Birds at Martin Mere

Martin Mere, close to Southport in the north-west, is a fabulous place to visit, a wonderful wetland reserve which birds, and families, love. Walking around the paths and pools it is fascinating as you can observe various ducks, cranes, swans etc., in this beautiful setting. Each area is labelled according to the country of origin of the birds occupying it. Children can take part in a competition to find toy ducks, which they find fun and gives them a reason to keep trotting round. They can also buy food to feed the ducks. There are several hides where you can watch the wild birds arrive and settle, nature trails, gardens, a duckery nursery, which is delightful to visit in spring. And also a shop, exhibition and café. Very much a favourite place we visit regularly, and I love taking pictures there.

Red-breasted geese: Their original home is in Russia. Now a threatened species, numbers having halved in the last decade because of hunting and agricultural changes.

Grey crowned-crane: African wetland birds with a wing span that can reach six or seven feet when in flight.

Crested screamer: These are apparently the ancestors of modern geese, ducks and swans. Their name echoes their voice.

Flamingos: Exotic-looking birds with lots of chicks. They like to eat small algae and insects and are given important nutrients in their feed.

Otters: Two Asian short-clawed otters have lived in Martin Mere since 2009. They are called Ned and Thai and have three daughters.

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