• Hodbarrow sightings 03/02

    We have survived another high tide and storm this weekend at Hodbarrow and Haverigg. We will be writing a blog about that soon.

    On the reserve today the wind was still quite strong and was fairly rattling the doors of the hide. Having a look out from the hide I couldn't find our Slavonian Grebe which was first seen a couple of weeks ago. There were plenty of Goldeneye with Tufted duck, pochard, red-breasted mergansers…

    • 3 Feb 2014
  • A message from the sea

    Volunteer Andy Deacon writes about the recent storms and the legacy they have left behind at Hodbarrow.

    Last week the strong winds and high tides swept plenty of rubbish up onto on the beach at Hodbarrow Point. Only a very small percentage of the tons of rubbish entering the sea reaches land like this. Mainly consisting of plastic this debris creates an environmental hazard to wildlife on and off the shore in two ways…

    • 15 Jan 2014
  • 2013 Breeding Birds at Hodbarrow - Guest blogger Chris Taylor

    Chris Taylor surveys breeding birds at Hodbarrow and in this blog we hear about the ups and downs of this years season. 

    Late March saw some of the fiercest snowstorms in recent years on the west coast. Even a snowplough got stuck! What this meant for birds planning to arrive on cue was that they simply stalled their journeys. Usually there is a week or two difference between Chiffchaffs and Willow Warblers, but not in…

    • 13 Jan 2014
  • High tides on the Duddon

    Hodbarrow has fared better than most places with the recent high tides. A surge last Friday meant that water levels around the seawall were particularly high. This didn't affect the reserve at all except paths are a bit more muddy than usual. Wellies are recommended! Unfortunately this isn't the case for other places around the estuary. The picture below shows the river lazy at the harbour in Haverigg. Anyone who has…

    • 8 Jan 2014
  • Hodbarrow sightings 18/12/2013

    What a day! Strong winds and heavy rain showers have really made for an interesting count today. The wind direction meant at high tide many wildfowl were choosing to roost in the lagoon - tucking themselves into the edge out of the wind. The sea wall provided excellent cover from them but unfortunately not for me. Two cups of tea later and I'm thawing out (just). Despite the bad weather it was definately worth getting…

    • 18 Dec 2013
  • Volunteer Guided Walk - Hodbarrow History

    The following blog was written by Andy Deacon who talks about a volunteer walk on the reserve on 11 Dec 2013.

    Volunteers who have helped at RSPB Hodbarrow during 2013 enjoyed an interesting guided walk on Wednesday lead by Karen Pugh who is the Museum Officer at Millom Discovery Centre (They have a brilliant website http://millomdiscoverycentre.co.uk/) .


    Karen leading the walk (Photo:Andy Deacon)

    The transformation…

    • 12 Dec 2013
  • Hodbarrow sightings December 2013

    We seem to have not been impacted by the great storm too much at Hodbarrow although surrounding towns and villages have been.Wildfowl seem to be using the sheltered lagoon as a safehaven from the wild waters. The pick of the lagoon today were 4 male Goldeneye and 3 scaup. Other wildfowl included large numbers of coot alongside the usual Red-breasted Mergansers, pochard, tufted duck, teal and gadwall. As the tide rose redshank…

    • 6 Dec 2013
  • Hodbarrow Update 26.11.2013

    It was such a still day at Hodbarrow today sound was carrying all around the estuary. The teal whistling sounded brilliant and lovely with the sunset. We have been doing a few improvements to the hide here at Hodbarrow so I'm sorry if this has inconvenienced any visits. I put the last coat of varnish onto the shelves today and barring a couple of other things to do we should be finished soon. We also managed to get up…

    • 25 Nov 2013
  • An autumn ramble at Hodbarrow

    Hodbarrow is fun for all the family. There is not only great wildlife but lovely walks for everyone to enjoy.

    Starting at the carpark have a look at the information board to help you find where to go and some of the sights you might see whilst you're getting there.



    Harry and Suzanne spot something near the reserve sign

    Use our new rolled stone paths to start your walk alongside the large open water lagoon where…

    • 14 Nov 2013
  • Quick update - Green Winged Teal Returns

    I quick update from Hodbarrow today. With small window of good weather there is plenty going on.

    Having a chat with one of the regulars on the reserve we heard an all might racket going over head and were greeted with a large flock of Whooper swans landing in the lagoon and making themselves know. Altogether there were 70+ of these noisy swans on the lagoon. Other highlights included the usual redshank with snipe and…

    • 5 Nov 2013
  • Pond process at Hodbarrow

    Over 2 years ago now Norm wrote a blog about funding we had recieved to create new ponds at Hodbarrow thanks to the Million Ponds project and Biffa (read about it here). The ponds were created in areas where the rare fern Pillwort had been found in the past. Machinery was brought in to create them and a hardy team of volunteers followed  to tame the scrub.

    One of the original Scrapes made with machinery two years a…

    • 1 Nov 2013
  • Quick update from the reserve

    Down on the reserve today the Slavonian grebes continue to show well. There are two on the reserve at the moment.  Plenty of waders with redshank and turnstone on the island. Also the usual snipe are feeding around there too. Wildfowl numbers continue to rise. Pochard, goldeneye, shoveler, gadwall and teal all starting to show well from the hide. Finally we have had an influx of whooper swans today with reports of 25.

    • 23 Oct 2013
  • It's not even halloween yet and we already have a Water Witch

     (Photo Derek Dixon)

    Water Witch you might ask.....well it's another name for one of the birds we have on the reserve at the moment.....more about that later!

    Down on the reserve today the wind was blowing and the clouds were threatening some down pours. Black combe was cloaked in mist but it managed to stay dry as I walked around to the hide to see what the work party had been up to yesterday. I was able to attend…

    • 18 Oct 2013
  • A walk around Hodbarrow

    Here at Hodbarrow we are constantly telling people how peacefull and beautiful the reserve is. It's a great place for taking a stroll or watching wildlife. It's brilliant when people see for themselves. This blog by the website Western Lakes describes Hodbarrow as a landscape gem.  Don't worry Sophie we don't mind you letting the cat out the bag!



    • 1 Oct 2013
  • Arty Hodbarrow - A little bit of culture and colour provided by Millom School

    Last Monday we put up our new mural which has been designed and painted by pupils at Millom School. Very colourful I'm sure you'll agree!! You get extra points if you can name all the birds and animals depicted and the hill in the back ground aswell. Big thank you to Millom School and our brilliant vols who helped prepp and put up the boards.

    Mural arrives and the bare wall behind.

    Lined up ready to be…

    • 30 Sep 2013
  • Picture Perfect

    On 28 August a varied group of keen and enthusiastic people armed with cameras ranging from DSLRs to 'point and press' met at the car park for a photography walk. Mhairi led the walk and our first port of call was the duck feeding station where there were plenty of ducks, coots, moorhens and gulls about. They didn't get any food, but plenty of photos were taken.

    Aye, Aye, Cap'n.

    We headed for the…

    • 13 Sep 2013
  • Test Flight Success

    Last week I was talking about the Common Tern youngsters that have taken over the reserve. This week I have had the pleasure of witnessing something amazing which has made all our good work trying to give terns a better home at Hodbarrow worth while.  On Monday this week I was priviledged to be able to share some of the first flights from the last of our juvenile Common Terns. I knew instantly what was happenning as the…

    • 12 Sep 2013
  • Hodbarrow News

    A busy week last week. We had a brilliant photography walk last Wednesday which was attended by some really enthusiastic phtographers all eager to learn. It was run by Andy and Chris who helped people to really discover not only their cameras but the reserve and wildlife! It was brilliant. If this is something you would be interested in drop us a line and I'll send you through details if we do another one. Hopefully when…

    • 5 Sep 2013
  • Sunny Hodbarrow

    Below is a different view from somewhere on the reserve at Hodbarrow. Any ideas? John has cleared the vegetation away from the wall here and it provides a very nice place to have a rest. I was surrounded by butterflies and the sun was shining.

     Well I have been a little quiet on the blogging front lately.  However Chris has been writting some really informative pieces which I'm sure you will agreed have made interesting…

    • 13 Aug 2013
  • In the clearing...

    .....wild flowers abound!

    Walking round the reserve, I set myself a task. I would find a small area and see how many different wild flowers I could find. I chose a small, grassy clearing between gorse bushes and looked around. The beautiful orchids on our reserve are now over, or nearly so, but there is still an abundance of lovely flowers everywhere. Not counting the obvious ones such as bramble, dandelion and white…

    • 23 Jul 2013
  • Further Delays to Safeguarding Sealife

    Further Delays to Safeguarding Sealife

    Guest blogger: Clare Reed, RSPB Marine Conservation Officer (North West)

    You may remember at the beginning of this year I asked you to write to the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) to ask that they designate a network of Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs) as soon as possible in order to protect England’s threatened marine wildlife and habitats.…

    • 22 Jul 2013
  • What goes on at Hodbarrow when nobody is looking!

    Over the past few months we have had trigger cameras on the main island at Hodbarrow. These little boxes are left over a period of time and snap a pic when ever there is movement infront of the sensor. I'm sure many of you have used or seen these cameras before - they are a great tool. We have been using them to determine if and what sorts of predators have been on the island. Thankfully we didn't seem to pick up any…

    • 12 Jul 2013
  • The sandcastle factor final!

    And the winner is ................................ Hodbarrow's hotly contested sandcastle competition winner is.....Kianna with her castle complete with Pier, rock garden and decorations. Here is a picture of her below with the brilliant prize donated by Frame It. Their gallery and printing business in Millom is well worth a look.


     (Photo Andy Deacon)


    If you hadn’t guessed this was for our family fun day where…

    • 5 Jul 2013

    My count of the dragonfly and damselfly species seen on the reserve in 2013 has now reached nine. There were two new species out today - the emerald dragonfly and the common darter. I only saw the females of these species, so it seems that the males are being polite and letting the females emerge first! Last week I saw a common hawker emerging three days in a row, but I haven't seen anything of them since. I hope they…

    • 26 Jun 2013

    Nature is unpredictable

    If someone had asked me at the start of 2013 which species of dragonfly or damselfly would I expect to see the most of this year, I would have answered without hesitation, “The Common blue damselfly”.

     In 2012 around the ponds and along the main tracks and even in the open grassland, clouds of common blues would rise in the air at every step, disturbed by me walking through their space…

    • 8 Jun 2013