Field Trip to the Fylde Coast - Sunday 15th November 2015

The forecast for this trip was for 28mph winds and 50% chance of rain. It was windy all day, with rain in the morning and the sun struggling to show in the afternoon. However we had a good day birding with a field trip total of 58.

En-route travelling along the M6 we saw Gulls, Crows, LBJ’s, Magpies.

First stop was at Clifton Marsh, Freckleton, where we observed from the coach Wigeon with their unmistakeable creamy yellow forehead and crown, Teal, 5 Shovelers showing their lovely dark green heads and outsized beaks, Mallard, Moorhen and a flock of Canada geese. A South Westerly wind was blowing hard.

Travelling along the St Annes’ sea front, 2 Jackdaws, Herring gulls, Crows and Rooks were spotted on the grassy embankments.

Fairburn Lake was the next stop, with driving rain and wind. Not to be deterred we set off for a walk around the Lake and were rewarded with Coots, 18 Mute Swans, 2 Curlews (Europe’s largest wader), Shelduck, a flock of Starlings, Common Gull flying over, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Tufted Duck, Moorhen, Feral pigeon/Rock Dove, Oystercatchers, Turnstone, 2 Grey Plovers, Little Egret, several Sanderlings darting back and forth, and Cormorants.

Moving onwards, our penultimate stop was Rossall Point at the southern end of Morecambe Bay. With beaches, marshes and mud flats it is a great resource for many birds feeding and wintering here. The high winds caused waves to crash over the breakwater wall but we were delighted to note a flock of Sanderlings flying and landing to dart back and forth to feed. Linnets landed on the wall and were seen flying over, with Greenfinch, Pied Wagtail, Woodpigeon adding to the list. A Red Breasted Merganser flew over. We climbed the steep staircase at the Observatory to lean over the parapet to see many Ringed Plover, difficult to pick out amongst the pebbles, more Sanderlings and Turnstone, Lesser Black-backed Gull, and female Common Scoter way out at sea. Here we also saw the usually very hard to see Purple Sandpiper, but today we had very good views.

We saw a Kestrel hovering overhead as we set off for our final destination - Marton Mere. The area, once a rubbish tip, is now an SSI with a diversity of habitat on the Blackpool urban fringe. Here we headed for the bird feeders and noted Dunnock, Chaffinch, Great Tit, Coal Tit, 5 Magpies, Blue Tit, and Robin. We took a short walk, a Blackbird flew across our footpath, and we heard and saw Long-tailed Tits flitting in the bushes, Wren, and Pheasant. From the hide a Great Crested Grebe was seen diving and Grey Heron watching and waiting. To finish the day we were pleased to see a small murmuration of Starlings.

Other sightings were – Pink footed Geese, Greylag Geese, Buzzard, Water Rail, Snipe, Bar-tailed Godwit, Black-headed Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Collared Dove, Redwing, Little Grebe, and Mistle Thrush. Somebody heard a Cetti’s Warbler – I wonder who that was?


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