Avocets and Twites

Avocet at Marshside
Highlights from another trip to the coast – the RSPB reserve at Marshside just north of Southport. Plenty of Avocets and Black-tailed Godwits with circa 150 Wigeon hanging on for a change in the weather before moving north. Also a Spoonbill and several Snipe around. However the real stars of the show were the Skylarks in full song all the way along the marshes.
Extinct in the UK until after World War II the Avocet’s recolonisation has been a huge success. 
Black tailed Godwit
Unfortunately the Black tailed Godwit hasn’t shared in the success of the Avocets with it now being classed as near threatened.
A distant photo of some Twite just south of Southport 
Twite – another red listed bird that has suffered a rapid decine

Surprisingly flighty – probably something to do with an idiot with a scope who spent half an hour chasing them up and down the saltmarsh, followed by the dog walkers, and then a young family with prams and children running around. Eventually the birds settled down and returned to feed on the tide line about 30 yards away. Just as they began to move a bit closer along came Bouncer and that was it.

Dunnock singing at Burton Mere
Just one of those days at Burton Marsh. On a good day Hen Harriers, Hobbies, Spoonbills or even a Lesser Scaup. On a quiet spring morning with a strong easterly wind there was not a lot to see. Still frustrating that there are no windows or openings in the main hide.
One of the almost legendary rats found at Burton Mere
The Brown Rat – the 2nd most successful mammal on the planet
Coltsfoot -
Coltsfoot – the raw ingredient to the well known Lancashire delicacy of Coltsfoot rock.  
Sculpture at Burton Mere
A Grey Heron sculpture by a Cheshre based artist Paul Bearman at Burton Mere Wetlands.  The piece was only possible thanks to a generous donation by the National Exhibition of Wildlife Art .

Note: to RSPB please encourage more donations. It’d be great to see an artist in residence at one of the larger reserves eg. Leighton Moss.

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