Real buzz in MediaCity as wildlife steals show
WHAT would you call a group of 60 conservation communicators? A cache? A creative? A conversation?
Well, that was the flock I was meeting up with at MediaCity, Salford Quays, this week. It was an opportunity to meet my peers and listen to some amazing speakers from the world of wildlife journalism.
MediaCity may seem a strange place for such a gathering but, like anywhere, there was plenty of wildlife in and around the venue.
It is inspiring that such a built-up, working environment still plays home to some cracking wildlife. I have seen pictures of foxes there, possibly attracted by rabbits in the area.
Every time I go there I see cormorants. This is a bird that was common on lakes and rivers all over the north west before it was pretty much driven out to the coast. Now we are seeing an inland comeback and MediaCity is the place to spot them.
Cormorants are not waterproof and that is why you see them on buoys on the Ship Canal with their wings outstretched.
You will also see plenty of gulls on the water, mainly black-headed, but less common kinds have also been spotted in Salford. I was in the area when a great northern diver was seen – and I saw it.
This bird, with a black and white checked body and black head, is generally only seen on our coast. It was an exciting moment to see a bird I had never seen before.
It will be lovely in summer wandering around Salford Quays surrounded by bird song and seeing bumblebees and butterflies in these unlikely places.
Wildlife is very hardy and will do well in our human towns and cities, so we can welcome it by providing plants, trees and feeders in gardens and community spaces.
The Wildlife Trust for Lancashire, Manchester and North Merseyside is dedicated to the protection and promotion of the wildlife in Lancashire, seven boroughs of Greater Manchester and four of Merseyside, all lying north of the River Mersey. It manages around 40 nature reserves and 20 local nature reserves covering acres of woodland, wetland, upland and meadow. The trust has 29,000 members, and more than 1,200 volunteers. To become a member of the trust, go to lancswt.org.uk or call 01772 324129. For more information about Cheshire Wildlife Trust, call 01948 820728 or go to cheshirewildlifetrust. org.uk.
A cormorant dries its wings