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Lancashire

Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa ©Adrian Winter

Lancashire is blessed with a wealth of estuaries from the Mersey in the south to Morecambe Bay in the north, taking in the Alt and Ribble in between. Together they hold hundreds of thousands of waders and tens of thousands of wildfowl.

Inland are a good selection of freshwater marsh sites with two in particular renowned nationally, Leighton Moss (RSPB) and Martin Mere (Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust). Martin Mere stands in the middle of the south Lancashire moss-lands, winter home to over 25,000 Pinkfeet geese and several hundred Bewick and Whooper Swans.

Further east are the Pennine Hills which sweep close to the coast north of the Ribble. Here is a good selection of breeding moor-land birds such as Hen Harrier, Golden Plover, Raven, Ring Ousel, Dunlin and Twite, with Dotterel seen on spring passage.

Top Sites

Forest of Bowland

Satellite View

An area of great scenic beauty with narrow valleys and steep fells. The fells are well stocked with Red Grouse along with Golden Plover, Curlew, Dunlin and Short-eared Owl. In the wooded riversides are breeding Oystercatcher, Snipe, Woodcock, Red-breasted Merganser and Goosander.

Leighton Moss

Satellite View

This RSPB reserve just a mile from Morecambe Bay is famous for it's breeding Bittern and Bearded Tit. Other breeding birds include Marsh Harrier, Water Rail, and five species of duck. Unusual migrants may occur in spring and autumn such as Osprey, Spotted Crake, Black Tern, Wood and Green Sandpiper, Spotted Redshank and Geenshank.

Lune Estuary

Satellite View

The estuary flows into Morecambe Bay and has several important roost sites for both waders and wildfowl. Good views can be had at Sunderland Point on the north shore and the footpath along a disused railway between Glasson Dock and Lancaster on the south shore.

Martin Mere

Satellite View

The grounds of this Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust reserve include a large mere, several marshy fields flooded in winter and a varied collection of captive wildfowl. Over 10,000 Pinkfeet Geese roost here in the Autumn and in mid-winter the spectacular sight of hundreds of Bewick and Whooper Swans greet the visitor.

Mere Sands Wood, Rufford

Satellite View

Nationally important for Teal and Gadwall, being in the fourth richest tetrad in the (provisional) Lancs Breeding Bird atlas. Annual records of Osprey, Quail, Bittern, etc. There is a Visitor Centre, Lancashire Wildlife Trust, which gets 40,000 visitors a year.

Pendle Hill

Satellite View

Well known for it's spring passage of Dotterel, the birds arrive mid-April and usually stay for a month. Ring Ousel and Whinchat also pass through, more would stay but for disturbance from Ramblers. Grey Wagtail and Dipper breed in the streams

Contributor

Peter Crooks

Additional Material

p.crooks@ucsm.ac.uk

County Recorder

Steve White

102 Minster Court, Crown Street, Liverpool L7 3QD

0151 707 2744

stevewhite102@btinternet.com

Number of Species

Number of bird species: 354

County Bird - Pink-footed Goose Anser brachyrhynchus [… at least it is the logo of the county Bird Club]

Useful Reading

Atlas of Breeding Birds of Lancashire and North Merseyside 1997-2000

Robert Pyefinch and Peter Golborn 408 pages, 8 col plates, b/w illus, maps. Hobby Publications 2001

ISBN: 1872839088

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Birdwatching Walks Around Morecambe Bay

John Wilson and David Hindle - 192 pages, 32 page colour section. Carnegie Publishing

ISBN: 171378

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Birdwatching Walks in Bowland

John Wilson and David Hindle - 234 pages, 32 page colour section. Carnegie Publishing

ISBN: 171377

Buy this book from NHBS.com

The Birds of Lancaster & District

Lancaster & District Birdwatching Society Annual Report - see http://www.lancasterbirdwatching.org.uk/ for details of latest report available.

Where to Watch Birds in North West England & Isle of Man

by Allan Conlin, Dr J P Cullen, Pete Marsh, Tristan Reid, Chris Sharpe, Judith Smith & Stephen Williams Christopher Helm Third Edition 2008

ISBN: 9780713664218

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Guides & Tour Operators

Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…

Birding Pal

Information

Local birders willing to show visiting birders around their area…

Lancashire and Lakeland Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris

Tour Operator

Hi all and welcome to Lancashire and Lakeland Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris - Thanks for looking in on us…

North West Birds

Tour Operator

We have a passion for birds and we`d like to share it with you - by taking you birdwatching on the edge of the English Lake District. We run mini-breaks for very small groups with all in accommodation on a house party basis, with guests joining us at our home, Barn Close…

Trip Reports

Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…

CloudBirders

Trip Report Repository

CloudBirders was created by a group of Belgian world birding enthusiasts and went live on 21st of March 2013. They provide a large and growing database of birding trip reports, complemented with extensive search, voting and statistical features.

2004 - Eco-bird Race - Brockholes Quarry

Report

After starting out last year with the eco-bird race concept at Frodsham Marsh, Cheshire this year I took part in an eco-bird race with Lancashire birder and wildlife artist Tony Disley on his local patch of Brockholes Quarry…

Places to Stay

Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…

Bond Hotel - Blackpool

Accommodation

...We specialise in providing fully accessible holidays where your mobility, learning disability or mental health will never restrict you. Our 62 bedrooms are both comfortable and flexible, and come equipped with any specialist equipment you need to make your stay relaxing. Whilst you’re here with us you can also enjoy a range of organised coach trips to locations across the Fylde Coast and beyond, all departing from and returning to the comfort of our hotel...

Capernwray Country House - Nr Carnforth

Accommodation

Planning a weekend trip, walking, diving, wildlife observing, or just relaxing. Capernwray House has the answer with its array of nearby activities…

Chadwick Hotel - Lytham St Annes

Accommodation

For over half a century the Chadwick Hotel has held a reputation for first class service. Today this charm and warmth of its heritage and tradition of superb cuisine are perfectly combined to create one of the finest hotels in the region. Peter Standfield sales@thechadwickhotel.com 01253 722705

Organisations

Chorley and District Natural History Society

Website

A total of 143 species were recorded, none of which was new for the area. Nevertheless, there were plenty of good birds amongst them as a glance through the report will testify. It was a particularly good year for wader passage in terms of variety if not necessarily quantity, and much the same could be said for birds of prey and owls…

Cuerden Wildlife Explorers

Website

A Youth Group (8 to 14 years) involved in a variety of wildlife activities...

East Lancashire Ornithologists' Club

Website

Sightings from the oldest bird club in Lancashire - founded 1955. The area consists of the whole of the Burnley, Hyndburn, Pendle and Ribble Valley Districts and those parts of Blackburn with Darwen not in the Irwell catchment.

Fylde Bird Club

Website

The Web Site of the Fylde Bird Club in West Lancashire. Includes Club details (membership meetings etc); Recent Reports, Site Guides & Surveys…

Lancashire & Cheshire Fauna Society

Website

The society was formed in 1914 and has been a registered charity since 1971. Its aims are to record and publish data on all the faunal groups that occur in the region…

Lancashire Wildlife Trust

Website

We hope you enjoy visiting the reserves listed below and wish to return in the future, especially if you would like to participate in active conservation work!

Lancaster & District Birdwatching Society

Website

Lancaster & District Birdwatching Society has a membership of about 200 and currently meets at the Unitarian Church, Scotforth Road, Lancaster. An Annual Report and a Winter Programme are sent to members in August/September. A programme of summer activities/ surveys/ census work is also circulated.

North Lancashire Ringing Group

Website

The North Lancashire Ringing Group traces its roots back to 1957, when two of the present members started ringing in the area. It was formed to study the birds of the Lancaster and District Birdwatching Society's area, using ringing as a research tool. At the moment we have 12 members, who operate at several sites within the area…

Preston Society - Birdwatching & Natural History

Website

We are a society that meets each Monday evening from September through to March to enjoy a programme of talks based around a wide variety of natural history subjects…

RSPB Blackpool & Fylde Local Group

Website

This group provides children and young people with a programme of activities that develops their interest in birds and wildlife. Contact: Don Rusling - 01253 866010 - donald472@btinternet.com

RSPB Lancaster Local Group

Website

The group's aim is to support actively the work of the RSPB in the local community and to involve RSPB members and the wider public in the Society's conservation, public affairs, education, fundraising and other activities. Regular field outings are held in a variety of locations in the Lancaster area, some jointly with the Lancaster and District Birdwatching Society. So, if you would like to have fun and meet like minded people contact us and help make a difference for birds and wildlife…

RSPB Leighton Moss Wildlife Explorers

Webpage

Contact: Rachel Verrall Tel: 01524 37770 hemmingsrachel@hotmail.com

RSPB Wigan Members Group

Website

The Wigan group has members with all levels of knowledge from beginners to experts. We hold easy going walks at local bird sites on the second Wednesday and selected Saturdays of every month. Indoor meetings (illustrated talks about birds and environmental issues) at St. Anne's Parish Hall, Church Lane, Shevington, on the second Tuesday of each month from September to April at 7.45pm. Everybody is welcome at all of our events…

Wildlife Trust for Lancashire, Manchester & North Merseyside

Information

We are part of the Wildlife Trusts movement, the UK's leading conservation charity dedicated to all wildlife. We are your local charity, working hard to improve your local area for wildlife and for you. Since 1912, The Wildlife Trusts have been speaking out for nature in the UK. Our organisation is unique - while most of our work for wildlife takes place at local grassroots level, we have a national voice…

Observatories

Heysham Bird Observatory

Observatory Website

Satellite View

The observatory was set up in 1980. It involves ringing,'vis mig' counts (including seabirds) and general monitoring in the Heysham Nature reserve/power stations/harbour area…

Reserves

Bird & Nature Reserves

Website

A long list of locations etc…

Heysham Nature Reserve

Webpage

Satellite View

Large numbers of migrant birds occur on the reserve in certain types of weather conditions, usually east or southeast winds with poor visibility. The number of migrants are certainly enhanced by the lighthouse effect produced by the power stations many floodlights…

Lancashire Wildlife Trust Reserves

Website

The Trust manages 34 Nature Reserves covering over 2000 acres of woodland, wetland, upland and meadow… Map + pages for each reserve.

Marton Mere Local Nature Reserve

Webpage

Satellite View

Marton Mere is a quiet refuge surprisingly situated on the outskirts of Blackpool. The reserve is an SSSI in recognition of its bird population, but it also supports important populations of dragonflies, butterflies, bats and orchids. The site contains open water, reed beds, grassland, scrub and some pockets of woodland. There are footpaths through the reserve providing access to the bird hides.

Mere Sands Wood

Webpage

Satellite View

The reserve is owned and managed by the Wildlife Trust for Lancashire, Manchester and North Merseyside. The reserve covers 42 hectares (105 acres) and is made up of lakes, mature broadleaved and conifer woodland, sandy, wet meadows and heaths. Sand on the site proved to be of value for glass making and extraction companies quarried the site between 1974 and 1982. During this period, the Trust members and the local community worked with the County Council to require the extraction company to landscape the site into a nature reserve once the extraction was completed…

RSPB - Leighton Moss Nature Reserve

Webpage

Satellite View

This centre is a nature reserve run by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) and is situated near Silverdale. The reserve has a variety of habitats which are important for wildlife including open water, reed bed and woodland. Leighton Moss is close to the internationally important estuary of Morecambe Bay, where the RSPB also has a reserve with hides overlooking the Bay.

Three Owls Bird Sanctuary

Website

Satellite View

Wild Bird Hospital and Nature Reserve - Established 1962…

Worthington Lakes

Information

Satellite View

The lakes, made up of three reservoirs built to supply Wigan with drinking water, are fed by the River Douglas which originates on the moors above Rivington. The natural course of the river was diverted to create the reservoirs in the mid 1800's and disappears into a tunnel for half a mile before reappearing to continue its journey to the Irish Sea. Today Worthington Lakes are part of a 50 acre country park, with a nature reserve, accessible footpaths and an Environmental Education Centre…

WWT - Martin Mere

Webpage

Satellite View

Visit WWT Martin Mere and come into close contact with wetlands and their wildlife. You can get close enough to feed some of the birds straight from your hand.

Blogs

Another Bird BLOG

Blog

Lancashire bordering BLOG with excellent pictures – mostly birds in the hand…

Birding Aldcliffe & Beyond – Jon Carter

Blog

Welcome to Aldcliffe - an area of the Lune Estuary in Morecambe Bay, North Lancashire….

Birds2blog - Pete Woodruff

Blog

Accounts of my birding days mainly in Lancashire, with some posts relating to birds/birding issues, and with other aspects of wildlife covered on occasions, and all accompanied by excellent credited photographs…

Daves Birding BLOG

Blog

Lancashire birder Dave Rishton’s records of his visits to his favourite birding haunts in East Lancashire and elsewhere…

Mike Watsons Diary

Blog

I manage to escape from the Birdquest client desk on two or three tours a year and apart from occasional private trips I spend most of my spare time birding in Bowland, 15 minutes from my home…

Spudds Nature Blog

Blog

A teenager’s view of nature around us…

Zac Hinchcliffe

Blog

Trip reports and interesting occurrences at my Home in Preston, Lancs and Local Patch…

Other Links

Birding in the Lancaster area

Website

A Guide for newcomers to the area to the rich variety of Birdlife in Lancaster and District with useful Links to Birding Sites, rambling and Lake District Information…

Birds of Sunderland Point & Birdwatching Information Pages

Website

Sunderland Point and the adjacent Middleton Sands are together one of the richest bird watching areas in the North of England. Given the right timing and state of the tides, a spectacle of up to 50,000 birds can be almost guaranteed. (Try counting them!) These pages have information about the Lancaster & District newsletter as well as Sunderland point. There are also a number of trip reports accessed through the Trip Report pages of Fatbirder.

Birds2blog

Website

Pete Woodruff’s birding BLOG from Lancashire, UK…

Class Aves

Website

Surfers with a flair for scientific classification and taxonomy will already have deduced that this site is about birds in all their multifarious forms….

Lake District Osprey Project

Website

For the second time in 150 years, the wild Ospreys overlooking Bassenthwaite produced chicks in 2002 and for the first time they had twins. All the preparations for the 203 season are complete and we are now waiting to welcome the two ospreys back to north Cumbria for what we hope will be another successful year in 2003. Update - 14th April 2003- The male adult has arrived back and is again holding his territory awaiting the return of his mate. He arrived back last Tuesday the 8th April. The Dodd view point is now open…

Lancaster Birding

Website

All the latest news…

Leighton Hall - Birds of Prey

Website

Leighton Hall is home to a small, but magnificent collection of birds of prey. Some of these amazing birds fly each afternoon for visitors at 3.30 p.m. (School groups can enjoy a lunchtime display). This breathtaking display is greatly enjoyed by visitors, even more so when one of the birds asserts its independence by retreating stubbornly to the Leighton tower or a nearby tree.

Mostly Birding With Ray

Website

This blog is mostly about birding in the Lancaster area (North-West England) but will often stray to other places and other interests of mine. It will often be irreverent, always thoughtful, and will rarely be of use to those writing annual reports etc…

Naturenet Lancashire

Website

Info on local parks & reserves etc.

Pennine Online

Website

Based in Rochdale England, Pennine Photographic and Binocular Centre offer unbiased advice on all your photographic and optical needs. We are authorised dealers for such brands as Opticron, Leica, Swarovski and Zeiss binoculars and scopes. Our dedicated first floor optical showroom displays a wide range of astronomical telescopes and accessories as well as night vision equipment. We pride ourselves on our friendly service, fast mail order and keen prices. Visitors always welcome or check our website for details.

Tom McKinney's 2006 Birding Diary

Website

Welcome to Tom McKinney’s (that’s me) all new 2006 birding journal. There’s going to be some wacky, fun-filled, expletive-laden, crazy-a*s sh*t going down this year, such as a big birdspotting trip to Peru in the summer, so strap yourselves in and prepare for the ride… [From which you can see that this really funny and irreverent birding [mostly] diary is not for those easily offended; I love it - Fatbirder]

UK Bird Seed [UK]

Website

As specialists in high quality wild bird food we can offer you a broad range of seed mixes which cater to an wide variety of UK bird species. Our wild bird seed is an essential source of nutrition and sustenance providing energy to birds throughout the year.

Photographers & Artists

Blue tit nest box cam

Gallery

Last year both our home made bird boxes were occupied by blue tits. Click here for construction details, plans and general advice. The nests were removed and the boxes cleaned in November, resulting in pictures 1 and 2 below. In picture 2, note that the nest has been built as far back as possible, away from potential predators…

Photographer - Chris Galvin

Gallery

Some really excellent images from the UK and beyond…

Photographer - Colin Bushell

Gallery

Bird Images from Latin America and beyond….." will be updated after each trip and from time to time with some of my ramblings from the Ribble Valley and elsewhere in Lancashire, UK…

Photographer - Frank Clark – Bird & Nature Photos

Gallery

Bird and other nature photos…

Photographer - Gary Jenkins Bird Photography

Gallery

I’m just a bloke in Lancashire who loves birds and just happens to enjoy photographing them…

Photographer - Gordon Yates

Gallery

Gordon is best known for his wildlife films and in the last thirty years he has produced thirty films on birds ranging from his local Pennines, to his beloved island of Islay in Scotland, Iceland and more recently Greenland and Spitzbergen. It was while in Spitzbergen in 1997, camping in search of the Ivory Gull, that he had a life and death encounter with a Polar Bear…

Photographer - Graham Moreton

Gallery

I have been doing Birdwatching / Photography for about 2 years and go to 4 nature reserves in my area. I am 14 years old and cycle to each reserve. Each reserve is within a 10 mile range of were I live…

Photography - Richard Steel - Wildlife Photographic Journals

Gallery

Photographic BLOG