Birdwatchers Flock To Lancashire Giving Winter Tourism Boost

Photo: Great Grey Shrike at Lytham Moss, Lancashire

In addition to the huge numbers of geese that attract birdwatchers annually, there has also been a number of rare birds that have been spotted that have brought birdwatchers flocking to Lancashire, giving a large boost to the local economy during the winter season, with many birders taking holidays to enjoy the magnificent scenery & wonderful birdlife that Lancashire has to offer

Amongst the Pink-footed Geese flocks, Ross’s Goose, Todd’s Canada Goose, Snow Goose, Bean Geese, White-fronted Geese and Barnacle Geese have all been spotted

A Great Grey Shrike spent the winter at Lytham Moss, on Queensway Estate, this bird is a rare winter visitor to the UK from Scandinavia and is grey, black and white with a hooked beak for catching small birds and mammals

Also visiting from Scandinavia for a winter holiday on The Fylde was a very handsome Shore Lark at Rossall Point, a very rare bird in North-West England and as such it received hundreds of visitors, with many taking photographs

It was sometimes seen with a Snow Bunting, another species that has Scandinavian breeding grounds

A species of sea-duck, the Greater Scaup, was present on Fairhaven Lake, first of all a drake was spotted and this lucky bird hooked up with 2 females! Also on Fairhaven, a Red-throated Diver gave superb views

Other sightings on The Fylde include Great White Egret, Mediterranean Gull, Grey Phalarope, flocks of Whooper Swans, Pomarine Skua and Twite at Pilling, Iceland Gull and Long-eared Owls at Marton Mere and a male Golden Pheasant at Rawcliffe Hall

At Leighton Moss, Bean Geese, White-fronted Geese, Firecrest, and Otters, with Avocets arriving in March, Hawfinches and Marsh Tits at Woodwell, 2 Black Redstarts at Carnforth, Mediterranean Gull, flocks of Eider Ducks and wader flocks at Morecambe Bay, Siberian Chiffchaff, Little Auk, Brent Goose, Shag, Purple Sandpiper at Heysham and on the Lune Estuary, Snow Goose, Brent Goose and Barnacle Goose

At Brockholes Lancashire Wildlife Trust Reserve, plenty Mediterranean Gulls, Green Sandpipers, Little Egrets, Willow Tit and lots of sightings of Roe Deer

In the Merseyside area, a flock of 100 Twite on Ainsdale Beach, Short-eared Owls at Lunt Meadows, a Long-tailed Duck spent the winter on Crosby Marine Lake, a drake Red-crested Pochard on Walton Hall Lake, female Mandarin and Ring-necked Parakeets at Sefton Park

At Marshside RSPB Hen Harrier, Ross’s Goose, Great White Egrets, Mediterranean Gulls and Water Pipit, whilst 94 Avocets arrived in March

At the Martin Mere Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust Reserve, Green-winged Teal, Hen Harrier, Bittern and Bar-headed Goose, with Avocets and several Mediterranean Gulls appearing in March, and a Glossy Ibis over Burscough

In east Lancashire, a stunning Great Northern Diver has spent the winter at Rishton Reservoir/Parsonage Reservoir, a pair of Peregrines in Chorley, and wildfowl sightings have included a Green-winged Teal at Stocks Reservoir and the Trumpeter Swan at Ribchester along the River Ribble

With the first Sand Martins, Wheatears and Ospreys turning up, who knows what’s in store for Lancashire in Spring ?

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