Rare bird for Lancashire and Merseyside spotted at WWT Martin Mere

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A white-spotted bluethroat has been on site at WWT Martin Mere Wetland Centre since Wednesday evening. This is only the 13th time this has been recorded classifying the bird as rare for Lancashire and Merseyside.

The 650 acres of reserve at WWT Martin Mere Wetland Centre are managed to provide the perfect habitat for a variety of wild birds (up to 200 species) who pass through the centre every year.  This is the first time this bird has ever been recorded at the centre.  The reserve and wildlife can be viewed from the comfort of ten birdwatcing hides, however, with such a unique bird to view, the centre has established a trail onto the reserve to get better opportunities to spot the bluethroat.

The distinctive bird, with a clear white spot on a striking blue throat, are more commonly seen during the autumn migration on the east coast so to see one on the west coast in Spring is very unusual and attracting the attention of a lot of people who visited Martin Mere to get a glimpse of the bird

Bluethroats breed in north Europe during the summer months and spend winter mainly from north east Africa to west India.

The reserve at Martin Mere is designated as internationally important due to the number of wild birds that use the site every year. Habitats include marsh land, grass land, reedbed, open water with islands to protect birds from predators and wet woodland that are managed using traditional long-horn cattle for their grazing techiniques.

The water levels are controlled seasonally to offer the right conditions for the right species and this ensures the centre gets a number of unusual migrants passing through such as black-winged stilts, osprey and spoonbill, ensuring there is always something to see

For more information visit www.wwt.org.uk/martinmere

WWT Martin Mere is open every day from 9.30am to 5.30pm and parking is free of charge. Situated off the A59, it is signposted from the M61, M58 and M6.  The Centre is also accessible via the Southport to Manchester and the Liverpool to Preston line by train from Burscough Rail Stations.

Visit the web site http://www.wwt.org.uk/martinmere to find out what’s on all year round at Martin Mere and the other eight centres.

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