Ribble Reserves Blog w/c 09/12/19 The Ribble reserves blog combines news from all of our Ribble sites: Marshside, Hesketh Out Marsh and the Ribble Discovery Centre. Providing the latest information on sightings, shop offers and educational visits. Ribble Discovery Centre It's been a wild and windy couple of daydown here on Fairhaven Lake. Good weather for ducks you might say! Which is lucky as there are loads of them milling around the lake. We have the usual suspects in attendance at the moment, plenty of tufted ducks, mallards and still a couple of pochard hanging around. A grey heron is frequently observed on one of the islands at high tide, patiently stalking prey underneath the water. Grey heron illustration: Mike Langman RSPB-images Whilst an unseasonal purple heron has been spotted in Pilling. This bird would usually spend the winter south of the Sahara and it's unusual for them to be seen here at this time of year. The difference between the two birds aside from the purple heron usually residing in a more temperate or tropical climate is that it is of generally slightly smaller and slimmer build. It has an orange/red head and neck, chestnut belly and black cap. Adult plumage can appear purple. Juvenile plumage is lighter brown with buff edges to the feathers. These birds are also known as the snake bird due its neck posturing looking somewhat like a snake in the grass! Purple heron illustration: Mike Langman RSPB-images Education and Visitor Centre The sea wall defence works are coming along nicely. with the contractors VBA motoring along on Granny's Bay. You can even see the progress on the other side of the estuary! Shop A fantastic £100 off 6.5 x 32 RSPB HD binoculars. These are an amazing pair of binoculars for anyone interested in insects. They have a close up focus of 1 m, making them ideal for closer observation of butterflies and dragonflies. We are also a leading retailer for a variety of binoculars and telescopes, stocking a wide range to suit many pockets and pursuits. We regularly have an expert to hand to help you make an informed choice. We also stock a range of books, identification guides as well as biographies. Mrs Pankhurst's purple feather is a must read, a story of inspiration and courage that changed the face of society. The story of two women, pioneers of their time campaigning for a better, more tolerant and empathetic Britain.