Today the weather has turned and started to get cooler. We are finishing baling the hay from the 2 fields in the middle of the reserve this can be seen from the ron barker hide, UU and Kingfisher. These fields are called Owl marsh and Outer Vincents. By baling the hay from these fields we are removing the nutrients but still allowing the wildflower seeds to drop out, we'll use the hay over the winter for our herd of English Longhorn cattle. Once the hay has been removed the grass will flush up lush and green in these field which in October will be irresistable to the flocks of pink-footed geese! The mere is also attracting lots of waders at the moment.Ron Barker LapwingBlack-tailed godwits, Green SandpiperDiscovery Hide/ The MereBlack-tailed godwitsLapwingRuffGreen SandpiperCommon SandpiperCattle Egret10 Longhorn cattle United Utilities hide, Woodend Marsh, Gordon TaylorGreen Sandpiper, Black-tailed GodwitsLapwing32 Longhorn cattleJanet KearGoldfinchesChaffinchesGreenfinchesGreat-spotted woodpeckerPhoto - Black-tailed godwitsNorth West Bird Watching Festival 2022Join us at this year’s Bird Watching Festival and watch up to 30,000 pink-footed geese return to the roost. We’ll have guest speakers, exhibitors, photography workshops and guided reserve walks for a full day out from dawn till dusk. Find out more
This week's sighting's include:Ron Barker HideKingfisherBlack-tailed godwitRuffGrey heronLapwingHobbyBuzzardDiscovery / Raines / Hale / Gladstone HidesCattle egretLittle egretCormorantLittle grebeHarrier Hide / Reedbed WalkBarn owlGrey heronLittle egretMute swanUnited Utilities / Gordon Taylor HidesBuzzardKestrelGrey heronGreen sandpiperRuffSnipeLapwingShovelerTealThis week's feature photo is of a cormorant by Cameron Wright.North West Bird Watching Festival 2022Join us at this year’s Bird Watching Festival and watch up to 30,000 pink-footed geese return to the roost. We’ll have guest speakers, exhibitors, photography workshops and guided reserve walks for a full day out from dawn till dusk. Find out more.
This week's sightings include:Ron Barker HideBarn owlHobbyBuzzardKestrelWhooper swanBlack-tailed godwitRuffGrey heronDiscovery / Raines / Hale / Gladstone HidesCattle egretLittle grebeCormorantCommon sandpiperTufted ducks with ducklingsKestrelJanet Kear HideGreat spotted woodpeckerHarrier Hide / Reedbed WalkBarn owlGreat crested grebeGrey heronMute swanReed warblerUnited Utilities / Gordon Taylor HidesBarn owlMarsh harrierKestrelSnipeGarganeyGrey heronCetti's warblerSedge warblerReed warblerWe've also had various butterflies and dragonflies spotted around the reserve, including:Red admiralPeacockWallHolly blueCommon blueBrimstoneCommaSouthern hawkerBrown hawkerCommon hawkerFour-spotted chaserBlack-tailed skimmerCommon darterBlue-tailed damselflyThis week's feature photo is of a peacock butterfly.North West Bird Watching Festival 2022Join us at this year’s Bird Watching Festival and watch up to 30,000 pink-footed geese return to the roost. We’ll have guest speakers, exhibitors, photography workshops and guided reserve walks for a full day out from dawn till dusk. Find out more
This week's latest sightings include:Ron Barker HideBarn owlMarsh HarrierBuzzardKestrelCormorantSwallowBlack-tailed godwitLittle ringed ploverLapwingDiscovery / Gladstone / Raines / Hale HidesCattle egretCormorantKestrelBlack-tailed godwitCommon ternHarrier Hide / Reedbed WalkGreat crested grebeLittle grebeCormorantGrey heronBarn owlMarsh harrierBuzzardUnited Utilities / Gordon Taylor HideBarn owlMarsh harrierKestrelLittle egretAvocetGrey heronThis week's feature photo is of two swallows.North West Bird Watching Festival 2022Join us at this year’s Bird Watching Festival and watch up to 30,000 pink-footed geese return to the roost. We’ll have guest speakers, exhibitors, photography workshops and guided reserve walks for a full day out from dawn till dusk. Find out more
This week's sightings include:Ron Barker HideBlack-tailed godwits in summer plumageLapwingMarsh harrierSwallowDiscovery / Hale / Raines / Gladstone HidesCattle egretLittle grebeCormorantLapwingCommon ternHarrier Hide / Reedbed WalkMarsh harrierGreat crested grebeGrey heronLittle egretUnited Utilities / Gordon Taylor HidesBarn owlsGrey heronLapwingMarsh harrierSwallowThis week's feature photo is of a group of black-tailed godwits in summer plumage.North West Bird Watching Festival 2022Join us at this year’s Bird Watching Festival and watch up to 30,000 pink-footed geese return to the roost. We’ll have guest speakers, exhibitors, photography workshops and guided reserve walks for a full day out from dawn till dusk. Find out more
The cattle egret has been making regular appearances close to our group of cattle at the back of the Mere. It can be seen from Discovery Hide with binoculars or scopes, but can be viewed up close from Gladstone Hide. A little grebe and several terns are also on the Mere. A kingfisher has been sighted regularly on the canoe safari, and a tawny owlet has been in the trees on the path to Ron Barker Hide.This week's butterfly survey gave us 93 butterflies from 12 different species, including the red admiral, speckled wood, small tortoiseshell and comma.This week's feature photo is of a speckled wood butterfly.North West Bird Watching Festival 2022Join us at this year’s Bird Watching Festival and watch up to 30,000 pink-footed geese return to the roost. We’ll have guest speakers, exhibitors, photography workshops and guided reserve walks for a full day out from dawn till dusk. Find out more.
This morning we carried out a Wetland Bird Survey (WeBS), and counted these birds: 3 Gadwall 12 Teal 476 Mallard 4 Pochard 6 Tufted Duck 28 Shelduck 65 Greylag Geese 139 Canada Geese 86 Moorhen 59 Coot 1 Snipe 348 Lapwing 3 Ruff 84 Black-tailed Godwit 4 Oystercatcher 2 Avocet 1 Little Grebe 3 Great Crested Grebe 6 Grey Heron 169 Black-headed Gull 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull 1 Mute Swan 2 Whooper Swan 9 Common Tern 3 Marsh Harrier 5 Kestrel This week's feature photo is of a great crested grebe. North West Bird Watching Festival 2022 Join us at this year’s Bird Watching Festival and watch up to 30,000 pink-footed geese return to the roost. We’ll have guest speakers, exhibitors, photography workshops and guided reserve walks for a full day out from dawn till dusk. Book your place
There have been three great crested grebes spotted at Harrier Hide, including one sat on a nest and one juvenile. A great white egret and 2 juvenile grey herons were also seen. Barn owls have been a regular sight at Ron Barker hide, and the cattle egret has made another appearance. The three juvenile marsh harriers are feeding well. Ducklings and goslings of various species (including shelduck, tufted duck, gadwall and shoveler) can be seen all across the site. There are plenty of meadow brown, gatekeeper and red admiral butterflies flying about, as well as several dragonflies and damselflies. Our moth trap has given us elephant hawk-moths, peppered moths, garden tigers, large yellow underwings and a light emerald.This week's feature photo is of a shelduck and ducklings.
The sandpipers are returning to the reserve for summer, with 12 common sandpipers and 7 green sandpipers spotted on Woodend Marsh. The cattle egret has also been seen again on site. There are plenty of juvenile birds around at the moment - our marsh harrier survey has resulted in the sighting of 3 juvenile harriers, and a juvenile avocet has been spotted with its parents from Ron Barker hide. 18 barn owl chicks were ringed on our visits to the nest boxes at the Pumphouse Field, Top Mere, and Doehyles.This week's butterfly survey has given us our first comma, as well as some gatekeepers, red admirals, and plenty of meadow browns.This week's feature photo is of a common sandpiper.
This week's sightings include:Ron Barker HideCanada gooseShelduckOystercatcherAvocets (including a juvenile)Black-tailed godwitMarsh harrierBarn owlHareKingfisher HideGreat titBlue titGoldfinchGreenfinchChaffinchRobinDiscovery / Raines / Hale / Gladstone HidesCanada gooseCommon ternMediterranean gullShelduck with ducklingsLittle egretKestrelLapwingOystercatcherJanet Kear HideGreat spotted woodpeckerReed buntingLong-tailed titGreat titBlue titGoldfinchGreenfinchChaffinchBullfinchShelduckHarrier Hide / Reedbed WalkMute swanCanada gooseTufted duckPochardCetti's warblerHareUnited Utilities / Gordon Taylor HidesCanada gooseLapwingShelduckShovelerOystercatcherAvocetBarn owlsMarsh harriers, including a family with two juvenilesBuzzardKestrelSkylarkSedge warblerRoe deerHareWe've also had a good variety of moths in our moth trap this week. These include:Eyed hawk-mothPoplar hawk-mothElephant hawk-mothGold spotBurnished brassBrimstoneBuff-tipBarred strawWhite foot bellTwin spot plumeThis week's feature photo is of a marsh harrier by Louise Clewley
We have had 3 cattle egrets, a green sandpiper and a cormorant family spotted from Ron Barker hide. On the Mere, 8 common terns - including one nesting - as well as a massive group of around 30 Canada geese can be seen. The lapwing have had a very productive year with 22 chicks fledging, and our barn owl pairs have been busy collecting food for their young. From United Utilities hide, 2 hobbies and a sparrowhawk have been seen alongside our regular raptors. Several waders can be spotted on Woodend Marsh, including green sandpiper, little ringed plover, oystercatcher and avocet. We've also had regular sightings of a bittern on the Marsh. With the warm weather, it's been a good week for spotting butterflies and dragonflies. Butterfly species such as comma, painted lady, red admiral, small heath, meadow browns, brimstones, peacock and skippers have been seen. Dragonflies including azure and common blue damselflies, four spotted chasers, black-tailed skimmer and banded demoiselles are currently flying about.This week's feature photo is an oystercatcher.
Here's this weeks highlights at Martin Mere:Little Ringed Plover OystercatcherLittle EgretStonechat Marsh HarrierBuzzard Barn OwlKestrelBlackcap WhitethroatWillow WarblerCetti's WarblerSedge WarblerSkylarkReed BuntingBullfinchKingfisher Feature image of a Little Ringed Plover
This week's latest sightings include:Ron Barker HideCuckooBarn owlsPink-footed geeseBlackcapReed buntingWrenMarsh harrierHaresKingfisher HideSong thrushWrenDiscovery / Raines / Hale / Gladstone HidesCommon ternsBlack-headed gulls with chicksMediterranean gullLittle egretKestrelHaresJanet Kear HideFledged kingfisherHarrier Hide / ReedbedBearded titFledged kingfisher3 garden warblersHaresUnited Utilities / Gordon Taylor HideCuckooBarn owlsYellow wagtailMarsh harrierOystercatcherAvocetGadwallCommon ternsReed buntingStonechatHaresRoe deer with two foalsThis week's feature photo is of a pair of hares by Maureen Taylor
Pictured this week are some Black-headed Gull chicks that have been hatching and fledging from the islands on the Main Mere. A lot of these young gulls can now be seen swimming around the islands and at Swan Lake by the visitors centre. Also visible from discovery hide are Kestrels, Marsh Harriers, Avocets, and Common Terns. At the canoe safari in the grounds, the Kingfisher has been seen again as well as a water vole this morning! Shelduck chicks are wandering around the grounds and are often seen swimming in the canoe safari too. This morning we ringed an Oystercatcher chick taking cover on Swan Lake and on our nest box survey today we ringed another Blue Tit adult. Most of the tit chicks have fledged now but we still have a few to ring before the remaining do. A Greater-spotted Woodpecker has been seen feeding a chick at Janet-Kear hide today which is exciting! An array of warblers can be heard calling across the reserve - we will be conducting the Breeding Bird Survey, Lapwing Survey, and Avocet survey over the next few days so stay tuned for updates on what we see. In our moth trap at the end of last week we found Small Angle Shades, Buff-tip, and Peach Blossom.
This week we've seen Barn Owls come out of Barns in the bull's field and in Long Meadow (Barn at top of Gordon Taylor track). A lovely Sparrowhawk has been seen flying speedily about searching for prey. There have been some Little-ringed Plovers at Gordon Taylor and Whitethroat in the bramble nearby the hide, pictured in our feature image taken by Jimmy Parker. You may see some signs up next to some interesting plants! These include the Early Marsh Orchid, a purple flower, and a Bee Orchid, which unsurprisingly looks similar to a bee pollinating a flower. In our moth trap we've had loads of Elephant Hawk Moths as well as Blood Vein, Peppered Moth, and Small Emerald.Upon visiting us you'll be able to spot lots of shelduck chicks who all seem to have suddenly hatched. They're easily recognisable from their white and black markings. These can be seen on the Mere, Woodend Marsh and about the grounds. You may see some Red-legged Partridge running around on the Gordon Taylor track or at Ron-barker and the Cuckoos are still calling across the reserve. Our beautiful Marsh Harriers are circling at Gordon Taylor frequently and the Greater Spotted Woodpecker is popping in to Janet Kear to feed. All the classics are on the feeders: Goldfinch, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Greenfinch, Chaffinch, Robin, Reed Bunting. The Avocets are still on the Mere sitting on nests and flying to Ron-Barker to feed and the Kingfishers have been seen multiple times at United Utilities, Ron-Barker, Gordon Taylor, and on the canoe safari!