Welcome to this weeks Ribble Roundup w/c 20.01.20 Not only do we have our new Facebook page @RSPBRibbleEstuary , we also have our own Twitter page too @RSPB_Ribble . Please like and share our pages, we are really looking forward to engaging with as many of you as possible and providing lots of information about our work in conservation and education around the estuary. We look forward to welcoming many visitor contributions on both channels and welcome any photographs and snippets of information about our wonderful sites. Marshside Marshside - Crossens Predator Proofing We are happy with the way Crossens has developed - especially with the speed that birds have taken to this prime spot. We are not the only ones that have noticed, as foxes have (quite understandably) noticed the change. This week we have been 'snagging' the anti-predator fence, making sure that the birds we attract can successfully fledge chicks unhindered. We found a lot of evidence of foxes prowling the perimeter, and fixed a few week spots that would no doubt be tested when chicks can be heard calling from inside. Image: WesDavies Marshside - Looking up We have been treated to some outstanding sunrises and sunsets over the week, and have been grateful for a break in what seemed like a never ending cycle of heavy rain. Sandgrounder sunrise: WesDavies Rimmers Aglow: AlexPiggott Marshside - Volunteer Party Snacks The volunteer work party continued to cut and burn the encroaching willow on Marshside Rd / Rimmers Marsh. What changed this week was the calorie intake, with the introduction of smores at the end of the day. Who knew it was acceptable to sandwich marshmallows between chocolate biscuits? By the end of play, we convinced ourselves that we were calorie neutral. Smores - WesDavies If you think you could eat smores, get in touch (terms and conditions apply) Ribble Discovery Centre Since those beautiful photographs were taken at Marshside we have had a week of fog. However on arriving via Granny's Bay on Wednesday morning there were hundreds of curlew on the shore line. What a contrast, the large and heavy construction machinery in the foreground and the beautiful, mystical and ethereal look of the curlew in the fog on the mudflat just beyond the saltmarsh. This again highlights the importance of the Ribble Estuary to these birds. The estuary is a significant strong holding of curlew especially in the winter, they will freely move around here, being pushed up to the shoreline in high tide. Curlew have suffered a steep decline in population over recent years and they are in real trouble. The RSPB alongside the BTO, Natural England and other organisations have a established a UK Curlew Action Group and a conservation plan is in place. For further information about our work with curlew conservation both in the UK and internationally click here. A rather grey and foggy photo of the Curlew at Granny's Bay Curlew at Granny's Bay, photo credit: Jo Taylor Other interesting sightings at Fairhaven Lake include two pintail ducks spotted on Wednesday morning, the female kingfisher and a number of little egrets , once again standing in the lake, due to the low level water. It's really great to be able to observe them hunting, they look to be having quite a lot of success. There are also many redshank bobbing around the slopes of the lake too, flying off with their high pitched alarm call on anyone or anything getting too close. Redshank photo credit Jo Taylor Education and Visitor Centre We are looking forward to welcoming our first school visit of 2020 in February, with a class from Strike Lane in Freckleton visiting to undertake our "Plant Detectives" session. We shall be wrapping up, having lots of fun and learning outdoors. Shop This week in the shop we have half price on 3kg buggy nibbles and our bird feeding starter kit is still half price till Sunday. It can still be purchased before the ##BigGardenBirdwatch One of our retail volunteers Lesley has spotted this mug, lid and tea leaf infuser from our new product range that she particularly rates. She says: "It's a beautiful mug, but really handy and practical, the infuser allows a good quality loose leaf tea to be placed in, the lid keeps the tea hot whilst it infuses and then you place the infuser into the lid, so it doesn't make a mess on the worktop". Lesley's preferred loose leaf tea is Early Grey.