Manchesters’ North American Wood Ducks


Photo: The famous drake North American Wood Duck at Fairfield in Manchester, photographed on Sunday 9th October 2016, presumably the same bird was seen along the canal just yards from the Etihad Stadium, the home of Manchester City Football Club (@MancunianBirder)

Manchester and New York have a big football club franchise in common and also have an ecological link, the North American Wood Duck

This very unique duck is being seen in some of the areas around Manchester that resemble the birds’ natural habitat in North America, such as the Mersey Valley and Ashton Canal

When you research the ecology of the species and you have the knowledge that many species of North American wildfowl occur in the UK as genuine vagrants, then it is perhaps not too fanciful to think that some of these birds might have flown across the pond and up the Mersey and the Manchester Ship Canal to reside in the Manchester area

Recent Manchester area records:

  • Pair, Fairfield on the Ashton Canal (September/October 2016)
  • Drake, Reddish Vale Local Nature Reserve (11th October 2016)
  • Eclipse drake, Chorlton Water Park (July 2016)
  • Drake, Mersey Vale Nature Reserve (October 2015-February 2016)

Lancashire EcoTourism Boost


Photo: Lancashires’ resident Trumpeter Swan photographed on the picturesque River Ribble (@MancunianBirder)

EcoTourism in Lancashire is becoming increasingly popular and EcoTourists such as birdwatchers keep the Tourism industry ticking along in some areas of Lancashire, especially in the winter months
The EcoTourism infrastructure is improving with organisations such as the Morecambe Bay Nature Tourism Business Network connecting businesses together, the University of Central Lancashire offering some great EcoTourism courses and nature reserves throughout the county such as Leighton Moss RSPB Reserve near Carnforth, Marton Mere near Blackpool and Brockholes Lancashire Wildlife Trust Reserve maturing into world class wildlife sites
A recent University of Lancashire calculation states that Martin Mere Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust Reserve near Skelmersdale is worth £5.8 million per year to the economy and the overall total for the whole of Lancashire must be many times this figure, with huge future potential for this relatively new industry, especially including renewable energy
Lancashire attracts local, national and international EcoTourists to sites such as Morecambe Bay, The Forest of Bowland, The Fylde, Martin Mere and Marshside, and Lancashire is THE place to be in the winter to see huge flocks of Icelandic Pink-footed Geese with an estimated 100,000 visiting the county during the winter, coining the phrase “The Pink-footed Pound!”
Birdwatchers are currently flocking to see a mega rare Ross’s Goose on Newton Marsh, 3 Cattle Egrets on Marshside and tiny Yellow-browed Warblers that have arrived on The Fylde all the way from Siberia/Asia, including a bird that was found on Blackpool Pleasure Beach
Also recently a flock of 24 Snow Geese on the Ribble Estuary and sightings of Greenland White-fronted Goose, Brent Goose, Barnacle Goose and Whooper Swans on Martin Mere
James Walsh aka The Mancunian Birder, a qualified Ecologist from North England EcoTourism commented “With Tourism such a huge Lancashire industry and EcoTourism a big growing sector it is essential that we value, conserve and promote these amazing Lancashire wildlife sites as great assets to the flourishing green economy”

Follow on Twitter @MancunianBirder

Authors Imagine Fruitful Future For Pomona Docks

Fruitful Futures

Event: Book Launch “Fruitful Futures – Imagining Pomona”

Time & Date: 4:30pm-6:30pm Tuesday 18th October 2016

Venue: The Pilcrow Pub, Redfern Street, Manchester M4 4AH


#PomonaBookLaunch #PomonaIsRising #NorthernGreenhouse


A big collaboration of ecologists, journalists, students and academics who have joined together organically to create a book that centres on Pomona Docks on the Salford Docklands

The Pomona community has grown into a peoples’ movement based around the knowledge that Pomona Docks has a rich heritage and ecological value

The heritage of the site is Pomona, Goddess of Fruiting Trees, the Cornbrook Pleasure Gardens, the huge political events and being the Guinness Docks when Salford Docks was the engine room of the industrial revolution

Nature has reclaimed the land and ecologists have recorded more than a hundred bird species and a hundred and fifty flora species during years of professional standard observations

Seeing Kingfishers, Northern Lapwings, Little Ringed Plovers, Skylarks and Northern Wheatears so close to the city centre is an amazing experience and Pomona Docks are a big area of habitat for Bees, the symbol of Greater Manchester, rare flowers such as Cornflower and Bee Orchid, falcons – Peregrine and Kestrels – and the colonial nesting Sand Martins that have a huge colony in the dock walls

The Pomona community includes Skyliner journalist Hayley Flynn, Nature In Salford presenter Luke Blazejewski, global conservationist Stuart Marsden, film-maker George Haydock, artist Liz Ackerley, ecologist Zoe Barrett, Adam Prince and project organiser, Fabrizio

This eclectic collective have all contributed to the book with more than 30 people each writing a chapter and making the case for the business, science and political communities to work together to build a world class urban nature reserve for the citizens of Manchester

James Walsh, Chairman of the Manchester Ship Canal World Heritage Group commented “It is great to see the Pomona community working together in such a progressive and harmonious manner to create this book, a positive document that records alternative views of looking at the urban environment, in this case, Pomona, a peoples’ nature reserve just yards from Manchester – a beacon of social justice working in the interests of the people could see Pomona be the centrepiece of Manchester National Park City, Manchester Ship Canal World Heritage Site, Northern Greenhouse and Green Atlantic Gateway”