Monday, March 12, 2007

Marshside

From Mere Sands we drove to Marshside, an RSPB reserve, just north of Southport (http://www.rspb.org.uk/reserves/guide/m/marshside/index.asp). The reserve is a significant expanse of wetlands, with a road running through the middle. Also along the coast road and on the other side is the vast Ribble Estuary (English Nature). We decided to walk around the larger of the two reserve areas. There were plenty of birds around including a huge flock of Golden Plover, though they remainded in the middle of the reserve and therefore out of range of my camera. As we headed around the perimeter there was one Teal Drake that seemed unpreturbed by our presence:














Beautiful plumage. Halfway around (an increasingly longer looking walk!) this Black-tailed Godwit was showing very well from the public path. still in winter plumage:














I estimate we saw 50 Black-tailed Godwits but hundreds of Teals, Wigeon and Golden Plover. You can see on this snap the Black-tailed Godwit to the rear of this pair is starting to moult into breeding plumage, showing a darker/orange head, neck and chest:














Further along the path we came close to a Curlew, foraging:















I'm delighted with my new camera, the quality of the images tends to be significantly improved as the above snaps illustrate!

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