Sunday, 2 November 2014

The Tartan Birder Heads South....

Yesterday I took a trip to the North West of England to visit RSPB Leighton Moss in Silverdale, Lancashire (the scene of the recently filmed BBC series "Autumn Watch").  This involved taking a Virgin Train from Glasgow Central to Lancaster and then changing trains to Silverdale. 

I had about an hour to wait between trains, so I walked the short distance to Lambert's of Lancaster optics shop ( where I was given a very warm welcome and the opportunity to try various binoculars. 

Next, I boarded a train for the short journey to Silverdale.  RSPB Leighton Moss is only 250 m from the train station. 

Soon I was watching common garden birds feeding at one of the various feeders situated just outside the visitor centre.

Leighton Moss is the largest reedbed in north-west England.  It's "star species" include Bearded Tit, Marsh Harrier and Bittern.  There is a selection of trails and hides, most of which are suitable for wheelchairs, and get right to the heart of the reedbed. Also, a nature trail alongside two coastal lagoons provides the opportunity to see lots of wading and water birds.
The pheasants are well used to visitors and were very obliging, posing for the camera.

All in all, I saw around 30 species of birds in just under three hours, highlights include marsh tit, nuthatch, teal, raven, cormorant, coot, moorhen. I then caught the train back to Lancaster.  Provided below are some pictures of the charming Silverdale Railway Station. 


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