|Curlew, Oystercatchers, Black-headed Gulls, Herring Gull and Knot|
Some members of the class shared cars and drove up together from Whitefield Library whilst others made their own way there. We all met up on the pay-and-display car park near the stone jetty at Morecambe at about 10:45am, where we started the day with some good views of Oystercatchers, Knot, Redshank, four Curlews, a couple of Herring Gulls, some Black-headed and Herring Gulls and later a single Shelduck.
|Same again with the addition of a Shelduck and some Herring Gulls|
We then walked along the promenade southwards towards the pier in search of Rock Pipits which Peter had seen earlier in the week. Unfortunately we didn't see any but we did come across a small flock of Turnstones at the water's edge on the way to the pier. For a short while there was also a single Redshank in with the group.
|Turnstone - one of the few not hunkered down|
|A single Redshank amongst the Turnstones|
|A small group of Turnstones|
As there was nothing much about near the pier, we decided to move up the coast to Morecambe
Yacht Club where there is an excellent platform on stilts which is great for viewing the Bay. From here we could see some male Eider Duck and Red-breasted Mergansers a short distance out to sea as well as more Oystercatchers, Curlew and Lesser Black-backed Gulls along a breakwater.
|Pink-footed Goose flypast ?|
|Oystercatchers roosting along with a Curlew and a Common Gull|
|Herring Gull amongst the Oystercatchers|
|Oystercatchers going for a dip in the sea|
|Little Egret in amongst the Oycs|
|Black-tailed Godwits, Oystercatchers, Redshank and a Little Egret|
|Mute Swan flypast|
|Herring Gull, Eider Duck, Black-tailed Godwit and yet more Oycs|
|Two female Eider Ducks|
|A male Wigeon separating two females|
After lunch we made our way up the coast through Hest Bank and Carnforth (home of the famous railway station featured in the 1945 film 'Brief Encounter') to Leighton Moss RSPB. Our first stop was at the Eric Morecambe salt marsh hide which has been newly refurbished - well completely rebuilt in actual fact. Unfortunately there was very little about here and the hazy afternoon sun made viewing difficult. We did see a Little Egret, two distant Greenshank and perhaps a Spotted Redshank as well as some Teal and a single Snipe.
|Male Shoveler on the edge of the reed bed at the Public Hide|
On the way to the Public Hide we heard a Water Rail squealing like a piglet and also a very tame Robin was posing for photographs and even came a sat on one lady's hand. From the hide we could see Shovelers, Mallards, Coots, Moorhens, Cormorants, Pochard, Mute Swans and Gadwall.
|One of several very tame Robins along the Causeway|
On the way back from the hide there were still no Bearded Tits showing, but the Cetti's Warbler let rip again with a really loud series of calls - we couldn't see it anywhere though.
|Cormorants, one hanging its wings out to dry|
From here we went back to the feeding station behind the RSPB Visitor Centre, stopping on the way to see perhaps 50 to 80 Siskins along with a few Goldfinch high up in one of the Alder trees along the route. At the feeding station there was a Marsh Tit and a Great Spotted Woodpecker as well as the usual ducks.
|Siskin in Alder tree|
It was now about 4pm and the sun was going down, so we split into two groups for the final event of the day - the Starling roost. One group went into Lillian's Hide whilst the other group went back to the two benches along the high point of the woodland walk on the way to the Causeway from the Visitor Centre. Some Blue Tits and a Coal Tit could be heard in the trees behind us as we looked across the reserve from this panoramic vantage point and quite a crowd had gathered by now.
|A male Marsh Harrier hunting|
They would twist and turn a while before diving down in to the reed beds. Whilst we were here, we also got a distant but nice view of a male Marsh Harrier and heard another Water Rail squealing as if someone had stepped on its foot.
There were also a couple of male Pheasants in the field just in front of us and nine Cormorants roosting in a tree on the far side of the water.
|Cormorants roosting in a tree|
It was a fantastic way to end what had been a great day out. The total count of birds either seen or heard was 77 species for the day - Wow! Thanks must go to Peter for arranging the fieldtrip and to the drivers for the transportation.