Tuesday, July 18, 2017

A Little Bit Of Blackpool

Tuesday meant a ringing trip to Marton Mere, Blackpool. This Lancashire seaside resort is famous for many things, including a 1937 George Formby song "With My Little Stick of Blackpool Rock", a ditty banned by BBC radio of the day for having suggestive lyrics. Nowadays, anything goes in trendy but traditional Blackpool. 

Two miles from the world famous Blackpool Tower, the Pleasure Beach, the honky-tonk Promenade and alleged debauchery of Blackpool nightlife is Marton Mere. The mere is a water body believed to occupy a kettle-hole formed during the last glaciation over 14,000 years ago, and is thus one of only two remaining water bodies in Lancashire of natural origin, the other being Hawes Water at Silverdale, also a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). 

Marton Mere is now local nature reserve, a tranquil refuge on Blackpool’s urban fringe, important for nature conservation, quiet recreation and environmental education with a number of bird populations and other nationally important species of dragonflies, butterflies, bats and orchids. 

Marton Mere, Blackpool

I met up with Andy at 0630, a time when many Blackpool revellers choose to retire to bed after a long night of song and dance. We set up shop near the rangers’ hut and waited for our little bit of Blackpool to begin. 

Unlike 10 days ago, today we managed just 8 species in the catch of 21 birds dominated by Reed Warbler and a healthy number of Blackcaps – 8 Reed Warbler, 7 Blackcap 2 Blackbird, 1 Sedge Warbler, 1 Wren, 1 Great Tit and 1 Dunnock. 

Six of the Blackcap proved to be first year birds, probably bred on site or close by. The area of the mere is now almost surrounded by extensive parkland and woodland of Stanley Park and Blackpool Zoo, all of which hold many pairs of Blackcap in ideal habitat. 


 Our eight Reed Warblers included a male first ringed here in 2015, the rest all juveniles/first years. 

Reed Warbler

 Just one Sedge Warbler from what is now not prime habitat for this species. 

Sedge Warbler
Other species seen but not caught included Cetti’s Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Common Whitethroat, Chiffchaff, Greenfinch, Reed Bunting and Song Thrush. 

Common Whitethroat

And in case you were wondering – here’s a little stick of Blackpool Rock. 

Blackpool Rock

Log in soon for more sweet stuff and birds from Another Bird Blog.

Meanwhile, take a look at Eileen's Blog and Stewart's World Bird Wednesday.


Patrycja P. said...

Nice to see photos of these small, but beautiful birds. Greetings!

Linda said...

Blackpool is amazing, Phil! And I love the birds! They all look so beautiful and relaxed!

Stuart Price said...

My parents are from Blackpool and my grandma still lived there until she passed away last month.

Haven't been to Martonmere for many years but I got my first ever Black Tern there over 30 years ago..........no Cettis Warblers there then.

Prunella Pepperpot said...

Only ever been to Blackpool once as a small child with my family and have never felt the urge to return.
Lovely birds, my favourite has to be the reed warbler.
Have a wonderful week.
PS please don't break your teeth on the rock ;)

Breathtaking said...

Hello Phil1:) Marton Mere sounds like a perfect place to watch wildlife. The natural lake must have many species of water fowl, and the green belt around it looks very pretty. Nice selection of lovely little birds.:)

eileeninmd said...

Hello Phil, Blackpool sounds like an interesting spot. It is great there is a reserve there too. Pretty collection of birds and photos. The Sedge Warbler is pretty, but then they all are beautiful. Enjoy your day!

David Gascoigne said...

Ah, a centre of debauchery and surreptitious night life surrounded by the wildlife of Martin Mere. Mere fantasy transformed into Mere reality, Phil, and you even left some bling behind. As for the stick of rock, I think your dentist must be applauding your choice of candy.

Stewart M said...

Drove past the sign for this place two weeks ago - I have only visited a couple of times. I always seem to pass it on the way to somewhere else.

Had cracking views of Nutcracker yesterday!

Cheers - Stewart M - Geneva, Switzerland

eileeninmd said...

Hello Phil, you have some awesome places for birding. Great birds and photos.
Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Happy Saturday, enjoy your weekend.

sandyland said...

high point of my Sat morning

June Caedmon said...

How interesting, Phil and a nice day of ringing. Enjoyed seeing close ups of the sweet birds you caught. Have a great weekend!

carol l mckenna said...

Magnificent birding and photographing ~ always a delight to visit your blog ~ ^_^

A Colorful World said...

Such interesting info about Blackpool, the glacier sinkhole and the nature preserve. In the photo, though, looks like a lot of development around Marton Mere. I always hate to see that!

Rajesh said...

Very little cute birds.

Lowcarb team member said...

It's now some years back that I visited Blackpool, great to see the Blackpool rock, although it's not something I would eat now.

Always lovely to see your bird photographs ...

All the best Jan

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