Northern Exposure

So let me see if I’ve got this straight; it’s cold, grey and windy and you need a head torch on at midday.
The birds are largely distant, buff, brown and grey and hunkered down, and scowling into the wind looking like hypothermia is just a wingbeat away.
They do not appear happy.
The roar of traffic from the coast road is constant.
Winter Ribble birding is simply NOT the same as swanning around watching West African species so colourful you need shades on just to think about ’em.
For more on that, why not give Birdblog Gambia 2018 a read? It’s filling up a bit now…

On the upside, Marshside Two was carpetted with Lapwings and Golden Plover, with Dunlin scurrying around them and glacial Little Egrets wading about this afternoon.
Pinkies commuted from the outer marsh, where Merlin and Common Buzzard were hunting, and occasionally the whole lot were spooked and rose into the air, the dread caused by a GBB, Merlin or just nerves in a cold climate.
Four drake Pochard on Sands Lake at Ainsdale when I called in on the way home, but the light was fading fast by then.
Soon this will become the norm again.

3 thoughts on “Northern Exposure

  1. Hi john two trees absolutely full of pied wagtails asleep at Aintree Hospital every night .Never seen this before but read about it many times.They’ve also been seen flying along the corridors.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. After the RSPB Dee Estuary reserve’s long-serving site manager, Colin Wells retired in the autumn, the perfect candidate to succeed him has been found. Birkenhead-born Graham Jones was welcomed into the team in late December, and has taken up the reins at one of the RSPB’s largest and most diverse nature reserves.
    Graham’s first experience of the area was through visiting Parkgate as a young teenager in the early 1980s, shortly after the RSPB had bought a vast part of the estuary to establish its Dee Estuary reserve. Travelling by bus or bicycle from his family home in Birkenhead, his love of nature was inspired by the Dee’s vast marshes.
    At the time, the RSPB’s junior membership, known then as the Young Ornithologists Club (since renamed Wildlife Explorers), had a local group of which Graham was a keen member. As part of that group, in early 1984, Graham was introduced to the new warden of the RSPB’s growing Dee Estuary reserve, a certain Colin Wells.
    Through regular encounters around the reserve, Colin shared with Graham his great knowledge and passion for birds, wildlife and the estuary. Yet Graham did not initially head into a career in nature conservation.
    Having only started a Field Biology and Habitat Management degree in his late-twenties, Graham then worked as a Biodiversity Manager for the Greater Manchester Ecology Unit in Manchester, stepping across into the charity sector with Lancashire Wildlife Trust and Butterfly Conservation before joining the RSPB in 2013 as North West Area Conservation Manager.
    Graham said, “Getting this job is a dream come true for me. It’s thanks to growing up exploring the Dee’s wildernesses that I became fascinated by wildlife at a young age, and it’s incredible just how much Colin and the RSPB has been able to achieve to give nature a home here.
    “I’ve loved watching the reserve grow over the past 35 years and visited regularly, even when living up in Lancashire, so to come back here now as site manager and lead its future development, I feel incredibly fortunate – it’s like coming home to roost!”
    For more details on the RSPB Dee Estuary nature reserve, visit


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