Green Sandpiper, couple of Black Tailed Godwit, plenty of Ruff, 1 Marsh Harrier and excellent views of a Kingfisher were the highlights from a visit today.

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A relaxing couple of hours in the Ron Barker hide yesterday morning with Chris Chandler produced an enjoyable view of the current Wood Sandpiper, although it was distant at the back of Sunley's Marsh. Also a superbly showy Kingfisher perching right in front of the hide and a nice close Common Sandpiper. No sign of the Whinchat, but visibility was poor for some of the time as the rain came down.

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