Birdwatchers: Marton Mere 25th January 2017

The weather was not too promising on our drive up to Blackpool, but by the time the 16 of us had assembled and set off, it was turning into the best day of the week. Cold, but with clear blue skies.

We stopped first at a platform near to the Fylde Bird club hide. As we arrived there our ears were assailed by a brief burst of Cetti’s Warbler song, but unfortunately thereafter it kept quiet and stayed resolutely out of sight. It was a good start and we were quickly noting Mute Swan and Cormorant and a single Great Black-backed Gull to add to our list.

We walked on along the wooded south side of the mere, picking out Wren, Long-tailed Tit and Goldcrest. From the mereside hide here we saw a male Goldeneye, followed a little later by a female. Good numbers of Teal were dabbling in the shallows, small Tufted flocks kept to deeper water, and a flight of Shoveler circled the mere.

The SW corner of the mere gives a good overview of the lake, and from here we added Grey Heron and Common Gull to the growing number of species seen. A couple of Linnet were heard and seen overhead.

On then around the corner on to the west side, immediately arriving at the feeding area and the woodland hide that overlooks it. All the Tits presented themselves, Blue, Great, Coal, Long-tailed, and then we were summoned outside to see a Willow Tit that preferred the pathside alders. Other species included Goldfinch, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Pheasant and Reed Bunting, and another, very showy, Goldcrest close to the hide openings.

We moved on to the North-West hide, where we partook of our packed lunches, some shivering in the hide where open flaps were allowing the cold wind to invade, some on the nearby platform, enjoying the sunshine. Although we had an excellent view of the mere, only Wigeon swam its way on to the daylist here.

Again we progressed clockwise around the mere to reach the container hide, not big enough for the whole group, and again some preferred the sunny weather. We latched on to Kestrel and Fieldfare up towards the mushroom farm, and then moved on to the berm at the eastern end. Here prolonged study of the Fieldfare flock in a grassy field revealed a couple of Redwing and a Mistle Thrush, and we were able to contrast Jackdaw and Rook on electricity wires. Finally a Buzzard drifted across, harassed by a couple of Crows.

We definitely had the best of that week’s weather, the warmth of the sunshine counterbalancing the cold of the wind. As we drove away, we turned left and the field two over from the reserve gave up Lapwing, raising our total for the day (and the year) to 45.

Richard Howells

Marton Mere Bird List 25th January 2017

Mute Swan Couple of pairs on the mere.
Wigeon  A few on the mere.
Teal God numbers around the shallows.
Mallard Ubiquitous.
Shoveler Three small flocks, one of which flew around the lake.
Tufted Duck Small flocks.
Goldeneye Male & female on the mere.
Pheasant Male under feeding area.
Cormorant Several on small island at the east end.
Grey Heron One at the west end.
Buzzard One harassed by crows over mushroom farm.
Kestrel One hovering & perched on wires at east end.
Moorhen Several.
Coot Good numbers.
Lapwing Several in nest but one field. east end.
Black-headed Gull Numerous on the mere.
Common Gull Couple flew in over the western end.
Herring Gull A few on the mere.
Great Black-backed Gull One on the mere from SE platform.
Stock-Dove Several over eastern fields.
Wood-Pigeon Several flew over.
Great Spotted Woodpecker One at western end.
Wren Southern and western sides.
Dunnock Numerous.
Robin Several.
Blackbird Several.
Fieldfare Good flock at eastern end in fields.
Redwing Two among Fieldfare flock.
Mistle Thrush One at eastern end, below mushroom farm.
Cetti’s Warbler One heard from SE platform.
Goldcrest One southern side, one feeding area hide, performed well.
Long-tailed-Tit Southern & western sides.
Blue Tit Ubiquitous.
Great Tit Feeding Area.
Coal Tit Feeding Area.
Willow Tit Feeding Area.
Black-billed Magpie Common.
Jackdaw Common.
Rook One perched on electricity wires eastern end.
Carrion Crow Several seen.
Starling Good numbers feeding among Fieldfares.
Chaffinch Southern & western sides.
Goldfinch South western corner.
Linnet Two over.
Reed Bunting Female at feeding area.