Spring Arrivals

Earlier in March we had a little blast of spring air.  Chiffchaffs arrived, buds started to show and we had a blast of warmer air.  We all started to get excited about the change of season, the arrival of wheatear and hirundines, such as sand and house martins.  Visiting schools were especially thrilled, they appeared to have brought the sunshine with them.

And then it all changed, the clouds and rain came over, and the wind changed direction.  Despite several wanderings, only 2 wheatear have been seen out on the sand dunes and only a couple of sightings at Marshside.   The change of wind direction is no longer favourable for them, there's been very few sightings of hirundines over the coast too.  Sand martins have been seen zipping around at some of our sites such as Leighton Moss and Burton Mere though.  And, the avocets have made it.

It would seem that osprey migration has continued with reports coming in of flyovers in the local area and the return of the ospreys at Foulshaw Moss, once again great to watch on the webcam. There's also been a couple of ring ouzel sightings locally at Marton Mere and Cocker's Dyke.  But that's it!  However, April is the month of migration.  Many of our summer breeders arrive in April, so the best is yet to come and I shall be keeping my eyes peeled for arrivals up on the dunes.

The Haven of Fairhaven

Meanwhile the summer season has kicked off at Fairhaven.  The opening ceremony marked the official opening, of the Fairhaven Marine Lake and Gardens.  The lake boats are now running at weekends and during school holidays, the trial canoeing, kayaking and SUP sessions took place and our Easter Eggstravaganza Family Lakeside Trail opened, which will run throughout all of April.  Find out fun facts about a wide range of eggs and the amazing creatures that lay them whilst enjoying some fresh spring air after all those Easter eggs.

We have also run a number of successful wader walks over the autumn and winter.  Some with Stuart from Ribble Bird Tours and others with our other experienced guide John Swarbrick.  Both have many years experience guiding bird and wildlife walks and you'll never fail to learn something new.

It was especially pleasing to see so many ringed plover on the high tide roost last week at Lytham jetty.  This remarkable birds were well camouflaged along with lots of turnstone amongst the pebbles.  They and the turnstones may not be around for very much longer as they commence their migratory journey northwards to breed in the Arctic tundra with so many other waders that over-winter on our shores.

Education at Fairhaven

It's great to see schools returning to Fairhaven too.  St Paul's from Hoddlesden joined us earlier in the month and not only brought the sunshine with them but nearly 60 children.  The trip consisted of children from Years 1 and 2, all of whom had never previously had the chance to attend a school trip because of the pandemic.  They were fabulous, exploring the lake and gardens using their senses and discovering lots about plants.  It was a real joy to have children back at the site where the RSPB have delivered an education programme since 1997.  

It's nice to see so many enquiries and bookings now coming in for the summer term.  So if you would like to visit with your class, I would urge you to book.  June and July are filling up fast, there is more availability in May as it currently stands.  If you would like to know more about a small travel subsidy that we have available for a limited number of visits then please email ribble.reserves@rspb.org.uk, check out our school visits page here for further information about our sessions and how to book your class a place.

There's also still time to book onto our Easter Family Mud Dipping event on 13 April at 2pm, for further information and booking please click here and don't forget to regularly check out our events and activities page for everything available for the family with the RSPB at Fairhaven.

This weekend see the Fairhaven Open Day on Sunday 10 April, where it's your chance to have a go at all the activities available at Fairhaven.  Check here, to find out just what's on and call into the Visitor Centre for badgemaking and a browse.

Take care all,

Jo

  wheatear and ringed plover by Jo, mud dipping by Lisa Yarrow 

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