Sandscale Haws is located on the Duddon Estuary which is internationally important for thousands of birds. The shallow coastal waters play host to populations of eels and sprats. The intertidal mudflats provide habitat for invertebrates. These in turn provide a valuable food source. During winter months over 20,000 waterfowl, waders and seabirds come into the estuary including shelduck, red-breasted merganser, oystercatcher, ringed plover, dunlin and curlew.
Also in winter you might be lucky enough to see a short eared owl hunting over the dunes, or a peregrine falcon stirring up flocks of ducks on the wet meadow.
In March we get incredible numbers of pink footed geese flying over, heading north to breed. April and May introduces us to migrants such as Whitethroats, sedgewarbler and reed bunting. It’s also at this time when you can hear the snipe drumming.
Late summer is very quiet for birds but then there’s always dragon and butterflies to keep you out of trouble.
The best time to see the winter waders are down on the beach at high tide when they come right up the shore.
When still stood in the car park looking to the beach, the wet meadow is on your left down a boardwalk. There is a viewing platform at the end of this boardwalk which looks out across to the flooded area to see ducks and hopefully a peregrine!
Having looked across the Duddon Estuary to the lakeland fells for 3 years it was time to jump across and start working for the West Lakes team. It has been a big leap from a sand dune system but I'm getting stuck into the more practical side of "Rangering" and sharing my love of the ecological side of things with my new team. Hopefully I'll see you at our 50 things events here in Wasdale!?