Ribble Reserves blog w/c 04.11.19

Our new Ribble Reserves blog combines news from all of our RSPB Ribble estuary sites; Marshside, Hesketh Out Marsh and the Ribble Discovery Centre providing you with all the latest up to date information about sightings, events, shop offers and educational visits!

Ribble Discovery Centre

The kingfisher continues to be spotted flitting over the lake, it continues to evade us in the centre however!  Redshanks and oystercatchers are spotted frequently on the edge of the lake and over 30 mute swans were counted this week.

Educational visits

With #OutdoorClassroomDay today we thought we would look at our education season so far.  This season since April we have delivered our learning sessions to schools and youth groups, engaging 1500 children.  That's a lot of mud dipping!  We offer a suite of sessions linked to the Science National Curriculum and our coastal beach sessions also match the Cornerstones curriculum.  We undertake sessions in and around the lake and gardens such as plant detectives and living things and their habitats, but one of our most popular sessions is the mud habitat study.  Awe and wonder is rife in this session.  Children have the opportunity to not only discover and identify the invertebrates living beneath this highly nutritious mud but they also have the chance to understand their wider relationship within the food chains and ecosystem of the habitat.  The opportunity to use wide scientific vocabulary is there and this was commended in our Council for Learning Outside the Classroom Quality badge inspection.

Brownies mud dipping photo credit Jo Taylor

Our feedback this season has also been excellent with 100% of respondents stating their session was "outstanding" or "very good".  This is with great thanks to the huge contribution of our many learning volunteers who are so vital to our team.

If you are interested in booking an educational visit at the Ribble Discovery Centre at any time of year please contact our learning officer Jo Taylor at jo.taylor@rspb.org.uk 

Visitor Centre and family events

Our Autumn Explorer trail was very popular over half term with over 70 families taking part.  The winner has now been drawn and will be collecting their family prize from the Ribble Discovery Centre this weekend.  Well done!


Alongside our Christmas cards, wrapping and calendar offers there's  currently a fantastic 20% off 12.75kg boxes of Buggy Nibbles (R402649) and High Energy Suet Sprinkles (R403130). Normally £39.99, now £31.99 too.

In our centre we sell a wide range of books, including some great wildlife identification guides and also a range of natural history novels.  Great for that special Christmas gift.

Ray, one of our centre volunteers has written the following book review for us:

 "This book is a must - sensitive, inspiring and told in such a way it gives you feeling you are being told a story by someone who genuinely cares.  It is well researched and factual interspersed by humour.  If you love birds, history or just a thoroughly good story then this is a must read for you.  I would recommend this nook to anyone interested in birdwatching and the history of the conservation movement, anyone wanting a good read and anyone interested in the history of the Second World War."

Marshside Skies

We have been treated to displays from a suite of raptors present at Marshside of late. Peregrine, hen harrier, merlin, sparrow hawk, marsh harrier hunt over the inner and outer marshes, often agitating their quarry into amazing evasive displays. The black tailed godwits below are were filmed at Marshside (Rimmers Marsh) keeping ahead of a peregrine. 

Out and About  

 A the days get shorter and the first few frosts reach in, the marshes colour palette is finding its winter hues.  

Dusk at Sandgrounders hide: Marshside

Record breaking cows 

This cow broke the coveted 'interference record'  - with an outstanding heavy scratch test of a freshly repaired stile …. 45 seconds is going to be hard to beat  

From the Web 

Visitors have been enjoying the nomadic band of cattle egrets as they move from site to site along the Ribble. These thirteen were photographed by Janice Sutton as they headed to roost. Its incredible to see this species increase its footing on the Ribble.

Janice also caught up with the growing flock of twite now enjoying the saltmarsh. This image was taken by the pier, but they have been spotted at Marshside and along the fence line at Hesketh Out Marsh