Another guest appearance

Goosander – Not as interesting as yesterday’s grebe, but a redhead on water to north of Heysham skeer at low water – this species is barely annual here.Shag 1 adult resting briefly near conger rock on skeer, before a short feeding session then disappea…

Black necked Grebe

This really is the winter of the unreliable and elusive at Heysham, probably due to complex circuits including extensive private or difficult to access terrain.  Notably ‘the’ Black Redstart.  Early winter, a Black necked Grebe was staled out…

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Blog Post: New Year, New You

Welcome to this weeks Ribble Roundup 13/01/20 Please like and follow our new Facebook page @RSPBRibbleEstuary. We are really looking forward to increasing our followers and providing lots of information about our work across the estuary. We are also looking forward to welcoming many visitor contributions, there are so many talented photographers out there, you can truly showcase our sites. Recent sightings around Fairhaven include our kingfisher (of course), plenty tufties , mute swans , mallards , 2 male pochard , lots of black headed gulls , whose head plumage is already transitioning into summer and a small number of common gulls . Ribble Discovery Centre January is a great time to be looking for new things. We have had a successful start to the new year, with a number of enquiries about our volunteering positions at the centre. We have 2 posts on the education team available; Volunteer Nature Activity Leader, for further information about this role, please click here and our Volunteer Nature Activity Assistant, please click here for further information about this role. Both roles are vitally important to the learning team and without our fabulous volunteers we could not offer the same fantastic experience that we do. What is also very exciting is that we are also looking to recruit a longer term volunteer role, to holistically support the learning team and the centre, so keep your eyes peeled for that one…it’s in the pipeline. We have also recently welcomed 2 new retail assistant volunteers to the crew as well. Education and Visitor Centre This is the time of year many schools start to think about their educational visits and we have had a number of enquiries regarding Summer term already. Many of our activities are tide dependant, so I would urge any schools interested to book in now to avoid disappointment. We have a number of bookings in place already from schools who missed out last year. Don’t forget our sessions are curriculum linked and really add depth and breadth to the science curriculum, providing hands on coastal experiences that simply cannot be sought in school grounds. Check out our web page for more information about sessions and bookings. Mud dipping with year 4 earlier in the year. Photo credit Jo Taylor We also welcomed a drop in session from Clifton Lodge Nursery this week. They brought a small group of 2-3 year old children to visit. We had a lovely little session looking at shells, crabs and other exhibits from the sea. I look forward to welcoming them again with their pre-school group. Shop Our #BigGardenBirdwatch feeder kit offer is still on till 27 January. At almost half price, this really is a great kit to set up garden bird feeding. Find out more about the ##BigGardenBirdwatch here. Help Save Nature – Volunteer places at Marshside / Hesketh Out Marsh Spring feels far from sprung, but we are starting to recruit volunteers to take up the challenge of seasonal places. Do you have what it takes to keep track of Avocet chicks as they start to wander? Could you tell an ‘A’ Lapwing chick from a ‘B’ ? Could you help us keep track of fantastic Mr Fox and what he is up to ? If so, follow the links below and get in touch. Practical volunteers on the Ribble – Link Avocet and Lapwing Watchers – Link Predator monitors – Link Getting Involved at Marshside community.rspb.org.uk/…/wild_2D00_challenge_2D00_poster_2D00_a4-_2800_3_2900_.pdf

Jack Snipe surprise

Scoped from Knowleys Rd by Pete WoodruffMediterranean gull – 1 initially on shore then settled on horse field inshore of play area.Pale-bellied Brent goose – 6 out from the children’s play area on flooding tide.Ocean Edge salt marsh 30 minutes before h…

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New Year 2020..Highlights

Belatedly some highlights from my trips out over the New Year period.The weather was a bit up and down but there were a few drier and brighter days when I could get out with the camera.It was good to get out and return to normality after the festive se…

Brentless today, but BRS compensates

No Brent geese got as far as Red Nab today. It seems hit and miss, at the moment, when they decide to cross over from the west side of bayBlack Redstart – 12:00 Red Nab was almost covered when it flew west to east over the remaining rocks and headed do…

CHAFFINCH – Exceptionally large numbers overwintering in Dalton Crags

Some recent Blogs with quick links:- CrossbillsHolly Ferns on Hutton Roof and how they are fairing2019 a exceptional year for the berriesA very special Orchid – A branched Epipactis atrorubensRedwing at roost (Birdy Brow-Kemple End)…

Get Big Garden Birdwatch Ready!

 As we reach the midway point of January, we always have something to look forward to, the annual Big Garden Birdwatch!

As always, we are calling everyone to join in and tell us what they find in their gardens, yards and parks. Each year we have around half a million people take part, but the more people take part, the more information we will have. The Big Garden Birdwatch takes place on Saturday 25, Sunday 26 and Monday 27 January.

An hour of bird watching really makes a difference, whether that be sitting outside, or tucked up inside watching through the window with your binoculars and a cuppa to hand.

In between your bouts of back-yard birding, there’s also plenty of time to pop over and see what’s around here at Leighton Moss. Winter is a great time to see many of our specialities. Wildfowl continues to dominate with Causeway, Lilian’s and Grisedale particularly productive at the moment. Several species of duck, little grebes and both little and great white egrets may be enjoyed from the hides and SkyTower while wanders along the path may reward patient birdwatchers with views of water rail, reed buntings and marsh tits.    

Starlings are still murmurating away, best seen from Causeway or SkyTower. The best murmurations often happen during clearer weather so make sure to check the forecast. The numbers have peaked at around at 70,000, ensuring an amazing spectacle on clear, bright evenings. We suggest being situated at your chosen watching spot at 3:30pm to avoid disappointment as the time of the mumuration can vary from day to day and usually happens anytime between 3:30pm and 4.30pm. We would also like to remind visitors not to park on the road near the Causeway entrance as this creates obstructions for other vehicles, thank you.

Snipe are most often seen in well vegetated wetlands such as our reserve in the winter, especially when they group together foraging for food or snoozing at the pool edges. An impressive 75 snipe were counted from Grisedale hide recently and most days at least 30 may be seen if you look carefully!   

 The number of marsh harriers continue to wow the crowds. It’s not easy to accurately guess the number of harriers hunting around the reserve from one week to the next but we do know that at least ten different individuals have been identified. Given how recently this species has taken to wintering at Leighton Moss it is incredible to see so many birds here and we can only expect the numbers to increase in the coming years! (Photo by David Mower)

 We know January is a time for saving pennies after Christmas, so we have some new deals in our RSPB shop to get you ready for your Big Garden Birdwatch. Our Big Garden Birdwatch starter kit includes three different bird feeders from our Classic easy-clean range for all different picky eaters. One for seeds, one for nuts and nibbles and another for suet. Of course, you need some bird food for these feeders, and you get a great selection with 1.8kg of Premium sunflower hearts, 1kg of Buggy nibbles & 12 super suet balls (sunflower heart variety). All of this would usually come to £41.21, but with our half price deal is only £20.60! A great bargain to get you ready for your Big Garden Birdwatch.

Charlotte

Heysham welcomes back Canadian visitors

Pale-bellied Brent geese – they started arriving from west into the SE corner of Heysham skeer at 08:50.First these 10By 09:10 they had been joined by 12 moreAnd by 09:55, 26 were moving in with the tide towards rocks in front of children’s play area.B…