Welcome to this week's Ribble roundup.

We are still eagerly awaiting more followers for our new Facebook and Twitter pages.  Please share, so we can reach out to as many people in the area as we can.

Facebook: RSPBRibbleEstuary

Twitter: @RSPB_Ribble

Ribble Discovery Centre

After the success of the feeders we have had in the "Secret Garden" at Fairhaven Lake, we have placed a feeding station near the centre of the park next to the pavilion.  We are hoping this will attract the numerous goldfinch, blue and great tits that are frequently observed around the park, as well as the blackbirds, robins and chaffinch. Being next to the pavilion there is a seating area for to sit and enjoy the birds on the feeders.


Recent sightings include the kingfisher again, the flash of shimmering blue is always a delight to see.  The pintail ducks are also hanging around, just the 1 male still and a varying number of females looking very elegant on the calmness of the lake.

Education and Visitor Centre

We have our "Build a nestbox" activity looming closer as we approach half term.  Our friends at Marshside have our kits ready, with thanks to pupils from Presfield School.  The activity will take place on Wednesday 19 February 10-12, booking is ideal so we can prepare for numbers.   To reserve your space please call 01253 796292 or email us at ribble.reserves@rspb.org.uk   £5 per kit for non members £4 per kit for members.  The session links to our 'Family Wild Challenge' and is a great activity to get the kids involved in nature during half term.  There will also be small "through the nesthole" quiz to undertake around the lake while the box dries.  Then all you need to do is take it home and get it up ready for prospective tenants. 

We have also taken a number of bookings for school sessions during February, it's fantastic to see schools still wanting to get children outdoors even in the colder months.  So we are looking forward to welcoming them.

Our Volunteer Visitor Experience Internship is still live too, click here for further information and please feel free to highlight it to anyone you feel maybe interested.

We have also been lucky enough to receive some BBC Radio Lancashire exposure in these last few weeks.  Firstly talking with Alison Butterworth about the importance of the Ribble Estuary as a migration site and secondly having a chat with Brett Davies for his drive-time show to air on Friday 14 February.


Offers in the shop this week include:

  • Two mugs for £16, retailing at £9 each (offer excludes local ranges but includes our fantastic new product range)
  • Buy two nestboxes and save £2
  • Buy two scarves for £20, retailing at £15 each
  • Buy two singing birds for £14, retailing at £8 each
  • It's still 50% off buggy nibbles...but only till 18 February so make the most of this one


Ribble National Nature Reserve

With the RSPB reserves on the brink of official inclusion within the NNR, we held our first joint Management Plan Pathfinder this week with NE (Natural England). Already strong partners, this joint plan approach will realise the opportunity for a large chunk of Ribble Estuary to be managed for wildlife and people, with the most efficient use of resources. The Ribble holds a incredible natural value, including; internationally significant numbers of wintering geese and ducks , scarce breeding birds, rare plants, awesome insects and more mammals than you would at first think. Insuring the Ribble continues to deliver its ecological and societal good is no easy task, but this multi-organisation/multi skilled team is up for the challenge. Stay tuned for more info as the plan develops.      

 Thinking HOM: WesDavies  

 Thinking Marshside: WesDavies  

Close up Teal 

Its always a saddening to find a dead bird, but it does raise opportunity to the inquisitive to observe close up. We discovered a set of teal wings left over from a peregrines supper and couldn't resist checking out the iridescent colours (even better than the images in real life)    

 Teal wing: Wesdavies

Cheeky signs of Spring at Marshside 

Patches of snowdrops are showing their heads on the sea wall and roadside verges at Marshside. These ancient woodland indicators are out of place and of dubious provenance (both in their arrival to site and authenticity). However, they are a welcome sign of longer days on their way and pose no nuisance to their neighbours. 

 Snowdrops at Marshside: WesDavies

A more authentic sign of springs could be heard at Hesketh Out Marsh, with skylarks starting to sing in the sun 

Skylarks at Hesketh Out Marsh : WesDavies

The 'Tuesday gang' could also be heard singing at Hesketh. As the lazy wind breezed through they 'crowned' the Wing Among Many with a less muddy place to stand while taking in its imposing silhouette. If you missed the blog on HOMs wing - you can find it here

 Tuesday gang listening to wigeon whistle: WesDavies

 A less muddy place to stand: WesDavies

Geese on Crossens Outer Marsh 

Its seems no Ribble roundup is complete without an interesting bird arriving at Crossens Out Marsh. This week Stuart Darbysire photographed this Grey-bellied Brant goose as it briefly allowed itself to be viewed. These birds are likely to be a fourth subspecies of Brent goose, hailing from a discrete breeding population on the Melville and Prince Patrick Islands in the western high Arctic- Canada. Its one of those instances where the taxonomy and genetics look to overlap - and so is not separated - yet. But in some cases, such as this seems quite apparent. So, no ticks for the listers but all the worthwhile seeing.