This site uses cookies to store information on your computer. See our Cookie Policy for further details on how to block cookies.
I am happy with this


What is a Cookie

A cookie, also known as an HTTP cookie, web cookie, or browser cookie, is a piece of data stored by a website within a browser, and then subsequently sent back to the same website by the browser. Cookies were designed to be a reliable mechanism for websites to remember things that a browser had done there in the past, which can include having clicked particular buttons, logging in, or having read pages on that site months or years ago.

NOTE : It does not know who you are or look at any of your personal files on your computer.

Why we use them

When we provide services, we want to make them easy, useful and reliable. Where services are delivered on the internet, this sometimes involves placing small amounts of information on your device, for example, your computer or mobile phone. These include small files known as cookies. They cannot be used to identify you personally.

These pieces of information are used to improve services for you through, for example:

  • recognising that you may already have given a username and password so you don’t need to do it for every web page requested
  • measuring how many people are using services, so they can be made easier to use and there’s enough capacity to ensure they are fast
  • analysing anonymised data to help us understand how people interact with our website so we can make them better

You can manage these small files and learn more about them from the article, Internet Browser cookies- what they are and how to manage them

Learn how to remove cookies set on your device

There are two types of cookie you may encounter when using our site :

First party cookies

These are our own cookies, controlled by us and used to provide information about usage of our site.

We use cookies in several places – we’ve listed each of them below with more details about why we use them and how long they will last.

Third party cookies

These are cookies found in other companies’ internet tools which we are using to enhance our site, for example Facebook or Twitter have their own cookies, which are controlled by them.

We do not control the dissemination of these cookies. You should check the third party websites for more information about these.

Log files

Log files allow us to record visitors’ use of the site. The CMS puts together log file information from all our visitors, which we use to make improvements to the layout of the site and to the information in it, based on the way that visitors move around it. Log files do not contain any personal information about you. If you receive the HTML-formatted version of a newsletter, your opening of the newsletter email is notified to us and saved. Your clicks on links in the newsletter are also saved. These and the open statistics are used in aggregate form to give us an indication of the popularity of the content and to help us make decisions about future content and formatting.

Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch

Wildfowl spectacular!

Our guided trip to Martin Mere WWT reserve in Lancashire got off to great start when six Waxwings were seen even before we left Llandudno! We met up with Jane and Phil at RSPB Conwy then picked up Ant near Mold and headed north for Martin Mere thankful that the heavy rain forecast had not arrived, at least yet.

As we neared the reserve Alan knew of some stubble fields that sometimes hold good birds so a diversion was taken. A covey of Red-legged Partridges flew in and landed on a ploughed field and gave good views. The same field held two Stock Doves and two Common Gulls with a gang of Black-headed Gulls. Flocks of Starlings were roaming over the stubble but small birds were hard to find in the high winds. A family of Whooper Swans swept low over farmland, two adults and three juveniles. Gangs of Skylarks lifted up and called right above us, but still no sign of our hoped for Corn Buntings. Then Alan spotted three of these chunky buntings whirring across the far side of a large field, the views were poor. A short drive and we reached the area where we thought the birds may have landed. Alan soon had one in the scope clinging to a wire in the face of the strong wind and everyone enjoyed wonderful views of this fast declining species. We enjoyed more great views of Red-legged Partridges and gaggles of Pink-footed Geese flew over calling then we headed for the reserve.

No sooner had we stepped out of the visitor centre we saw a Tree Sparrow sat in the first bushes right in front of us, great start. In fact there were at least two of these scarce birds here and we had great views.

A short walk and we arrived at the first hide over-looking the Mere, a large lake teaming with birds. The hide was warm and out of the wind and we soaked up the spectacle just feet from the windows! Whooper Swans were all over the water some just yards from our seats. A Ruff was on the shore right out side the hide and the views were amazingly good of this often tricky wader. Scanning around we saw at least another dozen Ruff and a huge a flock of Lapwing stood on the grass on the side of the mere. Suddenly the Lapwings were in the air twisting and turning as a Peregrine tore across the sky attempting to grab a meal. The Peregrine turned and landed on the edge of the water and wonderful views through the scope were enjoyed before it was off and away again.

MM Ruff

Next the Ron Barker hide and masses of Pink footed Geese were feeding out on the wet fields and many flocks were moving over the area. It was wonderful to see so many geese and the calls were filling the air. Whooper Swans were also here and Phil picked out a gang of Barnacle Geese in a marshy area where at first just their heads could be seen above the rushes. Luckily they soon moved out and good views were had. A Peregrine was lying down on the side of a pool, strange to see this falcon on its belly – presumably keeping out of the wind.

Back at the visitor centre hot food and drinks were enjoyed and we watched some of the captive wildfowl on the pool beyond the glass including Bewick’s Swans – none of which have been seen on the reserve yet this winter.

MM bins

Warmed we headed out again this time to the new Harrier hide, sadly no harriers on show in the now heavy rain but plenty of birds. Gadwall, Pochard and Tufted Duck all showed well and Common Snipe were feeding in the wet grasslands. More Pink footed Geese and Whooper Swans were enjoyed.

Back at the Mere we took our places in the hide and waited for the main event. At 3pm a man with a large wheelbarrow appeared and began to spread grain along the shore right in front of us. Hundreds of Whooper Swans came rushing in and fed just feet from us, a wonderful sight and sound as the swans trumpeted their wild calls. Many ducks joined the feeding frenzy with Wigeon, Pintail, Shoveler, Teal and Shelduck along with hundreds of Mallard all squabbled at point blank range, just amazing!

MM Whooper4

But there was one more spectacle as we looked out across the marsh the sky filled with thousands and thousands of Pink footed Geese in huge skeins, just a jaw dropping sight and we just stared full of wonder.

A fitting end to a great days birding!

Why not join us for the very best in birding? Our next trips are detailed below.

Hawfinch hunt Tuesday 9th November We explore the scenic Conwy Valley and search for Hawfinch a beautiful but elusive bird. We will be visiting two sites and spending a good time at each to maximise our chances of finding this bull-necked over sized billed bird. We will have seeded the areas to increase our chances of getting views of the Hawfinch and of course many other birds. We will also visit other nearby birding sites depending on time, weather and bird news, there may even be some Waxwings in the area! We will leave RSPB Conwy at 9am, where there is safe parking, and return late afternoon probably around 4pm depending on birds, traffic and weather! The cost of the full day, which includes guiding, use of optics, field guide, a day checklist, and transport, is £35 pounds - good value we think seven hours. The cost does not include food and drink during the day. Please bring a packed lunch, drink, water proofs and warm clothing.

Search for a shrike Tuesday 16th November The Clocaenog Forest holds a wintering Great grey Shrike and we will look for this beautiful rarity in the huge forest. The bird can be elusive so we will need to search hard but we hope to see plenty of other species in the area. Some of the birds we may encounter include Crossbill, Siskin, Fieldfare, Redwing, Dipper, Brambling, and Red Kite. A walk on forest tracks will be needed to reach the best area to look for the shrike, it is uphill but on a good track. We will be away from the vehicle for several hours – weather permitting! We will leave RSPB Conwy at 8am, where there is safe parking, and return early evening probably around 5pm depending on birds, traffic and weather! The cost of the full day, which includes guiding, use of optics, field guide, a day checklist, and transport, is £35 pounds - good value we think for nine hours. The cost does not include food and drink during the day. Please bring a packed lunch, drink, water proofs and warm clothing.

To book your place or for more information email or call Alan on 07778 677141.


Website Developed by blah d blah