MEATHOP FELL

A lovely bird-rich walk on the edge of the Lake Dis­trict

Bird Watching (UK) - - Go Birding - PAUL TRODD

THE VAST INTERTIDAL mud­flats of More­cambe Bay stretch­ing for miles to the south con­trast starkly with the up­lands of the Lake­land Fells and com­bine to make a dra­matic back­drop to this bird-rich bird­ing walk. The land­scape is fur­ther en­hanced by dif­fer­ent sup­ple­men­tary habi­tats, such as mixed wood­land, a dis­used quarry, open farm­land and the River Win­ster. In­evitably, the es­tu­ary will draw the eye, as it at­tracts thou­sands of waders dur­ing the au­tumn. Strong on­shore winds can also bring in seabirds such as terns and skuas. Where the River Win­ster flows into the bay can also be a pro­duc­tive spot, as can the nearby old quarry for pas­sage mi­grants. While bird song will be sub­dued in the wood­land sec­tion, war­blers and fly­catch­ers are of­ten at­tracted to rov­ing passer­ine flocks. Keep a look out for Marsh Tit that re­main common in Lake­land woods. From the high ground at Meathop Fell, it is worth­while scan­ning for rap­tors in­clud­ing Osprey, Honey Buz­zard or Hen Har­rier. An early morn­ing check of the skies for overhead vis­i­ble mi­gra­tion is also worth­while. The open farm­land to­wards Meathop Moss at this time of year may also at­tract some early Pink-footed Geese among the feral Grey­lags.

Marsh Tit

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