It is quite a while since I visited Marton Mere near Blackpool, February 1991 to be precise, when an American Bittern was pulling the crowds.
Today was much less frenetic. It was cold, but calm and sunny and as we walked down towards the mere lots of gulls were feeding on the brass, including a good number of Common Gulls.
Some of the Mere was frozen, were a mixture of gulls were loafing about, and then unfrozen areas were inhabited by a range of Ducks, including a surviving Ruddy Duck and a few Goldeneye.
The star attraction, especially for Jack and Josh, were a group of roosting Long-eared Owls. The one shown here was giving the best views, but there were around six or seven others more hidden away.
Pete took the picture above, digiscoping. I always found this very difficult, but he seems to have mastered the art, and managed a better angle and and of course a better photo.
One of the hides offered a chance of a Water Rail, and Jack was pleased that he spotted it creeping through the reeds first. The evening was arriving and the edge of the reed bed was in shade but the views were still quite good. At the end of the day we visited a feeding station, that attracted quite a few species, with some nice close views of Reed Buntings as well as a couple of Brown Rats. Considering how close the Local Nature Reserve and Park are to the town they offer a really good birding area, of course if all the dog walkers picked up all the dog poo it would be even better, but that's true at St Margaret's as well.