Thanks as always to Victoria Guinan from Martin Mere for sending the latest release on Pinkies and Whoopers at the reserve....not too sure about the seed hunts and pumpkin carving though...the picture above is by Richard Taylor-Jones.
Thousands of geese make this a record year for Lancashire
WWT Martin Mere currently has 15,000 Pink-footed Geese on the Mere, with almost 50,000 in Lancashire, making this a record number of geese in the region and a clear sign of how climate change is affecting bird movement.
Centre Manager, Andy Wooldridge, said: "The next couple of weeks may be the only time to see such a huge flock of geese in Lancashire this winter and could be the best time of the year to bird watch. Regardless of age or knowledge, seeing thousands of geese fly over the mere is an amazing sight and the noise is deafening. This is one of the best times of the year to visit the Centre."
The geese migrate from Iceland to winter in the UK, literally just stopping over in Lancashire as there is very little food available. They usually move further south to Norfolk for the winter to feed on the sugar beet that is being harvested. This year, however, the poor summer weather meant that farmers were unable to harvest their wheat crops until late resulting in a lot of wastage and an abundance of food in the area for the geese to eat. As a result they are remaining in Lancashire for longer allowing larger numbers to build to a record of 50,000.
Martin Mere has also been effected by the late harvest, and there is a large number of geese remaining on site all day, although for the birds that leave to feed elsewhere, they create a birdwatching spectacle at dusk (between 6pm and 7pm) when thousands of geese return and fly over the mere to roost.
Numbers of Whooper Swans are already starting to build at Martin Mere as they are beginning to migrate from Iceland with 73 currently on the mere. Hundreds should be on site for October Half Term with swan feeds beginning during the holidays at 3pm and 3.30pm everyday. Additionally in half term there are daily free seed hunts, pumpkin carving for ÃÂ£2.50 and Halloween and art based crafts, as well as a volunteer weekend on 1 and 2 November.
WWT Martin Mere is open every day from 9.30am to 5.30pm and parking is free of charge. Situated off the A59, it is signposted from the M61, M58 and M6. The Centre is also accessible via the Southport to Manchester and the Liverpool to Preston line by train from Burscough Rail Stations. Visit the web site http://www.wwt.org.uk/visit/martinmere/ to find out what's on all year round at Martin Mere and the other eight centres.
Eyes to the skies everyone, eyes to the skies....