• Big Garden Birdwatch 2021

    Big Garden Birdwatch 2021

    We'd been waiting all month and it finally arrived on 29-31 January - The Big Garden Birdwatch.

    With the countries in lockdown again, the Big Garden Birdwatch provided the perfect excuse to sit down with a brew and some biscuits and stare out of the window for hour.  This wasn't just isn't wistful staring though, but really important science.  The Big Garden Birdwatch is in its 42nd…

    • 10 Feb 2021
  • A Frozen Marshside - Martin Campbell

    Winter has given me a whole new set of magical Marshside moments, notably during the cold snaps which have frozen over the birds’ open water.

    Ice gives us a whole new perspective on both rare and common birds, plus an extraordinary range of unusual textures and atmospheres in which to place the birds.

    So what tactics do birds use to overcome the problems of their waterworld becoming frozen?

    Firstly, we have a cloud…

    • 6 Feb 2021
  • Managing Marshes in a Developed Landscape - Scrub:

    Marshside’s coastal grazing marsh is a remaining fragment of a much wider network both locally and nationally. Ongoing habitat loss in the last century has seen the large declines in species such as lapwing and redshank. Standard semi-improved grassland has decreased by 97% since the 1960s, its coastal equivalent must have been hit even more so.  

    Faced with this background, the RSPB at Marshside strives to keep…

    • 2 Feb 2021
  • New Year (ish) 2021 on the Ribble Estuary

    New Year at Marshside and Hesketh Out Marsh

     As the year that was 2020 drew to a close, Marshside saw a few fleeting appearances of Kelvin-Helmholtz clouds. These rare wave like formations take their name from the physicists that first described the complexities of wave formations in air and liquids (The Kelvin-Helmholtz Instability). They occur in clouds when there is a strong vertical shear between two air streams,…

    • 5 Jan 2021
  • What's going on at Fairhaven haven?

    Lets look at Fairhaven

    Fairhaven Lake has a unique history and is the third largest marine lake in the country.

    The partnership with Fylde council and heritage lottery funding to restore and maintain the historical and natural heritage of the site is taking fruition.

    There are 4 key elements to this substantial funding award;

    The buildings: these are being restored to their original features.  The café is the oldest building…

    • 17 Dec 2020
  • Christmas crafting and family walk at Marshside

    RSPB Marshside Christmas Challenge 

    Can you help decorate Sandgrounders' hide Christmas Tree ? And what can you see on the way? 

    This is a two part Christmas challenge 

    Part One - At home  

    Using your Christmas crafting skills make a decoration for our Christmas tree in Sangrounders' Hide - Marshside Nature Reserve.

    Wrap up warm ready to visit Marshside reserve 

    Part Two - At Marshside Nature Reserve

    Find Sandgrounders…

    • 5 Dec 2020
  • 'My Latest Marshside Highlights' by Martin Campbell

    What are my birding highlights over the last few weeks at RSPB Marshside ?

    Well, there have been spectacular displays of thousands of Black-tailed Godwits, Lapwings and Golden Plovers which make an incredible sight when flushed from the ground by a hunting raptor. This has notably been a Peregrine, which had a real go at them!

    However, this time has provided me with close-up portraits of both male and female Kestrels

    • 5 Dec 2020
  • Breakfast Birdwatching

    Autumn lockdown 

    With the introduction of a second lockdown, the RSPB resurrected #BreakfastBirdwatch 8-9am weekday mornings where we can post sightings of the birds we see from our windows and share them with the online community.  It didn't matter where you live or how big or small your garden was, the #BreakfastBirdwatch community has been a source of great solace for all involved.  Getting involved with a time specific…

    • 2 Dec 2020
  • Marshside / Hesketh - Works and highlights Roundup: November 2020


     Large flocks of birds love our Marshside reserves this time of year. Peak counts of black-tailed godwit still surpass 5,000 while over 20,000 pink footed geese regularly roost on the saltmarsh and graze the inner marshes.

    Wigeon are mobile, but have been giving up super views from Marshside rd recently often accompanied by teal

    Scarcer ducks can be found, with a sleepy scaup settled in by Faircloughs platform…

    • 23 Nov 2020
  • Duck spotting

    It's a strange time for us all at the moment, but it’s lovely to hear how much nature helps lift your spirits through lockdown. We know for many of you, our Ribble Estuary reserves are a big part of providing enjoyment and solace in the natural world, so with that in mind we have a bit of a duck challenge for you this week...

    Fairhaven Lake

    Scaup and tufted duck

    For visitors to Fairhaven in winter the sight of…

    • 19 Nov 2020
  • Introducing Martin Campbell - A new Guest Blogger

    Intro from Wes

    Extra pressures and working arrangements in our reserves team brought by Covid19 has made fitting in some regular blog writing time tricky. So we are delighted to have had an offer from Martin to help us out. We often bump into him (if you can still bump into people from 2m away!?) at the reserves, searching for the best light or telling tales of godwits escaping peregrines or impromptu starling murmurations…

    • 14 Nov 2020
  • Renovations at Fairhaven haven.

    Ribble Discovery Centre renovations.

    Things are moving rapidly at the Ribble Discovery Centre (RDC).  The contractors have now moved in and the internal walls are down already.  The suspended ceiling is also gone exposing the original roof beams.  It is deemed that these will remain on view, albeit I hoping the dangling cobwebs will be removed!  The new office has taken shape, it's much more spacious and warmer than the old…

    • 27 Oct 2020
  • Visiting Ribble Reserves - Updated - January 2021

    Current Restrictions - Opening/closing times and facilities
    • 16 Oct 2020
  • Time for change

    Ribble Discovery Centre It's been all systems go at the Ribble Discovery Centre since the beginning of September with the green light to clear the building in readiness for the re-furbishment. Thanks to funding from the National Lottery Heri...
    • 7 Oct 2020
  • What's open at the Ribble Estuary reserves?

    It's a strange time for us all at the moment, but it’s lovely to hear how much nature helps lift your spirits through lockdown. We know for many of you, our Ribble Estuary reserves are a big part of providing enjoyment and solace in the natural world.  

    Before setting off, please read through the following update on the opening situation of the facilities at each of our Ribble Estuary sites, changes that may be in…

    • 10 Aug 2020
  • Ribble Estuary reserves - part re-opening

    As we are now beginning to see the easing of some of the restrictions on travel and spending time in green space, the staff here on the Ribble Estuary have been exploring ways in which we can re-open our sites. Crucially we need to make sure that it is safe for our staff, volunteers and visitors, and the wildlife that calls them home.

    Firstly, we are asking people to please stick to visiting reserves within your local area…

    • 30 May 2020
  • Reserve closures

    Despite some very slight changes in lockdown restrictions in England, our Ribble Estuary sites, including Marshside, Hesketh Out Marsh and Ribble Discovery Centre remain closed to the public for now. Our priority is to ensure that we only re-open when we have everything in place to keep our members, visitors, volunteers and employees safe.

    We must also make sure that the wildlife that calls our sites home is ready to receive…

    • 11 May 2020
  • Breakfast Birdwatch, "Observations from my window" and Wild Challenge

    This week we have been in touch with all our volunteers and we are pleased to report that they are all doing well.  We are all making the most of the time at home to observe the birds and wildlife in our garden. 

    This week we have two guest blogs.  One from our retail assistant Liz who has written an account of the bird antics in her garden and one from Ellie, who has written about her sunflower competition with her brother…

    • 3 Apr 2020
  • Get Ready for a Wild Challenge

    Well, in this time where we are all adjusting to working and learning from home, there are fantastic opportunities to re-engage with nature.  Whether that is in your garden, what you can see from your window or even what you see in your allotted daily exercise time. 

    I have appreciated the wildlife in my garden more than ever before, taking more time to notice the pair of blackbirds in my garden that not only come for the…

    • 30 Mar 2020
  • Covid19 and the Ribble Reserves

    Last Updated -  24/03/20

    These are difficult and unsettling times for all of us but we hope that nature can provide a welcome respite in whichever form and wherever you may encounter it.

    Following the latest advice, we have closed our reserves. The carparks at Marshside and Hesketh Out Marsh are now closed, along with the hides and toilet.  

    You can find the RSPB’s latest response to coronavirus on our website h…

    • 19 Mar 2020
  • Ribble Roundup: Avocets at Newton - Last of the big high tides - Out and About - Twite rump

    Out and About 

     The RSPBs work extends far beyond our reserves. Working with partners across the county and country helps us give nature a home wherever we can. This week the Marshside team and volunteers were out and about in the wider area lending a hand 'off site'. We surveyed Newton marsh, a privately owned site used as grazing pasture on the northern side of the Ribble. This site is great for waders, and is one of…

    • 14 Mar 2020
  • Ribble Roundup - Start of the school year - Pink feet - Black-headed gull musings - Marine plastic - Red 67

    Ribble Discovery Centre

    Education and Visitor Centre

    The start of the school visit season has kicked off in style, with Plant Detectives proving a popular choice even in February.

    The secret garden is the ideal location for this key stage 1 activity, it's quiet, safe and secluded and is the ideal backdrop for the activities.  Measuring and calculating the age of a tree is always one of the favourite activities, alongside…

    • 5 Mar 2020
  • A Call for Survey Volunteers

    Volunteer Bird Surveyors Needed 

    Keeping track of the fortunes of birds on the Ribble is no easy task, its an enormous area to cover, and to make things harder its not always accessible. We run various programs, from specific species success, to full breeding species lists. This breeding season brings challenges of new areas (Crossens inner marsh) and an increased effort on target species. There is no way we can cover…

    • 26 Feb 2020
  • Ribble Roundup - National Nestbox Week - Creeping Spring - More Weather - Hiding in Hides

    Nestbox Week at RDC

    Half term nestbox building was a great success, celebrating National Nestbox Week in style.  The kits provided by Marshside and Presfield School were fabulous and it was inspiring to see the enthusiasm of the children.  It was great to see so many children able and willing to use tools such as screwdrivers and hammers and be given the opportunity to do so.  This was something I was passionate about when…

    • 21 Feb 2020
  • Wild is the wind

    Welcome to this weeks Ribble roundup, which as the title suggests has been a wild and windy week. 

    The Ribble Discovery Centre welcomed their first school visit of the new year on a very blustery day!  The Year 2 class from Strike Lane Primary School Completed the Plant Detectives session in the secret garden, it was quite a challenge in the wind, but, one I suspect many of the children will not forget.  The children were…

    • 14 Feb 2020