Blog Post: It’s a real mixed bag

It's a real mixed bag So after recently posting about the delay in the influx of winter thrushes, the weather really changed. The icy snap of the last few days and the decrease in temperatures prior to that has now sent them heading our way. So keep your eyes out for redwing and fieldfare in the area. We were very lucky with the weather just before storm Arwen, fabulously calm and serene high tides, with just the pastel blue hues of winter the only giveaway to the season. This kind of weather also lends itself to beautiful sunsets and Fylde coast sunsets are arguably some of the best. Understandably as the tide comes in the vast number of wading birds and ducks are pushed in towards the saltmarsh. Out there with my camera and binoculars I get lots of people stopping to ask about the birds, curious to know what they are and what they are doing, and swirling flocks produce great amazement and appreciation. At this time of year there are lots of different species all occupying different niches with their own unique adaptations, in what can look like a harsh environment. The mudflats are a vast source of food for these birds. As the tide comes closer the birds tend to roost together on the sand spits and saltmarsh. They sit it out until the tide once again recedes. This is then a great time to forage, following the sea as it departs the shoreline, revealing many invertebrates closer to the surface as well as nutritious goodies it leaves behind. Turnstone have been seen foraging on the beach area at high tide alongside little egret , knot and redshank . Many of the larger waders keep a greater distance from the sea wall, but I have also seen plenty pintail floating on the waters in the bay. We have recently introduced some guided high tide "wader watch walks", which have been really successful. These short walks with John and Peter have provided an insight to the waders on the shore and saltmarsh at high tide, and introduced some basic identification tips. During December we are bringing a series of different "wader watch walks" at high tide in conjunction with Ribble Bird Tours. Stuart runs his own bird touring company and has a wealth of knowledge and experience. These walks with go a little further from the Fairhaven Visitor Centre and down to Lytham jetty, again providing insights into identifying the birds, what their adaptations are and the national importance of the Ribble Estuary. See here for further details and booking information. In other news we are really looking forward to the Fairhaven Christmas fair on Sunday 5 December. Lots of fun for all the family with stalls, carousel rides and Christmas wreath workshops with the Fylde Ranger team as well as it being RSPB binocular and telescope open weekend. We have a wide range of binoculars and 'scopes to suit all needs and pockets. Binoculars were one of the best Christmas presents I have ever received, not only because they open up the world, but because I was able to try out different pairs and choose the ones that were the best fit for me. Try before you buy is always available at our stores and we always have experts on hand to guide you with your purchase. This weekend is a perfect weekend if you are thinking of buying for Christmas, and the weather is looking pretty tip top too. It really is a busy weekend, after storm Arwen wreaking havoc over the last weekend, the weather is looking much more favourable. Our #RobinRobin adventure trail with audio i s available, activity packs are available in the centre, why not grab one and head off on your own sneak? Don't forget to take a selfie with our Robin Robin selfie board and share it with us too. Head back to the centre afterwards, decorate a robin for our tree and let us know how you went on. If you join us on Sunday for the Fairhaven Christmas fair we will be in the watersports centre making robin food tinsel and decorating robins in there too. If you call in the visitor centre, we do have the #RobinRobin picture book and plenty of food so our robins don't go hungry this winter. We are looking forward to seeing you there. Jo sunset and mixed wader flock by Jo Robin Robin image courtesy of Aardman and Netflix