Wrapped up in warm coats and wellies, families enjoyed a morning nature spotting around the Three Sisters nature reserve in Wigan.
The guided walk was organised by Inspiring healthy lifestyles, one of our key partners here at Carbon Landscape.
The cold weather didn’t put us off as we ventured out for a morning of exploration. Adults and children of all ages were keen to see what Three Sisters had to offer and we certainly weren’t left disappointed.
Goosander were our first discovery of the day and our Jeff Gorse pointed out the difference between the males and females. The males have a dark green head, a black back and a long, red bill with a hook at the tip while the females are grey with a gingery brown head and a white throat. They are really beautiful birds and offered us the perfect opportunity to hone our binocular skills on the calm pond.
We then saw, for want of a better description, a blob in a tree. This ‘blob’ was actually the silhouette of a tawny owl that had decided to perch itself as far away from the footpath as possible high up in one of its favourite trees. Three Sisters is home to a breeding pair of tawny owls that can, at least on some occasions, be spotted fairly easily during the day however, being nocturnal you are more likely to hear them calling at night. The characteristic “twit twoo” noise isn’t actually made by one bird, the females will make the ‘twit’ sound and the males will often reply back with the ‘twoo’ sound which is also a territorial call.
We stomped on further along the muddy path in search of more wildlife with the children excitedly leading the way. Amongst the brambles we found some white wiggles on the leaves left by a hungry leaf miner and further along some bracket fungus also caught our attention providing a great way for the children to get really up-close and hands on with nature.
Along the hedges we saw big groups of Fieldfare and Redwing and a little way on from that a Kestrel was keeping a watchful eye on us. The finale was a fantastic display at one of the bird feeding stations. Robins, bullfinches, blue tits, great tits and even a willow tit - one of the UKs most endangered birds were all enjoying a lunchtime feast. We may not have been the quietest of bird watchers but the brave birds still put on quite a show for us and it was a great way to end the nature walk.
Inspiring healthy lifestyles pioneer new approaches to helping people live happier, healthier lives and we are so happy to have them as one of our partners here at Carbon Landscape together we are hoping to encourage exploration of our amazing landscape to get more people active outdoors and excited about the nature on their doorstep.
Nature walks are a brilliant #firststep towards encouraging exploration of our wildlife and landscapes. Keep up to date and find out more about our latest #firststeps campaign by following our website and social media pages.