Saturday, 12 January 2013


Saturday January 12th
 Our first adventure out of the local area this year took us to  Hodbarrow the RSPB
Nature Reserve near Millom in Cumbria.Our journey took us through the Yorkshire Dales
and then in to the Lake District, on our arrival it was a bright day with a temperature of 4°C.
 The reserve lays on the Duddon Estuary where a large lagoon is host to many birds and a
couple of islands are refuge to wading birds at high tide and where they can roost. As we
approached the lagoon near the car park we saw BH Gulls,Common Gulls,Herring Gull,Little
Grebe,Mallards,Coots,Mute Swans,Moorhen & Canadas. There were other common species in
the trees including an obliging Robin. We then set off heading for the hide situated a mile or
so along the track which takes you along the sea wall which creates the lagoon behind. As
we had moved along a 100m or so we got our first sighting of two female Red-breasted
Mergansers which were good to see as they were one of the birds we had made the journey
to see. As we walked along the sea wall we also caught sight of a Seal, when we got to the hide
we could see one of the islands was covered with Lapwings & Oystercatchers with a solitary
Drake Eider Duck. There were also good numbers of Redshank,Teal,Goldeneye and we saw
more Red-breasted Mergansers at distance including some impressive Drakes.
 When we were in the hide I got my first chance to try out my new spotting scope,this was a bit
of a fiddle to set up but was a help to giving us IDs on Snipe and a couple of Turnstones of which
I'm sure there would have been more of.Even with the scope one tiny dumpy bird was giving us a
problem, there were a good number of them but the distance made it difficult.They had a white breast
and a creamy buff brown back,the bill was difficult to make out.With the small size and colouring
we thought they were likely to be Dunlin.   
c300 - Lapwing
c200 - Oystercatcher
c100 - Teal
c50 - Dunlin
21 - Snipe
15 - Redshank
12 - Goldeneye
11 - Red-breasted Merganser
2 - Turnstone
1 -Eider Drake
plus other species.
Herring Gull

Tufted Duck


Red-breasted Merganser female

Red-breasted Merganser Drake  with some Teal behind




Red-breasted Merganser,Oystercatcher,Lapwing,Redshank & Dunlin at the front I think.

Hobarrow NR with Millom to the left

Snowy tops to the hills/moutains of the western Lake District giving a scenic background

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