22 April 2012

Fleetwood Marsh Nature Park

This weekend I travelled down to Lancashire for a week at the head office of the company I work for. This afternoon I had the opportunity to meet up with Seumus and Ian from the Fylde Ringing Group again.

We arranged to meet up at the Fleetwood Marsh Nature Park which is set in an open landscape next to the Wyre estuary, which is an SPA and SSSI.

The site consists of an area of coastal grassland next to the estuary itself and three lagoons. The first of the lagoons is a freshwater lagoon surrounded by reedbed, the second is brackish and subject to seasonal level variations and the third is a new lagoon which has yet to develop a wildlife character.

It was the first of these lagoons that we had come to visit. Reed and Sedge Warblers had started to arrive back at the reedbed and Reed Buntings could also be heard calling.

As we setup three mist nets in the reedbed, Skylarks could be heard singing overhead.

The first check of the nets left us walking back to the cars empty handed. The second check looked liked it was going to be the same result with the first two nets being empty. As we approached the third net we could see that two birds had been caught and as we got closer the catch was revealed as two Blue Tits. A male and a female, with the female being a retrap.

The third visit to the nets revealed another two birds, this time a pair of Blackbirds. Again the female was a retrap.

The next two visits to the nets again saw us coming away empty handed and the final check of the nets saw the male Blackbird that had been ringed earlier back in the net.

The warblers had teased us with their calling but had evaded capture.

A single Swallow was seen flying around over the freshwater lagoon so hopefully by the time I get back up to Orkney they will have arrived there too.

Thanks to Seumus and Ian for inviting me out again.

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