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Winter Wader Identification Weekends

October 22 – 23 2016 **2 places left**

We operate scheduled Shorebird Identification weekends based on the Fylde Coast throughout the winter months and on request for 4-6 participants. See our tours list for the dates of our next departure.

This 2 day identification course with an overnight stay on the Fylde Coast is designed to enable you to learn how to confidently identify those sometimes difficult shorebirds that are found on our estuaries in their thousands throughout the winter months.

We’ll look at the plumage, structure, behaviour, size and habitat preferences amongst other things that’ll unlock the difficulties of being able to tell a distant Dunlin from a Knot, a Redshank from a Ruff or a Greenshank or a Black-tailed from a Bar-tailed Godwit.

As well as learning how to identify waders we’ll enjoy a few other good birds too during the weekend with wildfowl and raptors likely in good numbers on both days. We’ll probably end the weekend enjoying thousands of Geese flighting in to roost on the saltmarsh at Pilling.

Although we won’t see summer visiting wader species such as Whimbrel, Little Ringed Plover or Common Sandpiper we’ll also discuss how these and other passage species can be identified and safely separated from the more numerous and familiar species.

The weekend cost of £159pp includes overnight accommodation with dinner and breakfast, lunch on both days, all weekend transport and 2 days tuition / guiding. SS £15.

There’ll also be a ‘Winter Wader Identification’ paper to take away with you at the end of the course.

A deposit of £50pp is required to book on this weekend.

Guide Weekend Itinerary
We’ll meet at our hotel at 9am (location advised a week before the course).
The day will be spent at various sites on the Ribble Estuary.
At Fairhaven we’ll look at Dunlin and Knot, Black tailed and Bar tailed Godwits, Turnstone, Curlew and Plovers such as Grey and Ringed. All these species can be easily identified by habitat preference, behaviour and size comparison as well as distinct plumage features.
On St.Annes beach there’ll be an opportunity to size up Bar tailed Godwits and there should also be Sanderlings and Knot in good numbers too.
At Warton there should be Lapwing and Golden Plover and while here we should also see Little Egrets, Whooper Swans and raptors that could include Hen Harrier, Merlin, Peregrine and Sparrowhawk with a chance of Barn Owl and Short eared Owl too.

We depart the hotel at 8.30 when we head for the Wyre Estuary near Poulton and the Conder and Lune Estuaries south of Lancaster. On the Wyre there should be good opportunities to look again at Black tailed Godwit, Dunlin, Knot, Curlew, Golden Plover and perhaps Ruff. Skippool Creek is a good area for viewing waders and there is also a good chance of finding a Mediterranean Gull here. We then head a few miles north towards Conder and Glasson where we hope to find more common waders to study along with Spotted Redshank and Greenshank. This is also an excellent area for Kingfisher and there is also a good chance of finding Bewick’s and Whooper Swans and a Yellow legged Gull is also a regular feature here.
There are other sites in the Fylde that regularly produce wintering Purple Sandpiper and Jack Snipe and if either of these species are present at the time of our weekend we may make an effort to see them.

We then drive back to our accommodation on the Fylde Coast for about 5.30pm where the weekend finishes.

We can arrange an extra nights accommodation on either the night before the course or the night after the course.

Tel: 01253-312043   Mob: 07954-584359 Email: smrbt@blueyonder.co.uk
4 Sunnyhurst Avenue, Blackpool, Lancashire FY4 2HP