Mersey Birders

Birding the North West

This page is still 

more sites will be added in the coming weeks.

Ainsdale Dunes, Merseyside

How to get there

By Road

Heading to Southport along the A565, turn left at the first set of traffic lights after Woodvale Airfield, onto the coast road, turn left at the round-about past Pontins Holiday Camp, and follow road to left until end and park by the Ainsdale Discovey Centre.

By Rail

 The nearest train stations are in Ainsdale which is a 15 minute walk, Freshfield 25 minute walk and Southport (5 km to the north) . All are served by Merseyrail and Southport is also served by Northern Rail.

Map

O.S. Map: 108

Access

Public access along public footpaths and surrounding Dune area, (do not enter any Sheep enclosures),Permit required for Ainsdale NNR from (off public paths) Natural England.

Habitat

The main habitat consists of dunes and wet slacks, with Pine woods and small pools.

Species

Butterflies

The speciality Butterfly that occurs here is the Dark Green Fritillary, found amongst the fixed sand dunes from July-August.

Dark Green Fritillary- July- August

Grayling- July- August

Meadow Brown- June- August

Gatekeeper- June- August

Wall- Mid May- Mid June- End July - Sept

Small Heath- June- July

Speckled Wood- April- Sept

Large Skipper- June- July

Small Skipper- End June- July

Brimstone- April- Start May

Large White- End April- June-  End July - Sept

Small White- End April- June-  August - Start Sept

Green-veined White- May- Mid June  - Mid July- Sept

Orange Tip- May- June

Small Copper- May- June-  July - August

Common Blue- End May- June - August- Sept

Holly Blue- End April- May-  July - August

Red Admiral-Over winters-June - October

Painted Lady- May- June - August- October

Small Tortoiseshell- Over winters- April- May-  July- October

Peacock- Over winters- April- May-  July- October

Comma- Over winters- April-May-  July- September

Dragonflies

Azure Damselfly- May- August

Common Blue Damselfly- May- Sept

Blue-tailed Damselfly- May- August

Emerald Damselfly- July- Sept

Brown Hawker- July- Sept

Common Hawker- July- Sept

Southern Hawker- July- Sept

Migrant Hawker- August-  October

Emperor Dragonfly- June- July

Black-tailed Skimmer- May- July

Broad-bodied Chaser- May- July

Four-spotted Chaser- May- August

Black Darter- July- Sept

Ruddy Darter- July- August

Common Darter- June- October

Yellow-winged Darter August 1995 and 2006

Lesser Emperor- August 2006

Other Flora and Fauna

Common Lizard, Sand Lizard, Natterjack Toad, Common Toad, Common Frog, Smooth Newt, Great Crested Newt amongst dune slacks, offshore Grey Seal, Harbour Porpoise.

                                       

Red Squirrel in pine woods.

Pendulous Green Flowered Helleborine, Dune Helleborine, Petalwort, Yellow Bartsia, Round-leaved Wintergreen, Seaside Century, Grass of Parnassus.

Contact

Ainsdale Sand Dunes National Nature Reserve, managed by Natural England is 508 hectares of rare dunes, beach and pinewood. There are approximately 10 km of way-marked footpaths to guide you through the site. Our programme of events introduces you to some of the wonders of this special, wild place. For booking and confirmation of event time and location please email Nick Haigh or telephone 01704 578774

northwest@naturalengland.org.uk

 

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Anderton Nature Park, Cheshire

How to get there

By Road

Anderton Nature Park is just south of Marbury C.P, off the A533 and North of Northwich, and can be accessed from the A559, and is sign posted from both of these roads.

Anderton Nature Park is within easy walking and cycling distance of Northwich town centre. There are regular bus services from Northwich and Warrington, which stop outside Anderton Post Office.

For all passenger travel and timetable information contact Cheshire Traveline on 0870 6082608.
Lines are open 8:00am - 8:00pm, every day except Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Years Day.

By Rail

The nearest train station is Northwich, and is about 25 minutes walk. For more information go to the Cheshire County councils rail information site.

Map

O.S. Map 118

Access

There is open access to the public footpaths around the Nuture Park, with a car park.

Car park: Locked at 5.00pm in winter, 8.00pm in summer.

Charges: £1 for 3hours, £2 all day

Habitat

A mixture of Birch woodland and small ponds as well as calcareous grasslands.

Species

The main species of Butterfly to look for is Purple Hairstreak, which is out from late June- Mid August, best looked for amongst Oak trees.

Butterflies

Small Skipper-                   July - August
Large Skipper-                  June - July
Dingy Skipper-                  late May - June
Clouded Yellow-               July - August
Brimstone-                        April - May
Large White-                    May - June
Small White-                    April - June
Green-veined White-     May - June
Orange-tip-                      May - June
Purple Hairstreak-         June - August
White Letter Hairstreak- July - August  ( rare here)
Small Copper-                 May - June  - July - August
Common Blue-               May - June  - August - September
Holly Blue-                      April - May  - August - September
Red Admiral-                  over winters - April - May  - July - October

Painted Lady-                May - June -  August - October
Small Tortoiseshell-     over winters - April - May - July- October
Peacock-                       over winters - April - May - July - October
Comma-                         over winters - April - May - July - October
Dark Green Fritillary-  July - August  (rare here)
Speckled Wood-           late April - July - August -  October
Wall-                              May - June - July - September
Grayling-                       July - August
Gatekeeper / Hedge Brown- June - September
Meadow Brown-          June - September
Small Heath-                June - August

Dragonflies

Banded Demoiselle- June - July

Emerald Damselfly- July - September 

Large Red Damselfly- End May - August 

Blue-tailed Damselfly- End May - August 

Common Blue Damselfly- End May - September 

Azure Damselfly- End May - Mid August 

Red-eyed Damselfly- End May - Mid August 

Brown Hawker- July - September 

Southern Hawker- July - September 

Common Hawker-  July - September 

Migrant Hawker- August - October 

Hairy Dragonfly- May - June (Scarce) 

Emperor Dragonfly- June - July 

Broad-bodied Chaser- May - July 

Four-spotted Chaser- May - August 

Black-tailed Skimmer- May - July 

Common Darter- July - October 

Yellow-winged Darter- August - September (rare) 

Ruddy Darter- July - August 

Other Flora and Fauna

Western Hedgehog
Water Shrew
Common Shrew
Pygmy Shrew
Northern Mole
Daubenton's Bat
Noctule Bat
Common Pipistrelle 45kHz
Common Pipistrelle 55kHz
Nathusius's Pipistrelle
Whiskered Bat
Brown Long-eared Bat
Red Fox
Otter (Historic)
Badger
Stoat
Weasel
American Mink
Chinese Muntjac
Roe Deer
Red Squirrel (Historic)
Grey Squirrel
Northern Water Vole
Bank Vole
Field Vole
Wood Mouse
Harvest Mouse
Brown Rat
Brown Hare
Rabbit

Common Frog

Common Toad

Smooth Newt

Great Crested Newt

Contact

Anderton Nature Park: 01606 77741
E-mail:
marbury@cheshire.gov.uk

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Arnside Knott, Cumbria

      How to get there

      By road 

From the M6 heading North, come off at J35 onto the A6 and head North towards Milnthorpe, from here go left onto the B5282 and head for Arnside, it is signposted from here.

From the North come off at J36 off M6 and onto the A590, and then onto the B6385 and joining the B5282 towards Arnside.

 

By Rail

Arnside has its own station which runs from Barrow-in-Furness to Lancaster, and is operated by First TransPennine Express.

Map

Grid Ref:SD453 774

O.S. Map: 97

Access

public access, park in the National Trust car park.

Habitat

Broad-leaved woodland and scrub on limestone pavement.

Limestone pavement: a significant proportion of the reserve is covered by limestone pavement, laid down in warm Carboniferous seas around 300 million years ago. The pavement was smoothed by glacial action during the last ice age and later cleared of glacial debris by rainfall. Over the years rainwater has weathered the pavement to create a number of characteristic features. Isolated blocks called clints are separated by deep fissures (grikes) which are fed rainwater by gutter-like runnels. Solution cups - isolated hollows of varying sizes - are found on the surface of the clints.

The shaded humid conditions in the deeper grikes resemble a woodland floor habitat. These crevices are home to plants such as the Hard Shield Fern, Herb Robert, Tutsan and the rare Ridged Buckler Fern, Limestone Fern and Dark-red Helleborine.

There are many dwarf Yew, Elm, Rowan and Hazel trees on the pavement. Their roots have been restricted by the limestone, resulting in stunted growth.

Species

The speciality species are High Brown fritillary from June into July, and Northern Brown Argus which is out at the same time as the above species and Scotch Argus which is out mid July into August.

High Brown Fritillary -June-July

Dark Green Fritillary- July- August

Grayling- July- August

Meadow Brown- June- August

Gatekeeper- June- August

Wall- Mid May- Mid June- End July - Sept

Small Heath- June- July

Ringlet -July-August

Speckled Wood- April- Sept

Large Skipper- June- July

Small Skipper- End June- July

Brimstone- April- Start May

Large White- End April- June-  End July - Sept

Small White- End April- June-  August - Start Sept

Green-veined White- May- Mid June  - Mid July- Sept

Orange Tip- May- June

Purple Hairstreak -July-August

Small Copper- May- June-  July - August

Common Blue- End May- June - August- Sept

Northern Brown Argus -June-July

Scotch Argus -July-August

Holly Blue- End April- May-  July - August

Red Admiral-Over winters-June - October

Painted Lady- May- June - August- October

Small Tortoiseshell- Over winters- April- May-  July- October

Peacock- Over winters- April- May-  July- October

Comma- Over winters- April-May-  July- September

Other Flora and Fauna

The area supports a good variety of woodland birds, as well as Orchids, Ferns and other typical Limestone plants.

Other information

The site is managed by National Trust, for more information contact: 

Address:

The Hollens
Grasmere
Ambleside
Cumbria
LA22 9QZ

Tel:

0870 609 5391

Fax:

015394 35353

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Barkbooth Lot, Cumbria

How to get there

By Car

From Bowness-on-Windermere take the A5074 towards Crosthwaite. South of Winster, just after the Damson Dene Hotel, take a sharp right hand turn and follow this minor road for 1.5km/0.9 miles. Turn left at the junction and park on the roadside verge.


By Bicycle

The reserve is 8km/5 miles from Regional Route 32.


By Bus

Public transport Buses run from Kendal to Crosthwaite.

Map

Grid reference: SD 416 907

O.S.Map: 97

Status
Local Wildlife Site.

Access
The reserve is accessed directly from the public road. There are a number of paths and tracks and an unmarked circular route (1.1 km/0.7 miles). The terrain is undulating and steep in places. Paths may become overgrown with bracken in high summer. Visitors should note that ticks can be abundant on the reserve.

Habitat

Barkbooth Lot is a small enclosure of rough fell land at the head of the Winster Valley. The nature reserve is a mosaic of bracken, scrub, grassland and wetland and has two small man made tarns.

Species

Barkbooth Lot is one of a handful of sites away from Gait Barrows and Arnside Knott limestones where the nationally rare High Brown Fritillary breeds. 

Dark Green Fritillary  is widespread. 

Damselflies and dragonflies are numerous around the tarns and more than ten species have been recorded. The Downy Emerald Dragonfly breeds here as do Emperor, Common Darter and Four Spotted Chaser.

Damselflies are also abundant with Common Blue and Large Red Damselfly the most likely to be encountered.

Other Flora and Fauna

The nationally rare Medicinal Leech occurs in the tarn and Glow Worms are frequently recorded on the nature reserve. The combination of rough grassland and scrub provides a breeding habitat for Redstart, Tree Pipit and Yellow Hammer.

Roe and Red Deer occur in the woodlands.

The nature reserve does not have any rare plants. However, Northern Marsh Orchid, Moonwort and Adder's Tongue Fern have all been recorded.

Contact

Head Office:
Cumbria Wildlife Trust
Plumgarths
Crook Road
Kendal
Cumbria
LA8 8LX

T 01539 816300
F 01539 816301
E
mail@cumbriawildlifetrust.org.uk

Click here for map and directions to our offices.

Penrith Office:
Sargents Barn
Lowther
Penrith
Cumbria
CA10 2HH

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T 01931 711020
F 01931 712808

Click here for a map and directions to our offices

Black Lake, Delamere Forest, Cheshire

How to get there

By Road

Traveling from the South on the M6, come off at J18 onto the A54 until you get onto the B5152 heading for Delamere, go past Delamere train station until you reach Hatchmere, turn left here, past hunger hill (on the O.S. map) and park at the next car park area.

By Rail

To get to Delamere Station, Northern Rail runs a service from Manchester to Chester.

Map

Grid Ref: 537 709

O.S. Map: 117

Access

Public access on most forest paths.

Proceed South ,through the forest, until you come a crossroads, take the right turn over the railway line and the pool is on your left.

Habitat

A small acidic lake surrounded by trees and covered with Sphagnum Moss.

Species

White-faced Darter used to occur, but there have been no recent sightings in the last few years, but other dragonflies do occur, such as Black Darter, Common Hawker, Four-spotted Chaser, Broad-bodied Chaser, Emperor, Common Darter, as well as Large Red Damselfly, and other common species of Damselflies.

Common Hawker -July-Sept

Brown Hawker - End July-Sept

Emperor Hawker -June-July

Broad-bodied Chaser -May-July

Four-spotted  Chaser -May-August

Black Darter -End July-Mid Sept

Common Darter -July-October

Large Red Damselfly -May-Start August

Azure Damselfy -May-Mid August

Emerald Damselfly -End July-Start Sept

Other species

Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary and Purple Hairstreak in the forest, as well as other common species of Butterflies.

Other Flora and Fauna

There are all the usual common woodland birds here, and good numbers of Crossbills occur from time to time, as well as, Siskin, Pied flycatcher, Spotted flycatcher, Wood Warbler and Redstart.

Contact:

Cheshire Wildlife Trust
Bickley Hall Farm
Bickley
Malpas
Cheshire
SY14 8EF

Telephone number is: 01948 820728

 Fax number is: 0709 2888469  E-mail info@cheshirewt.cix.co.uk

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Claife Heights, Cumbria

How to get there

By Road

From the M6 heading North, come off at J36 and onto the A590, this later becomes the A591 heading for Kendal, keep on this past Kendal in the direction of Windermere, as yor travel alongside Lake Windermere you eventually come to the A593, which is a left turn before Ambleside.

Take the left turn onto the B5286 near the Roman Fort, follow this through Hawkshead and onto the B5285, as you pass Esthwaite Water on your righthandside you will come to Near Sawrey, park here and follow Forest tracks past Moss Eccles Tarn and Wise Fen Tarn and into the forest where there are two pools on the right.

By Rail

Trains start at Preston to Windermere and are operated by First TransPennine Express.

By Bus

There is a service from Lancaster to Carlisle which stops at Windermere and is run by Stagecoach.

Map

Grid Ref: SD382 976

O.S. Map: 96-97

Access

There is open access along the forest tracks and bridleways from Near Sawrey.

Habitat

The pools are both acidic amongst coniferous forest, with sedge lined pools.

Species

Downy Emerald is one of the target species for here, as well as White-faced Darter and Golden-ringed Dragonfly, all are on the wing around the 2nd week of June until the first week of July.

                                       

Other Species

There is a good selection of other Dragonflies and Damselfies at this site and surrounding area, also Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary can also be found here from June into the first week of July.

Other Flora and Fauna

Red Squirrel can be found in the forest as well as Red Deer, and moorland birds such as Wheatear, Ring Ouzel, Tree Pipit, Common Buzzard, Siskin, Common Sandpiper amongst others.

Other Information

The walk from Near Sawrey to the site will take about an hour, so good footwear and an O.S. Map of the area are recommended.

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Cors Bodgynydd, Betws-Coed, Gwynedd

How to get there

By Road

From the A55 turn left onto the A470 at Llandudno junction, follow road through Llanrwst until you come to the A5 signposted Betws-Coed, as you travel along this road, you will pass signs for Swallow Falls, the road will then bend sharply right then left, turn right onto the narrow rd just on the sharp right hand bend.

Continue along this rd until you come to signs for Bryn-y-Fawnog which is a left turn, the site is on the left side near Llyn Bodgynydd.

By Rail

There is a train service operated by Arriva Trains Wales, which goes from Llandudno Junction to Betws-Coed.

By Bus

There is a bus service from Llandudno to Betws-Coed run by Arriva.

Map

Grid Ref:SH767 597

O.S.Map:115

Access

There is open access, and the site is not far from the minor road on the West side.

Habitat

Moorland Bog is the prime habiatat for this species.

Species

Keeled Skimmer is the main target species here and can be found throughout July.

Other Species

As well as Keeled Skimmer, Four-spotted Chaser occurs as well as other common Dragonflies and Damselflies.

Other flora and fauna

The woodlands have a good variety of birds including Redstart, Wood Warbler, Pied Flycatcher, Dipper, Grey Wagtail and Common Sandpiper can be found on the streams.

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Cunsey Beck, Far Sawrey, Cumbria

How to get there

By Road

From the M6 heading North, come off at J36 and onto the A590, this later becomes the A591 heading for Kendal, keep on this past Kendal in the direction of Windermere, as you travel alongside Lake Windermere you eventually come to the A593, which is a left turn before Ambleside.

Take the left turn onto the B5286 near the Roman Fort, follow this through Hawkshead and onto the B5285, as you pass Esthwaite Water on your right handside you will come to Near Sawrey and then far Sawrey, keep going until you cross the stream and park here.

By Rail

Trains start at Preston to Windermere and are operated by First TransPennine Express.

By Bus

There is a service from Lancaster to Carlisle which stops at Windermere and is run by Stagecoach.

Map

Grid Ref:SD374 938

O.S.Map: 97

Access

Park at SD 382 935 and follow public footpath along Cunsey Beck.

Habitat

The stream is heavily vegetated running from Esthwaite Water and finally into Lake Windermere.

Species

Beautiful Demoiselle is the main species to be looked for here, located on the fast flowing stream, from the 2nd week in June to the 3rd week in July.

Other Species

Golden-ringed Dragonfly occur in the area from Esthwaite Water to the Beautiful Demoiselle site.

 

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Fleetwith, Honister Pass, Cumbria

How to get there

By Road

From the M6 heading North, come off at J36 onto the A590 heading for Kendal, this becomes the A591 which goes through Windermere, and Ambleside, past Helvellyn, as you reach Keswick, look for sings for the B5289 which skirts the lovely Derwent Water, keep gong until you reach the slate mine and museum at Honister Pass, park here and walk to the site.

Map

Grid Ref:NY216 134

O.S.Map: 89

Access

Park at NY 225 136 on O.S. Map, on the Honister Pass (small fee)and follow the path to the site.

Habitat

Rough grassland, often boggy, fellside with a poor network of rough paths.

Species

The sought after species here is Mountain Ringlet, which is at this site, the most accessible in England.

The butterfly is on the wing from the first week of July- the third week but best when weather is sunny, as butterfly goes to ground in dull weather.

Other Flora and Fauna

Emperor Dragonflies, Large Red Damselfly, Small Heath Butterfly, amongst other common Dragonflies and Butterflies. 

Other Information

Strong boots/walking boots are recommended and an up to date O.S. map of the area, and not to stray too far from footpaths.

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Gait Barrows NNR, Lancashire

How to get there

By Road

The NNR is near Morecambe Bay, 2.5 km north of the village of Silverdale and 3 km south east of Arnside.

By road, access is via minor roads from the A6 (M6). The nearest public car park is
1.5 km south west of the reserve on the road from Silverdale to Red Bridge village.

By Bus

Local bus services to the area from Carnforth, Morecambe and Lancaster are provided by Stagecoach.

By Rail

There are train stations in Silverdale and Arnside, both served by the Transpennine Express.

Map

Grid Ref:SD48 77

O.S. Map: 97

Access

Please note that due to the sensitivity of the habitats on this reserve access is by permit only. For details email Natural England's North West regional office, or telephone 01539 531 604.

Habitat

Limestone pavement, with woodland, wetlands and meadows.

Species

The main species to look for here is Duke of Burgundy, which is on the wing from the end of May until the 2nd week of June, also High Brown Fritillary which is out the 2nd week of July until the end of the month and Purple Hairstreak which is out end of July until the 3rd week in August.

Other Species

Dingy Skipper -end of May-June week 3

Pearl-bordered Fritillary -May week 3-June week 2

Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary -June- July week 1

Northern Brown Argus -June -July week 2

as well as most of the common species of Butterfly.

Other Flora and Fauna

Dark Red Helleborine, Angular Solomon's Seal, Pale St John's Wort and Rigid Buckler Fern,Limestone Fern and at Haws Water Bird's-eye Primrose, Fragrant Orchid and Black Bog-rush.

The woodland holds most of the common species of birds such as all 3 Woodpeckers.

The Green Tiger beetle makes its nests in the loose lake-side soil.

Red Squirrels, Roe and Red Deer are in the woodlands.

Other Information

Website: Natural England, Gait Barrows NNR

Contact:Natural England, The Annex, Barton Hall, Garstang Road, Barton, Preston, Lancashire, PR3 5HE
Tel: 01772 865224
Fax: 01772 865376
Email: northwest@naturalengland.org.uk

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Great Orme, Llandudno, Gwynedd

How to get there

By Road

From the A55, turn off at Llandudno junction onto the A546 and park near to the site located on the map.

By Rail

There are train services that run from Liverpool, Chester and Manchester to Llandudno, and are operated by Arriva trains.

By Bus

There is a service operated by National Express that runs from Liverpool to Llandudno.

Map

Grid Ref:SH77 83

O.S.Map: 115

Access

Public access to most of the area, a small toll fee for the road around the head.

Habitat

Open grassland on carboniferous limestone, sea cliffs.

Species

Silver-studded Blue is the target species for here, and is on the wing from the 2nd week of June until the 3rd week of July, also Grayling which flies from 1st week of July until the end of August.

Other species of Butterfly occur such as Small Heath, Small Copper, Meadow Brown, Common Blue, Wall Brown,Gatekeeper and many more.

Other Flora and Fauna

The cliffs are a breeding area for seabirds including Guillemots, Razorbills, Shags, Kittiwakes and Fulmars also Peregrines, Little Owls, Raven and Chough can often be seen.

Wild Cabbage, Hoary and Common Rock Roses, Spring Squill, Bloody Cranesbill, Sping Cinquefoil, Spiked Speedwell, Red Helleborine, Spring Sandwort, Mountain Everlasting, Hutchinsia, Spotted Catsear, Goldilocks known from only four other sites and the rare Great Ormes Berry a species of Cotoneaster.

Feral Goats can be seen on the cliff tops in some areas, as well as Dolphins and Grey Seals offshore.

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Heysham N.R. Lancashire

How to get there

By Road

From the M6 take the Heysham turnoff at J34 and onto the A683 into Heysham.

From Heysham, follow the signs for the Port of Heysham taking the A589 for 1 mile to the traffic lights, turn left down Moneyclose Lane and the entrance is on the right after 200m.

Heysham Harbour is served by the railway and bus network. There are car parking facilities on site for access to the reserve.

By Rail

There is a train running from Lancaster to Heysham run by Northern Rail.

Map

Grid Ref:SD 407 601

O.S.Map: 97 + 102

Access

No permit is needed and the reserve is open during daylight hours. No access by car to the reserve outside opening hours: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. or 10 a.m. - dusk. There is also a seawatching hide situated along the sea wall. Access details are posted at the hut by the car park, from where a reserve guide leaflet is available.

Habitat

Heysham Nature Reserve consists of a wide variety of habitats including open water, reedbed, marsh, Gorse and Hawthorn scrub, acid and neutral grasslands, heath and tree and shrub plantations.

Species

The target species here is Black-tailed Skimmer and Red-veined Darter at Middleton Industrial pond (details from NR), the Black-tailed Skimmer flies from the end of May into the 3rd week of July, and the Red-veined Darter when conditions are right late June into July.

Other speices of Dragonfly include Emperor, Ruddy Darter, Black Darter, Emerald Damselfly and Large Red Damselfly with upto 14 species being recorded. The rare Lesser Emperor has also been seen here.

Also on the reserve 21 species of butterfly have occurred, including Grayling, Small Skipper, Small Copper and good numbers of Common Blue.

Other Flora and Fauna

A total of 215 species of plant have been recorded here including, Yellow-wort, Bee Orchid and other common Orchid species.

Heysham is also a bird observatory and has a huge collection of bird species, that have either been sighted or caught and ringed, including, White-throated Sparrow, Yellow-browed Warbler, Pallas's Warbler, Wryneck, Serin,Melodious Warbler, Woodchat Shrike, Bee-eater, Night Heron and Thrush Nightingale as well as others of note.

Contact:

Reuben Neville Heysham Reserves Manager

tel: 07979 652138
email: rneville@lancswt.org.uk

Website:

Lancashire Wildlife Trust, Heysham Nature Reserve

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Mere Sands Wood, Lancashire

How to get there

By Road

Leave the A59 in Rufford onto Holmeswood Road (B5246). After one mile turn left at the "Nature Reserve" and "Meresands Kennels" signs. The car park is at the end of the lane.

By Rail

There is a train service operated by Northern Rail which stops at Rufford train station, and runs from Liverpool to Ormskirk-Preston.

By Bus

There are a few bus services to Rufford, one is operated by Arriva Bus Company and operate from Liverpool. Another service is operated by Stagecoach from Preston to Ormskirk.

Map

Grid Ref:SD447 157

O.S.Map: 108

Access

No permit is required for access to the nature reserve, but a donation of �2.00 per adult is recommended. Non-members may join the Trust at the reserve. A visitor centre with literature, toilets and displays adjoins the car park and there are six hides and a viewing platform distributed around the reserve. A trail (4.0km) passes through all the terrestrial habitats; there is also a shorter trail (2.5km).

Habitat

The reserve covers 42 hectares (105 acres) and is made up of lakes, mature broadleaved and conifer woodland, sandy, wet meadows and heaths.

Species

Black-tailed Skimmer is the main target species for here, which is on the wing from end of May and into the 3rd week of July, also Emperor Dragonfly which is out from 3rd week of June until the end of July. Migrant Hawker is the late species which is out from 2nd week of August until mid October if the weather is good.

Other species

There are a good variety of Butterflies and Moths recorded here and up to 15 species of Dragonflies, as well as 17 Mammals which included Red Squirrel.

There is a good selection of woodland birds here and over 170 species have been recorded.

Other Flora and Fauna

Over 200 species of Fungi have been recorded here as well as a good variety of plants including, Marsh Helleborine, Common Spotted, Early and Southern Marsh and Bee Orchids and notable populations of Golden Dock, Yellow Bartsia, Yellow-wort, Lesser Centaury, Royal Fern and Broad Bucker Fern.

Contact:

Kim Neal

Reserves Manager

Mere Sands Wood Nature Reserve
The Wildlife Trust for Lancashire, Manchester & North Merseyside
Holmeswood Road
Rufford
Lancashire
L40 1TG

tel: (01704) 821809
email: meresandswood@lancswt.org.uk

fax: (01704) 822195

Website:

The Wildlife Trust for Lancashire, Mere Sands Wood.

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Site Last Updated

13th Jan 2014

On this day rare birds from the past

Sunday, Jun 25 All Day
Sunday, Jun 25 All Day
Saturday, Jul 1 All Day
Wednesday, Jul 12 All Day

Photo Equipment Used

The photos on this site are mainly digi-scoped thru a Leica 77 telescope, using a Nikon Coolpix 995 3.4 MP for the older shots and the more recent shots are with a Fujifilm Finepix Z20 10 MP and a Samsung NV9  hand held to the eye-piece.

Also a Canon DSLR 40D with a 28-90 mm, 80-200mm lenses, 350D, Sigma 500mm f4,5 APO EX DG HSM, 7D.

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