On this single-centre short break, we’ll explore Morecambe Bay’s mudflats, saltmarshes and dune systems in search of breeding waders, terns, gulls and wildfowl as well as flower-rich fens, reedbeds and lowland bogs in search of their specialist flora. Encircling the Bay is a band of limestone ‘pavement’ where a variety of orchids and other specialist flora such as Bird’s-eye Primrose, Buckler Fern and Lancaster Whitebeam can be found. The area is also well known for its butterflies and we will look for Pearl-bordered Fritillary and Northern Brown Argus amongst many other species. We will also explore the area’s woodland and scrub habitats in search of breeding migrant warblers, as well as look for wetland species such as Otter and Bearded Tit. Further inland, on the feels of the Lake District and Bowland Forest, we will focus on looking for breeding waders such as Redshank, raptors, owls, flycatchers and perhaps Dipper as we conclude our tour.
- Natterjack Toad & Osprey, plus waders, terns & gulls in Morecambe Bay
- Sundews & Bog Rosemary amongst specialist wetland flora we will look for
- Look for Tree Pipit & Nightjar in wetland habitats near Morecambe Bay
- Butterfly, Fly, Northern Marsh, Frog, Fragrant & Lady’s Slipper Orchids
- Duke of Burgundy, Large Heath & early High Brown Fritillary all possible
- Marsh Tit & Hawfinch among the woodland birds we will hope to see
- Avocet, Snipe, Curlew & Oystercatchers among wetland & waders
- Hen Harrier, Merlin, Peregrine & Short-eared Owl
- Search for Redstarts, Pied Flycatcher & Wood Warbler, Dipper, Forest of Bowland
- Led by an expert naturalist guide
Breakfast and dinner are included in the price of the tour.
Comfortable hotel in Grange-over-Sands; all rooms have private facilities.
Duke of Burgundy (David Morris)
Day 1 Meet in Grange-over-Sands
This area of north-west England is rich in wildlife and a joy for any visiting naturalist ... and on this exciting new single-centre break we’ll focus on key habitats in Morecambe Bay, the Lake District and the Forest of Bowland. The Bay is an estuary of international importance that straddles the Lancashire and Cumbria border. Its vast mudflats, saltmarshes and dune systems hold breeding waders, terns, gulls and wildfowl and there is even the chance of a Natterjack Toad or Osprey. These coastal habitats then blend into such diverse wetland habitats as flower-rich fens, reedbed and lowland bogs, where specialist species such as sundews, Bog Rosemary, Raft Spider, White-faced Darter, Tree Pipit and Nightjar may be found. Encircling the Bay is a band of underlying carboniferous limestone that offers limestone pavement, floristically rich pastures and diverse woodlands. Greater Butterfly, Fly, Northern Marsh, Frog, Fragrant and the stunning Lady’s Slipper Orchids are to be found here alongside other limestone flora such as Bird’s-eye Primrose, Rigid Buckler Fern and the local Lancaster Whitebeam. The area is also well known for its butterflies and, weather permitting, we have a good chance of Duke of Burgundy, Pearl-bordered Fritillary, Northern Brown Argus, Large Heath and possibly an early High Brown Fritillary.
In the diverse woodlands and scrub a good range of breeding migrant warblers may be found, too, along with local specialties such as Marsh Tit and Hawfinch, while spectacular wetland oases such as Leighton Moss act as home to such iconic wetland species as Bearded Tit, Bittern, Avocet, Marsh Harrier and Otter. Further inland, we will focus on the fells of the Lake District and the Forest of Bowland. The latter is home to important populations of breeding waders, with Snipe, Redshank, Lapwing, Curlew and Oystercatcher abundant in the northern pastures and meadows. In the open country we have a chance of a breeding Hen Harrier, a species whose survival hangs in the balance in England, as well as Merlin, Peregrine and Short-eared Owl ... while, in the wooded valleys of Bowland, Redstarts, Pied Flycatchers and the occasional Wood Warbler may be found, together with Dipper in the uplands streams.