Our first stop was Preston Docks in search of an Iceland Gull. Reports of recent sighting had been made but today we were out of luck, so we moved on to Newton Marsh. We noted Black Headed Gull, Lesser Black-Backed Gull and a Coot nesting on the usual mound of twigs and debris including a blue plastic bag and plastic cups.
En route to Newton Marsh Grey Heron and Rooks were spotted. Our second stop, by the roadside at Newton Marsh, gave us good views of Lapwing, a variety of ducks, Redshank, Common Buzzard, and a Sparrowhawk. A pair of Mute Swans were preparing their nest.

Warton Marsh was the next destination. Here we had a wonderful view of a Sparrowhawk flying over. Skylarks were seen and heard with their lovely warbles and trills; the Curlew was also seen and heard. A Meadow Pipit, Pied Wagtail and Whooper Swan were seen. Two Wheatears hopped and ran along the path ahead of us searching for insects. A good view of a Kestrel was seen in the boatyard. Moving onto Fleetwood, Eider and Red breasted Merganser were seen out at sea.

Our final stop was Marton Mere where our party split up into small groups. At the feeders Hedge Sparrow, Dunnock, Great Tit, Long tailed Tit, Reed Bunting were noted, a male Pheasant in fine plumage with an amazing red wattle and 4 females searched for food on the ground under the feeders. Moving on we heard a Song Thrush and a Chiffchaff. We saw the Chiffchaff but the Song Thrush remained hidden. A Cettiā€™s Warbler was heard.

On the water we saw Greylag Geese, Great Crested Grebe and a variety of ducks. My special thrill was to see, for the first time a Mediterranean gull, in fact 2 together for a special treat, alongside a variety of other gulls.

Other sightings include Jackdaws, an enormous rookery, tortoiseshell butterfly, peacock butterfly and a rabbit! A strange looking bird, black with an all white head and white bits on the wing came into view. A mutant Blackbird we thought. Or was it?

So again we had a rewarding trip. It was unfortunate that the key to the coach became jammed and we were delayed for some time by this, then Blackpool had road works which delayed us, so our birding time was reduced, but in spite of this we had a really enjoyable day and the spring weather was perfect.


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