Winter is on its way
The last of the Autumn migrants are still trickling through and many of our winter visitors are arriving in the North-West.
Skeins of Pink-footed Geese, some of them hundreds strong have been passing over on their way to the Ribble Estuary where many of them will spend their winter.
Whooper Swans, also presumably destined for the Ribble Estuary area have also been seen regularly, but unlike the Geese, have been pausing to rest/sleep/feed at Brockholes with as many as 21 birds present on No.1 pit. Numbers of other wildfowl continue to increase, particularly Wigeon and Tufted Duck, but a great variety can be found at Brockholes. Red-breasted Merganser, Goldeneye, Pintail and a drake Mandarin have all been recorded recently, along with larger numbers of Teal, Mallard, Gadwall which are easily found on any of the lakes.
Curlew, Oystercatcher and Snipe are all easily found at the moment, and a Green Sandpiper was on Meadowlake on the 20th.
Amongst the smaller birds, what may turn out to be our last Swallows of the year were recorded with 13 birds moving through on 20th. Wintering thrushes are also starting to show up, with Redwings passing over most days, and the odd Fieldfare thrown in for good measure.
Cetti's Warbler can still be heard occasionally near The Lookout and Chiffchaff(s?) are still present on the reserve. Look for them amongst the mixed flocks of Blue, Great, and Long-tailed Tits, where the odd Goldcrest can also be found as the flocks move along the hedgerows. In Boilton Woods, Great-spotted Woodpeckers and Nuthatches can also be found in loose association with these flocks.