Sunday, June 16, 2019

Birding at Ribble Reserve

We just completed our first trip of the summer of 2019.

It turned out it was going to be way more different then we first planned it to be.

We went to the UK and did some great birding. 
Our first reserve was Hesketh Outmarsh at Ribbles Reserve in England and our destination was Bass Rock in Scotland.

 Ribbles Reserve was wet and green with fresh air and birds everywhere, and I immediately knew we were somewhere much more lush than barren Saudi Arabia. On our right side was farmland.  The farmlands were basically fields of soil with rows and rows of green plants and vegetables. On our left side was mud and there were pools of water scattered about. The air was cold, damp and moist. Eurasian Skylarks would fly up out of the grass and hover up to about 60 feet up in the air and stay there for about 4 minutes and then hover down tweeting incessantly.  It was like being in the Amazon Rain Forest because it was moist, misty, and damp. My mom and I walked down to one of the marshes and saw a few birds such as: 4 common Shelducks, 2 Pied Avocets, and 2 Eurasian Oystercatchers. 

Pied Avocet wading and looking for aquatic insects.

After our observations at Hesketh Outmarsh, we took a short drive to the mud flats by the sea and the ecosystem had changed significantly. 

Once again there were skylarks, but this time they sounded like they were coming from every direction. It sounded like a symphony of tweeting occasionally imitating a Barn Swallow or a Green Plover and we estimated there were about 55 Sky Larks. My mom was super excited. She kept saying how many and how loud they were. The scenery had changed a lot. Now it was muddy flats with nothing but mud until the shore. There the mud was almost like quick sand. In Manchester my sister and I got wellies, and I was waiting for an opportunity to wear them. When I was out exploring on the shoreline, it was a good thing I had them because I got stuck in mud and could not get out. My dad did not have any wellies, but he yelled instructions at me like he always does to get out. Finally I did and I carefully walked back to safe ground. On our walk back we saw more Skylarks and my mom was still just as excited as she was at the beginning of the walk!

Eurasian Skylark hovering overhead.

My boots were so caked with mud that I had to stomp like a soldier back to our car.

Please stay tuned for my next post about our visit to Bass Rock in Scotland!

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