New Ideas for Fieldtrips Needed


The L.O.S. Committee are meeting on 12 June (next Monday) to discuss the birding field trips for the 2017-18 season which start in September. We're looking to find some new places to visit within an hour and a half travelling time of Leigh if possible. 

So it would be great if L.O.S. members could suggest some places they've been or would like to go to help us decide on a programme. The best time of year and target birds in the location would also be very helpful. Looking forward to reading your suggestions in the comments below. 

Thanks, Martyn

Bickershaw Masterplan with Amendments - November 2015

New funding has been awarded to the Bickershaw site and further consultation will take place prior to a final adoption of the Bickershaw Masterplan which is now available to download or read online.

You can download the document in Word format here:
Bickershaw Masterplan

or just follow this online link:
Bickershaw Masterplan

Comments please to David Shallcross,
L.O.S. Chairman: leighos.chairman@gmail.com

Funding Secured for Bickershaw

Wildflower Meadow at Bickershaw (c) Dave Wilson
Having been involved with a few other Society members since 2003 in trying to acquire protective status for the Bickershaw site, I was delighted to receive an e-mail from Martin Purcell, Wigan Council's Greenheart Project Officer, informing me that
"funding has been secured from 'The Deal' to help reclaim the 247-hectare former Bickershaw Colliery site as a green haven .... "
Narrow-bordered Five-spot Burnet Moth (c) Dave Wilson
This is the most encouraging piece of local wildlife conservation news to emerge for many a day, and I wish to point out that members owe a huge debt to Roy Rhodes, the Society's former Conservation Officer for his enormous commitment to the project over recent years, our Chairman David Shallcross, and one our two others, for attending umpteen meetings with me to fly the flag for this hugely important, predominantly grassy 'brownfield' site.

Female Four-spotted Chaser (c) Dave Wilson
Hopefully, David and I will continue to be involved in meetings to ensure that wildlife considerations remain paramount and that the site achieves its full habitat potential. Other members may wish to support us in the continuing venture to help shape our green environment for its present and potential wildlife benefit and for the enjoyment of our fellow citizens.

Grasshopper Warbler at Bickershaw - May 2017 (c) Martyn Jones

Bickershaw Birding Walk - Wednesday 24 May 2017

L.O.S. founder member Dave Wilson will be leading another 'Warbler Walk' around Bickershaw on Wednesday 24 May starting at 9:30am.  

There will good chances of seeing Grasshopper Warbler, Reed Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Stonechat and possibly Garden Warbler and Cuckoo too along with the regulars of Whitethroat, Blackcap and others.

We are meeting at the top of the 'road to nowhere', just off the Leigh end of Bickershaw Lane.  Everyone is welcome.

Another Season Over

Well that's it, another L.O.S. season has come to a close this week with our final field trip and Friday night presentation talk.  Doesn't the time pass so quickly when you're having fun?

We had a great day out at RSPB Blacktoft Sands and North Cave on Sunday 7 May with a nice sized group of 14 L.O.S. members turning up on a cloudy day with sunny intervals.


Highlights included a female Montagu's Harrier, male and female Marsh Harriers, a flying Bittern, many Avocets, some Bearded Tits, Cetti's, Reed, Sedge, Willow and Grasshopper Warblers, Blackcap, countless Swifts and Sand Martins and few Swallows, four summer plumaged (black) Spotted Redshanks, two Greenshanks, Black-tailed Godwits in summer plumage, Ringed and Little-Ringed Plovers, Common Sandpiper, Whimbrel, Common Terns, Yellow, Grey and Pied Wagtails, Reed Bunting, Ruffs coming into summer plumage, a single Wigeon, Redshank, Tree Sparrows galore, as well as many of the usuals including Little Egrets, Little Grebes, Great Crested Grebes, Shelducks, Tufted Ducks, Greylag Geese, Mute Swans, Mallards, Gadwalls, Robins, Blackbirds, Blue Tits, Great Tits, Chaffinches, Goldfinches, Lesser Black-backed Gulls, Black-headed Gulls, Herring Gulls, Moorhens, Coots, Grey Herons, Carrion Crows, Kestrels and Dunnocks.

And then last night (Friday 12 May) we had an excellent talk by the 'Shropshire Birder' Jim Almond entitled 'Shropshire's Peregrines' with a host of other birds of prey thrown in for comparison.

Jim took us through the complete lifecycle of the Peregrine Falcon from eggs to fledglings and adults using his superb closeup photographs taken under a Schedule 1 license and he gave us a lot of interesting information about these stunning birds.

Jim's a great birder and speaker and a very professional presenter -  we hope to see him again.

So that's it for another year. We hope you have a great summer break and we'll see you all again in September with another programme of talks and field trips.