You don’t expect to find a nature reserve just a stone’s throw from the buzz of bubbly Blackpool.
In a former life Marton Mere, a nationally recognised Site of Special Scientific Interest, was the council rubbish tip. It sits in weird place between the De Vere Hotel and Golf Course and popular Marton Mere Haven Caravan Holiday Park. Neither undermines the beauty of this enchanting nature reserve.
Mallards and moorhens paddle on the open water; warblers skulk and twitter from the reedbeds where giant dragonflies hover; sparrows, blackbirds, goldfinches, magpies gather in the grassland; rabbits run round the scrub; whitethroats sing their heart out; long-tailed tits perform acrobatics in the trees; a carpet of wildflowers and grasses entices butterflies and bees.
The reserve has well defined footpaths, strategically placed hides dotted around the mere, and a visitor centre staffed by friendly and knowledgeable volunteers. A very nice man told me where I would most likely see a Cetti’s Warbler. He explained behaviour pattern and even sang their song!
I found the spot, sat quietly, and waited … …
An explosive song burst and one russet brown bird flew out of the willow trees into the reedbed. Seconds later another followed. Two Cetti’s Warblers – a first for me – sadly no chance of a snapshot!