For the past 2 years, I have been unable to attend the North-West Birdwatching Festival at WWT Martin Mere, due to other commitments, so this year I decided to go along and spend both days at the fair..
I had forgotten just how busy this birdfair can get and with over 5,000 visitors throughout the weekend, the reserve became somewhat too crowded for me! Mooching around the various stands on show was the main part of my weekend, as well as buying a DVD on 'Birding in Morrocco' ready for April 2011, chatting to folk who I hadn't seen for quite some time, watching guest speakers give some great talks including 'The Biggest Twitch' by Alan Davies and Ruth Miller.. See http://thebiggesttwitch.com/
It was soon time to leave the warmth of the visitor centre and head out to do some birding.. Meeting up with Dave and Estelle Walsh, we did a bit of Whooper Swan ring-reading in Swanlink and Raines Hide, but no sign of our Red Darvic'd cygnet that resides somewhere on the reserve and unfortunately I couldn't spot him/her throughout the whole weekend which was a shame! Maybe some time during the winter..
A ringed Coot caught my attention outside Swanlink - GC247-. The bird then jumped into the water just before I could read the last letter, however; this bird was ringed by the WWT at Martin Mere during one of their swan catches, so not one of Kane's Coot's unfortunately..
A colour-ringed Black-Tailed Godwit proved interesting, but after an hour of watching it, the bird never moved from it's position - standing on 1 leg for a whole hour must be tough?!
Managing to squeeze a space in Swanlink for the swan feed, was good fun as always and a bit more ring-reading was done but still no sign of the Icelandic Cygnet! Here is a video of the swan feed taking place.. If you have never been to Martin Mere, please do take time for a visit as it is a wonderful place for birds and especially at this time of year when the Whooper Swans and Pink-Footed Geese put are present in large numbers.. http://www.wwt.org.uk/visit-us/martin-mere