Flookburgh Marshes & the Leven Estuary

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Flookburgh Marshes
Ringed Plover nest

Ringed Plover nest

These coastal marshes provide a nesting habitat for breeding oystercatcher, ringed plover (left) ,lapwing, dunlin, curlew, redshank, shelduck, snipe, black-headed gull, wheatear (below), reed bunting,common tern, sedge warbler and linnet.One of the most most extensive areas of saltmarsh in Morcambe bay can be found at Flookburgh: EastPlain, West Plain and Sandgate. The saltmarsh vegetation reflects the age, substrate and management of the marshes and shows a well-represented sequence of plant communities moving from the shore inland.The seaward edge of the marsh is typified by pioneer species notably common saltmarsh grass Puccinellia maritima and occasionally glasswort Salicornia europaea. Above the pioneer zone low level saltings dominated by common saltmarsh grass give way to saltings at a higher level dominated by redfescue Festuca rubra. Other species characteristic of this level include thrift Armeria maritimaand sea plantain Plantago maritima. Wet depressions in the upper marsh support communities with the uncommon saltmarsh flat-sedge Blysmus rufus or slender spike-rush Eleocharis uniglumis being locally dominant. In higher brackish areas the saltmarsh rush Juncus gerardi and sea rush Juncus maritimus can be found.

Click here for a location map.....

(Northern) Wheatear Oenanth oenanthe.Pic Philippe Kurlapski.Click image for license attribution
Recommended reading: The Wheatear

Recommended reading: The Wheatear

Peter Conder

This book is the product of detailed observation of the Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe over a period of forty years.The author tells the story of the Wheatear's long spring and autumn migration from Africa to the Yukon across Asia,a distance of about 13,000 km,probably the longest migration undertaken by any passerine.Peter Conder has made a close study of the territorial behaviour of Wheatears,and he shows that as opposed to being a breeding season phenomenon the first territorial tendencies may be observed in month-old juveniles,as indeed may the rudiments of vocalisations,sexual and aggresive displays used by Wheatears.
The central section of the book deals with the breeding biology of the Northern Wheatear;nest building,size of nest,role of sexes in the building,the size of eggs,clutch sizes,the breeding season and the effect of climate.The detailed chapters on the development of nestlings are particularly interesting:automatic recordings show feeding rates;nestlings were weighed individually and the development of their behaviour was studied through a hole in the roof of the nest burrow through a darkened hide.The descriptions and analysis of Wheatear behaviour are complemented by graphs and diagrams by the author,and are beautifully illustrated by the drawings of John Busby.

Hardback;1989.Helm.312pp.Illustrations,charts,graphs etc.

Where to Watch Birds North West England & the Isle of ManWhere to Watch Birds North West England & the Isle of Man
This region holds some of the finest upland sites in England, as well as some superb wetlands including Morecambe Bay which holds the largest wader roost in the country.The western coast of Northern England has a good record for attracting nearctic vagrants and the Lake District is the only place in England where Golden Eagles breed.
The guide explores the best birding sites in the area, and several new sites have been added to this revised and updated third edition.Each site is described in terms of habitat,species, access and timing, and the volume is illustrated throughout with line drawings and maps of each site.
Paperback 272pp.3rd edition. Click here for ordering details.....
Bird photographs from Flookburgh
Bird video from Flookburgh
Flookburgh on Twitter
Flookburgh blogs and links
Flookburgh local services
Birdwatching walks at Flookburgh

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