Kirkby Lonsdale: a great base for a birdwatching bonanza

Canada geese, Windermere

There are plenty of birdwatching destinations within easy reach of Kirkby Lonsdale, including the Lake District, the Yorkshire Dales, the Trough of Bowland and Morecambe Bay – home to one of the largest concentrations of birds in Europe.

Birdwatching enthusiasts staying at the Sun Inn can get kitted up for their outdoor endeavours with complimentary use of specialist guide books, binoculars and wet weather gear if needed. Hotel guests can also order packed lunches to keep them going on their birding adventures.

The churchyard just behind the Sun Inn is the ideal starting point for wildlife watchers, with a woodpecker and an owl both in residence. A gentle amble from Kirkby Lonsdale along the River Lune provides a chance to spot a variety of wading birds including oystercatchers and herons.

The RSPB’s reserve at Leighton Moss to the north east of Morecambe Bay counts avocet and marsh harriers among its annual visitors. It is also one of the few places in Britain where you can hear the booming call of the elusive bittern. Meanwhile, the often overlooked Forest of Bowland is home to many threatened species, with 13% of the area designated as an SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest).

Take a trip into the Lake District National Park and England’s largest natural lake, Windermere, is home to more than a thousand ducks, geese and swans all year round. The Lake District is also one of the only areas in England where visitors stand a chance glimpsing of spotting a majestic golden eagle.

To the east of Kirkby Lonsdale, more than 100 species nest in the Yorkshire Dales annually. Keen twitchers might even spot a sky lark maybe a merlin flying overhead.

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