Author: jo taylor

Blog Post: Kingfisher success

Ribble Reserves blog w/c 11.11.19 Our new Ribble Reserves blog combines news from all our Ribble reserve sites; Marshide, Hesketh out Marsh and the Ribble Discovery Centre, providing you with all the latest up to date information about sightings, events, shop offers and educational visits. Ribbl e Discovery Centre Success! The Fairhaven Lake kingfisher no longer eludes himself from the us at the RSPB Ribble Discovery Centre! He is becoming quite bold and has been seen on the fence at the marina, using this as a hunting perch to look into the shallow lake water. Kingfishers hunt small fish and other aquatic invertebrates. It’s fantastic to see this bird still here as it suggests that the lake has enough food to sustain him. Lets hope this continues through the winter months. Kingfisher Photo credit: Ben Andrew RSPB-images Educational visits We’ve really hit the winter season now but there are many bookings coming in for Spring and Summer term. Our keystage 2 “Investigating coasts” session has been very popular this term. This session takes place up on the sand dunes, which is a fantastic place to be. Children often feel they are on top of the world there. The view is amazing, looking right across the estuary to our friends over at Marshside. On a really clear day you can even see North Wales. This session is again hands on, providing an opportunity to design a sea wall defence. This really encourages children to work in teams and apply their knowledge. If you are interested in booking an educational school visit please contact out learning officer Jo Taylor at jo.taylor@rspb.org.uk. Visitor Centre and family events VBA are currently working on the sluice gate in the lake. The sluice gate will allow the lake to refresh automatically in conjunction with the tides. Whilst working on this, the company have recovered the original sluice gate machinery. This machinery required an operative to turn it to actually open the gate in order o refresh the lake. It’s looking like this machinery will now have a home somewhere in the new visitor centre as part of the funding re development of the site. Photo credit Steve Ball Shop

Blog Post: Raptors rule the skies

Ribble Reserves blog w/c 04.11.19 Our new Ribble Reserves blog combines news from all of our RSPB Ribble estuary sites; Marshside, Hesketh Out Marsh and the Ribble Discovery Centre providing you with all the latest up to date information about sightings, events, shop offers and educational visits! Ribble Discovery Centre The kingfisher continues to be spotted flitting over the lake, it continues to evade us in the centre however! Redshanks and oystercatchers are spotted frequently on the edge of the lake and over 30 mute swans were counted this week. Educational visits With #OutdoorClassroomDay today we thought we would look at our education season so far. This season since April we have delivered our learning sessions to schools and youth groups, engaging 1500 children. That’s a lot of mud dipping! We offer a suite of sessions linked to the Science National Curriculum and our coastal beach sessions also match the Cornerstones curriculum. We undertake sessions in and around the lake and gardens such as plant detectives and living things and their habitats, but one of our most popular sessions is the mud habitat study. Awe and wonder is rife in this session. Children have the opportunity to not only discover and identify the invertebrates living beneath this highly nutritious mud but they also have the chance to understand their wider relationship within the food chains and ecosystem of the habitat. The opportunity to use wide scientific vocabulary is there and this was commended in our Council for Learning Outside the Classroom Quality badge inspection. Brownies mud dipping photo credit Jo Taylor Our feedback this season has also been excellent with 100% of respondents stating their session was “outstanding” or “very good”. This is with great thanks to the huge contribution of our many learning volunteers who are so vital to our team. If you are interested in booking an educational visit at the Ribble Discovery Centre at any time of year please contact our learning officer Jo Taylor at jo.taylor@rspb.org.uk Visitor Centre and family events Our Autumn Explorer trail was very popular over half term with over 70 families taking part. The winner has now been drawn and will be collecting their family prize from the Ribble Discovery Centre this weekend. Well done! Shop Alongside our Christmas cards, wrapping and calendar offers there’s currently a fantastic 20% off 12.75kg boxes of Buggy Nibbles (R402649) and High Energy Suet Sprinkles (R403130). Normally £39.99, now £31.99 too. In our centre we sell a wide range of books, including some great wildlife identification guides and also a range of natural history novels. Great for that special Christmas gift. Ray, one of our centre volunteers has written the following book review for us: “This book is a must – sensitive, inspiring and told in such a way it gives you feeling you are being told a story by someone who genuinely cares. It is well researched and factual interspersed by humour. If you love birds, history or just a thoroughly good story then this is a must read for you. I would recommend this nook to anyone interested in birdwatching and the history of the conservation movement, anyone wanting a good read and anyone interested in the history of the Second World War.” Marshside Skies We have been treated to displays from a suite of raptors present at Marshside of late. Peregrine , hen harrier , merlin , sparrow hawk , marsh harrier hunt over the inner and outer marshes, often agitating their quarry into amazing evasive displays. The black tailed godwits below are were filmed at Marshside (Rimmers Marsh) keeping ahead of a peregrine. https://vimeo.com/371079332 Out and About A the days get shorter and the first few frosts reach in, the marshes colour palette is finding its winter hues. Dusk at Sandgrounders hide: Marshside Record breaking cows This cow broke the coveted ‘interference record’ – with an outstanding heavy scratch test of a freshly repaired stile …. 45 seconds is going to be hard to beat From the Web Visitors have been enjoying the nomadic band of cattle egrets as they move from site to site along the Ribble. These thirteen were photographed by Janice Sutton as they headed to roost. Its incredible to see this species increase its footing on the Ribble. Janice also caught up with the growing flock of twite now enjoying the saltmarsh. This image was taken by the pier, but they have been spotted at Marshside and along the fence line at Hesketh Out Marsh .

Blog Post: Welcome to the all new Ribble Reserves blog

Ribble Reserves Roundup w/c 28.10.19 Our new Ribble Reserves blog combines news from all of our RSPB Ribble estuary sites; Marshside, Hesketh Out Marsh and the Ribble Discovery Centre providing you with all the latest up to date information about sightings, events, shop offers and educational visits! Ribble Discovery Centre It’s been a cold crisp week here at Fairhaven Lake. Many of our regular residents and visitors are on the lake including numerous mute swans, mallards, coots, moorhens and tufted ducks. We have also had a juvenille great crested grebe on the lake for the last few weeks which is a real delight to see and a couple of little grebes . There’s also been a single pochard hanging about with the tufties too for some time. There’s been a small number of sightings of a kingfisher these last few weeks flitting around at the top of the lake, which really is a fantastic sighting and we are all on the lookout to spot it ourselves. The cheeky black headed gulls are as noisy as ever and a looking rather majestic in their winter plumage. We also have a couple of cormorants frequently seen on the edge of the jetty, drying out. Black headed gulls. Photo credit Jo Taylor Cormorant. Photo credit Andy Hay RSPB-images Educational visits We had a fantastic pre-school and reception class from Copp Primary in Great Eccleston undertaking an Autumn sensory walk last week. We were very lucky and had a lovely cold crisp sunny morning. All 27 children were dressed fantastically for their morning and loads of fun was had collecting different leaf shapes, feeding the ducks and spotting all other signs of Autumn. Loads of conkers from the horse chestnut and acorns from our Holm oak in the park were found. The children had a really great hands on #OutdoorLearning experiences, really hitting all those characteristics of effective learning in the EYFS. See our web page here for further information about school visits. All sessions are linked to the National Curriculum with our coastal sessions also being a perfect match to the Cornerstones curriculum. Dandelion seed head and caterpillar. Photo credit Jo Taylor Visitor Centre and family events Our Autumn explorer trail running in conjunction with Fylde Council has been very popular. As half term has been so staggered around the country we will continue to run it till Sunday 3 November, so there’s still time to get your entry into the box for the family prize draw! There’s also still time to come and make one of our pine cone creatures! We are also exhibiting the finalists and other entries for the Fairhaven Photographic Competition till Sunday, so there’s still plenty time to take a peek at these great photos. Shop Our shop has some great stock for all your winter bird care needs, with an vast array of feeders and food. We currently have 30% off 3kg bags of suet nibbles,which are always a winner with the birds. We also stock a wide range of binoculars and telescopes for a all differing skill levels. Our range includes popular RSPB and Viking binoculars as well as other premium brands such as Swarovski and Nikon. Perhaps treat yourself or someone you love for Christmas. Call in any time and chat to our experts, there’s also open weekend coming up at the end of next month 31 November and 1 December. We’ve also got offers on Christmas cards and wrapping paper as well as calendars at the moment. Get ahead of the game and get organised for the big day! It’s double points on your loyalty card till Monday! Photo credits Jo Taylor Marshside and Hesketh Out Marsh The alternative airshows held recently at both these sites have been very popular with spectators undertaking guided walks across the marsh before the tide came in. An amazing wildlife spectacle of waders and other birds moved across the marsh looking for roosting sites as the water rose. As the marsh flooded small mammals were spotted trying to escape the water and the hungry raptors above! Our guided bird watching walks at both sites are also very popular, providing opportunities to learn more about the land management, ecology and wildlife present at the sites. The habitat work at Crossens Inner Marsh have been underway and will improve the water levels at the site. This has been put to the test recently with the bouts of heavy rain and high tides and is being monitored to ensure they do prevent prolonged flooding to protect the rare coastal grassland. Thousands of pink footed geese are observed daily feeding in the rich grassland and then flying across the estuary to roost in the evening. There are also large numbers of wigeon over wintering at the sites too. The raptors have also been abundance with marsh harrier , merlin and kestrel amongst others. Merlin photo Credit Chris Gomersall RSPB-images