These sightings are 2010 highlights from regular birders and cover the whole of the Ribble Estuary Nature Reserves. Many are from Hesketh Out Marsh which has has produced some most rewarding experiences considering the reserve has only been in existed as a salt marsh since the outer sea-wall was breached just over 2 years ago.
First from our ex-warden -
Bittern, Great White Egret, White Stork, Crane, Spoonbills, Long-billed Dowitcher, Pectoral Sandpiper, Green-winged Teal, top goose action, 90+ Bewick's Swans, 12 Short-eared Owls, 4 Hen Harriers, 7 Merlins, Honey Buzzard, Rough-legged Buzzard, Richard's Pipit, Blue-headed Wagtails, 450 White Wagtails, Lapland Buntings, 55 Bramblings, Iceland Gull, Glaucous Gull, Sandwich terns, Arctic Terns, Waxwings, breeding Avocets, Curlew, Med Gulls & Eiders - all mega but my Ribble bird of the year 2010 was this Woodchat Shrike on private land near Longton Marsh on 20th May.
For another watcher a Bittern on Crossens Outer Marsh back in January was the highlight of 2010.
Many Happy Birding Hours in 2011.
Between 8.15 - 9.35 this morning although the weather was a bit grim the birding was good. A single Lapland Bunting was with the Linnet flock of c.300 in the bird seed mix field. Also there, 17 Reed Buntings, 55 Bramblings and 25 Tree Sparrows. There was plenty of raptor activity with the magnificent seven on the wing; 1 Peregrine, 1 Kestrel, 5 Merlins, 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 Buzzard, a juvenile Marsh Harrier and 2 ring-tail Hen Harriers. 17 Pheasants were feasting on the bird food that's been spread about.
An an almost verbatim report from our ex.Warden.
"Late this afternoon I had an excuse to drive from Southport the long way home via the Marsh, it was well tidy; in the wild bird cover I saw - c.450 Linnets, 30 Bramblings, 25 Chaffinches, 12 Corn Buntings, 1 Reed Bunting & 3 Lapland Buntings. A Sparrowhawk zoomed through a flushed everything - 2 of the Lappies flew off calling in the direction of HOM east. 10 minutes later a female showed well with the Corn Buntings in the Hawthorn hedge behind the pond - it also showed well on the ground. The Sparrowhawk was one of the sexy six, the other five being; Peregrine, Buzzard, 2 ring-tail Hen Harriers, 2 Kestrels, 3 Merlins. Also seen was a hunting Barn Owl and six Whooper Swans. Well tidy. Happy Christmas!"