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  • Birdwatchers set to flock to Martin Mere for annual festival

    Frank Martin

    TWITCHERS, phototgraphers and lovers of the great outdoors are expected to flock to the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust at Martin Mere at the weekend when the Burscough reserve hosts the North West Bird Watching Festival.

    Among the guest speakers lined up for the annual extravaganza on Saturday and Sunday, November 18 and 19, are TV presenter Nick Baker, wildlife cameraman Doug Allan, ornithologist and artist Matt Sewell and conservationist Sacha Dench of Flight of the Swans fame.

    Visitors to the event can attend a range of wildlife talks and seminars, see hundreds of Whooper swans feed alongside shelduck, teal, wigeon and thousands of pink-footed geese and pick up tips from photography seminars and workshops.

    There will also be demonstrations, a chance to network with experts to learn more about our feathered friends and an opportunity to browse through wildlife and bird watching ‘goodies’ including clothing, books, carvings, and wildlife holidays.

    Some of the highlights the festival include:

    ·l Access to the reserve from 8am, offering the chance to watch and photograph tens of thousands of pink-footed geese and Whooper swans as they awake and leave their roost.

    l Seeing the award-winning spectacle with hundreds of Whooper swans feeding right in front of them on the mere, as well as thousands of shelduck, wigeon and teal, at 3pm from the new 50m Discovery hide which also includes a warden’s talk.

    l Access to free ringing demonstration workshops allowing people to get up close to some wonderful species.

    l Walks with reserve manager Tom Clare and Nick Baker to find the top ten species at Martin Mere at this time of year.

    l Testing your group’s birdwatching skills by seeing who can spot the most species at Martin Mere between 9.30am and 3.30pm on the Saturday with prizes to be won.

    l A chance to attend 4K and digi-scoping seminars with award-winning photographer, Pro Lumix Ambassador and one of the best known digi-scopers in the birding world, Paul Hackett.

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