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Recent sightings

  • 14 November 2013

    New pool at Marshside attracts an american visitor

    A drake american wigeon was seen yesterday on rimmers marsh enjoying the new pool we have recently created.

    Ron Jackson managed to film the bird yesterday from Nel's hide, click here to view it.  

    Ron also has footage of the ross's goose at Marshside which has been seen on Sutton's marsh from the visitor centre (Sangrounder's hide). Click here to view it.

    Posted by Alex

  • 30 October 2013

    Glossy ibis

    Three glossy ibis still showing well on Rimmers marsh. Best seen from Marshside road about half way down. It is a short easy walk from the car park and who knows what else you might see on the way.

    Please be considerate to other visitors and avoid parking on the footpath. 

    Posted by Alex

  • 2 September 2013

    Life as a Reserve Warden Intern

    It's strange to think that I have been volunteering at RSPB Marshside for nearly 6/7 years on and off now and I am still coming back for more enjoyment. Working alongside the past Warden of the reserve and now working with the present warden and site manager I have been able to digest an awful amount of useful information and skills with reference to reserve wardening.

    Before this post gets to in-depth I thought I would introduce myself a little more. My name is Chris Bridge and I am sadly nearing the end of my 6 month internship training as a reserve warden at Marshside reserve, working with and alongside Alex Pigott and Tony Baker. Throughout this period the reserve work has been varied and very useful to further my career in conservation and wardening.

    Bird surveying, path creation, fence building, salt marsh management and visitor services are just some of the many tasks I have been involved in. Seeing the reserve through the seasons has also been very useful. Starting in Mid-April and ending in Mid-October; these last few months have been great for wildlife on the reserve. All the breeding birds have now finished and our autumn/winter migrants are steadily moving towards us on their migration.

    The first Pink-footed geese have been seen today nearby so why not pop along to Marshside this weekend and the following weeks to see if you can catch sight of this winter goose species that winters on the Ribble estuary right on your doorstep.

    If you happen to be visiting Marshside please do come in and say hello in our main hide (Sandgrounders) and tell us what you've seen on your visit!

     Happy Birding!


    Posted by CBridge

  • 11 February 2013

    Great views and good excuses to buy new binoculars

    There were great views of the great white egret in front of the visitor centre (Sandgrounders hide) over the weekend.

    Today the lapwings, golden plover and black-tailed godwits were showing well in good numbers instead.

    Don't forget if you need to update your binoculors or just want to try out the latest RSPB stock, head to the visitor centre (sandgrounders hide) tomorrow where Julie from the Ribble Discovery Centre will be on hand to help you find the right optics for you.

    We also have a few spaces left on the big tide walk tomorrow if you need an excuse to try out your new optics purchase. Todays walk at Hesketh out marsh proved worth the cold and windy walk with awsome views of barn owl, buzzard, kestrel, merlin, and hundreds of oystercatcher, lapwings and golden plover.

    Posted by Alex

  • 5 October 2012

    Knots fear not

    The big ‘spring’ tides of the autumn blow in again soon (seasons can get confusing can't they!) and the birds are even more mobile than usual.

    On the September spring tides our Marshside guided walk participants enjoyed some great close-up views of knots and dunlins out on the estuary.  I wonder if the bird in the photo was just too tired to fly away after its incredible journey from perhaps as far away as Greenland?  Or is it because these birds don’t see humans as a threat - perhaps they have never seen one before?  Either way it makes for great views and a photographer’s dream!

    Our Hesketh Out Marsh guided-walkers were lucky to see a young spoonbill circling them for some time.  The young marsh harriers have also been popping up everywhere but especially at Hesketh where there have been 3 together recently.  There are at least 40 little egrets about and they have been joined by a great white egret recently.
    The bright sunny spells are still tempting migrant hawker dragonflies and small tortoiseshells and red admirals to fly too.  Perhaps it is still not too late for an ‘Indian summer’?

    Why not join one of our big tide walks coming up on the 16th and 17th October?A juvenile Knot having its photo taken at Marshside

    Posted by Tony Baker

  • 24 September 2012

    Superb sparrowhawk

    Here are a few photos taken yesterday of this very obliging juvenile sparrowhawk. The photos were taken from the Visitor Centre (Sandgrounders hide) where it spent most of the morning, either feeding on a previous kill or resting to let it's food go down with a good preen as well.





    Posted by Alex

  • 16 September 2012

    Blue winged teal photos as promised

    As promised here are a couple of photos taken by local birder Neill Hunt who spotted the bird first. Thanks Neill.

    Posted by Alex

  • 16 September 2012

    Marshside first?

    It was certainly a first for me! Blue winged teal at Junction pool screen today at midday doing exactly what it says in the book; associating with shovelers. Consensus from the birding crowd was that it was an adult female. According to BTO the last record of these American birds turning up in the area was in 1992. Photo hopefully to follow shortly. 

    Mainly large numbers of Black-tailed godwits on Suttons marsh with a few wigeon, teal, lapwing and pink-footed geese showing on today's WeBS count (wetland bird survey). A nice merlin added to the views by putting all the godwits up. Apparently it was raining snipe over on Rimmers marsh with 200 plus counted.

    Posted by Alex

  • 14 September 2012

    Everyday changes

    I just paused on the coast road to look across the vastness of the estuary in the hope of either the short-eared owl seen last week or one of the marsh harriers (a male is around as well as a few juveniles).  Quite sensibly, raptors were not bothering to fly in what was turning into quite a gale.  What I did see was quite as marvellous – a flock of 110 swallows tightly bunched and swooping low over the sea aster.  They seemed to be feeding but passed onwards out towards the sand dunes looking more and more like a shoal of fish as they went, with the gusting wind as their water.
    Yesterday I surveyed the Marshside ditches and felt guilty as I flushed the 1600 pink-footed geese that were feeding by the housing estate.  I feel even worse today as they have not returned! The numbers have built-up quickly this week from just 50 or so last week and I am sure that they will be back.  Some of the godwits and snipe seem to have moved on though.  There were over 2000 godwits and many 100’s, (perhaps as many as 1000), snipe on the reserve at the start of the month but snipe are back to more normal levels now.  Where are they all now?
    A couple of spoonbills at Banks Marsh have not visited Marshside but one of them was here a couple of weeks ago so I think I can post the photo by volunteer Alan Farrell here.  Other sightings this week: an osprey on the 11th (John Dempsey), water rail and kingfisher at Marshside, greenshanks and spotted redshank at Hesketh Out Marsh, brown hawker, common darter and migrant hawker dragonflies, red admiral, speckled wood and small tortoiseshells (heading for sheds now I think!).
    The constant soaking has made it a wonderful year for brackish water crowfoot, one of Marshside’s special plants (you can also see spiked water milfoil in the picture).Brackish water crowfoot

    Posted by Tony Baker

Your sightings

Grid reference: SD3520 (+2km)

Long-tailed Duck ()
19 Apr 2014
Avocet (8)
19 Apr 2014
Adult at occupied nest/incubating
Wheatear ()
19 Apr 2014
Little Gull ()
17 Apr 2014
Pink-footed Goose ()
14 Apr 2014
Water Pipit (1)
7 Apr 2014
Jack Snipe (1)
5 Apr 2014
Water Rail (1)
5 Apr 2014
Bar-tailed Godwit (20)
5 Apr 2014
Shelduck ()
19 Apr 2014

Contact us

  • Tel: 01704 226190

Where is it?

  • Lat/lng: 53.67694,-2.98096
  • Grid reference: SD353205
  • Nearest town: Southport, Merseyside
  • County: Merseyside
  • Country: England

Get directions

Note: Some reserves are not served directly by public transport and, in these cases, a nearby destination (from which you may need to walk or take a taxi or ferry) may be offered.