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A Day at Marton Mere Wildlife Preserve

posted Jan 25, 2012, 1:08 AM by Frank Perra
I traveled to the Marton Mere Wildlife Reservation today where thousands of migrant wild ducks, geese, waders and swans winter over at the marshland.

The swans that winter at Marton Mere migrate from Iceland where they spend the summer and have their young.

Getting to the reservation was a bit of a challenge as I do not have a car this winter so need to use public transport to get around. Public transport here is very good which makes getting to most places possible with a little planning. In order for me to get to the preserve I traveled by train to Southport which is about a 45 minute ride by rail. I then changed trains where I was able to travel to the New Lane Rail station near the town of Burscough which took another 10 minutes.

I had to walk on foot for about a mile partly on a country road and a footpath through open farmland leading to the reservation. The footpath was clearly marked although I did have my GPS to back me up. The path was well marked but there were several muddy areas I had to cross caused by the recent rains we have been having.

Shortly before I arrived in the early afternoon it began to sprinkle and as the afternoon went on the rain increased. Since I arrived about 2 pm I did not get a chance to explore the preserve but plan to return another day to do that now that I am more familiar with travel and the setup at the preserve and realize I need to leave earlier. The days are short this time of year as we are fairly far north at about the same lattitude as Newfoundland it it is dark by 4 pm.

The primary purpose for visiting the preserve was to observe the thousands of swans that winter there. Small buildings are constructed along the shore where the swans congregate to allow visitors to view them without disturbing the birds. there is a long roofed building only about 10 ft wide and maybe s 200 or 300 ft long with small narrow windows. the windows can be opened for viewing and photography.

I spent some time in the visitor center to warm up and have a cup of coffee and a scone. It was fairly late by the time I was ready to return to Liverpool and it was starting to get dark. My return trip to the rail station was along a foot path that traversed several farms and a country road which would have been very dark. It was also raining fairly heavy by now so I decided to call for a taxi to take me to the rail station for my return trip. I arrived at the rail station just in time to make the return trip to Southport and then on to Liverpool.