Bird Watching Holidays
If you’re looking for the ideal spot for a bird watching holiday in the UK, then look no further. All of the Holgates holiday parks are perfectly situated for some of the best twitching spots in the country.
Placing you right near the stunning Morecambe Bay coastline in the Arnside & Silverdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), which is home to the RSPB Leighton Moss Nature Reserve, you’ll be spoilt for choice on where to look.
The area is home to an abundance of avian wildlife, boasting a wide variety of species from seabirds to birds of prey. Whether you want to spot Eider, Knot, Lapwing or Curlews, you’ll find them in the area. Come and stay at a Holgates holiday park for some of the best bird watching holidays the UK has to offer.
Leighton Moss Bird Watching
The Leighton Moss Nature Reserve is owned by the RSPB, so as you can imagine it’s the perfect habitat for birds. With an incredibly diverse range of habitats, there’s a real variety in the types of birds you can see. With extensive wetlands offering reeds for birds to make their home amongst, woodlands, pods and saltmarsh lagoons the nature reserve is perfect for numerous species of birds.
The reserve itself has a number of trails for you to follow, as well as viewpoints and guided walks. There are a selection of hides in the reserve too.
Opening times & Facilities at Leighton Moss
If you want to visit Leighton Moss Nature Reserve it’s easy to do so. The reserve is open from dawn till dusk every day and the facilities are open 9.30am-5pm February - November and 9.30pm-4.30pm in December and January.
On the RSPB reserve you’ll find:
- Visitor centre
- Car park
- Picnic area
- Educational facilities
Bird Species at Leighton Moss
RSPB Leighton Moss is known for the variety of birds you’ll find there. In particular it’s known for:
- Avocet - You’ll be able to spot these from the hides overlooking the pools in spring and summer. They’re small black and white birds with a curved beak. The Avocet is actually the bird from the RSPB’s own logo.
- Bearded Tit - These small brown long tailed birds can be spotted in Autumn around the reserve.
- Bittern - They can be hard to spot, in part due to how quietly they move through the reeds, and also because of its size. You can see these around the pools, and while they are there all year round, they are much easier to spot in winter.
- Marsh Harrier - The largest type of harrier, this bird of prey can be seen all year round. You may be lucky and see it sky dancing.
Hodborrow Bird Watching
Just a short drive from the Holgates parks in the Silverdale & Arnside area, you’ll find RSPB Hodborrow. It’s right on the coast just below the Lake District in an abandoned iron mine, which provides a rich diversity of habitats for different species of birds.
Hodbarrow is a coastal lagoon that offers a number of sea and coastal birds, along with areas of grassland. This makes for a wonderfully varied landscape, perfect for exploring as well as birdwatching.
Opening times & Facilities at Hodborrow
While RSPB Hodborrow isn’t flush with facilities, you’ll find it open 24/7 all year round. It’s an extensive open air space with parking, that offers picnic areas and nature trails. There are a number of viewpoints and the park is pushchair friendly!
Bird Species at Hodborrow
With its position on the coast, Hodborrow is known for its seabirds. The stars of the show at Hodborrow include:
- Great Crested Grebe - A protected species, after nearly being hunted to extinction, it’s known for both its signature crest and dancing courtship ritual.
- Red-breasted Merganser - Most commonly found in winter, you may find them using their famous serrated bills to fish.
- Sedge warbler - One for the spring months, as the sedge warbler winters in Africa. Known for its creamy strip above one eye.
Morecambe Bay Bird Watching
Morecambe Bay’s unique position is instrumental in the importance it has to the birds of Europe. Touching the lower edges of the Lake District, with a number of the rivers cascading into the bay having their sources there, and covering swathes of Lancashire and Cumbria, it’s home to a quarter of a million birds every year.
It’s been designated a special protection area by the RSPB, as the conservation of the habitat and the birds that live within it is deemed of the utmost importance. This does mean that if you want to spot some of the best avian wildlife that the UK has to offer, it’s an excellent destination for a bird watching holiday.
Bird Species of Morecambe Bay
The bay itself has a number of species that it’s known for. Keep an eye out for:
- Turnstone - These birds winter at Morecambe Bay so they can avoid the cold of Canada and have easier access to their food.
- Redshank - Well known for their loud call, you’ll find the redshank in marshland. The call is a distinctive piping sound and they use it to alert other birds to the presence of an intruder.
- Curlew - With its long thin curved beak the curlew can be hard to miss. It’s well known across the UK and there’s a great population in Morecambe Bay.
- Sanderling - A small coastal bird, the sanderling relies on hunting for food as the tide goes out and exposes sea creatures on the shore.
There’s a whole host of other birds to spot too, like the oystercatcher, knot, lapwing or ringed plover. That’s just scratching the surface of birds in Morecambe Bay just waiting to be discovered. With such an abundance of wildlife, Morecambe Bay is a great spot for a bird watching holiday in the UK.
Holiday Homes for Birdwatching
Holgates is here to welcome you on your birdwatching holiday. With sites across the Silverdale & Arnside AONB offering accommodation for both short or long breaks, our holiday parks are perfect for people looking to visit the area. Whether you want to stay in a static caravan, a glamping pod, a tent or something a little fancier, we’ve got the perfect birdwatching getaway option for you. We even have holiday home ownership options available in some of our parks.
Book in for your bird watching holiday with Holgates today and you can stay in a purpose-built holiday park with excellent facilities. A stay at any of our parks gives you access to the facilities at our flagship Silverdale park, including restaurants, bars, gyms and swimming pools. We look forward to welcoming you to the Silverdale & Arnside AONB and helping you discover the birds of Morecambe Bay.