Join the reserve warden for a guided springtime stroll at Belfast WOW

Join the RSPB NI team at Belfast’s Window on Wildlife (WOW) this Saturday [16 April] for a guided tour around the reserve at Belfast lough to see what spring has to offer.

Spring is a busy time to explore Belfast WOW, with highlights including migrant flocks of black-tailed godwits all the way from Iceland, breeding moorhens on the bank and courting common terns on the man-made islands of the freshwater lagoon.

You can enjoy local wildlife in the unique setting of the RSPB NI nature reserve in the heart of the city’s busy docklands, with panoramic views of Cave Hill and north Belfast.

You may also catch a glimpse of the resident konik ponies, ‘living lawnmowers’ which graze the land and help to create the right conditions for wading birds, such as lapwings to breed.

Reserve warden Chris Sturgeon will show you what is on offer away from the visitor centre, taking you around the reserve to give you different viewpoints of the lagoon and its wildlife.

“A lot of people think that the visitor’s centre part is the only part of the reserve, but in reality the reserve includes Holywood Banks, Harbour Meadows, the WOW site and Whitehouse Lagoon which is on the other side of the lough so really the reserve is 10 miles from one end to the other going through the city at the same time.

“We’ll be going from the visitor centre up to Holywood Banks and the birds we will see will depend on where the tide is, if the tide is in we should see guillemots, great crested grebes and lots of other species out on the water. If the tide’s out we should see the birds on the mudflats as well.

“Springtime activity is just beginning. There’s a lot of black guillemots out at this time, we’ve got willow warblers, chiffchaff which are little green birds that fly all the way from Sub-Saharan Africa. They’ve all started to arrive now.”

The walk takes place on Saturday 16 April from 10.30am to 12 noon, admission is free for members and £8 for adult non-members or £5.50 for children. This price includes admission to the reserve.

To book your place email shelly.ovadia@rspb.org.uk or call 028 9046 1458.

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