• RSPB Founder Statues Re-Visit & Recent Sightings

     Many of you will remember that we were lucky enough to host the four shortlisted designs for the proposed statue of Emily Williamson here on the reserve last September. For those who may not know, Emily was the founder of what was to become the RSPB and the plan is to erect a permanent statue at Fletcher Moss Park, Didsbury where she formed the fledgling society in 1889. What many people may not be aware of however is that…

    • 30 Jul 2022
  • Sizzle & Drizzle Add Summer Spice!

    It's been another few days of contrast here in the Morecambe Bay region with the predicted scorching sunshine in the early part of the week followed by bouts of overcast weather and occasional spells of drizzle. One minute we were in shorts, the next a waterproof jacket! 

    With a generally prolonged dry spell and successive low tides, the water levels at the Allen and Eric Morecambe pools have been seriously diminished…

    • 22 Jul 2022
  • Rare visitor draws crowds & other sightings

     The rare Sabine's gull discovered here on the reserve early last week continued to be seen on and off before finally being tracked down to a more reliable spot at nearby Jenny Brown's Point. The attractive seabird could be seen, often at very close quarters, as it fed in a tidal channel close to the shore. A reasonably short walk from the Allen Pool car park or a rather tricky drive along a single track lane from…

    • 15 Jul 2022
  • Rare Arctic Gull Drops By!

    Summer birdwatching is often a fairly predictable affair; many breeding birds are at the end of their nesting season and there are lots of fledged youngsters to be seen, getting to grips with life. Here at Leighton Moss we have seen this year's batch of marsh harrier chicks taking the wing and at the time of writing we have at least seven fledglings around the reserve. Bitterns have continued to show well, both in…

    • 8 Jul 2022
  • Red-rumped swallow surprise and other recent sightings

     While it may not be entirely evident from the weather, summer is almost upon us! It’s an uplifting time to visit Leighton Moss: the reserve is full of fledglings making their first clumsy flights and the paths are lined with common-spotted orchid and yellow flag iris. Juvenile marsh harriers are beginning to be seen in the air – always a positive reminder of conservation success!  

    The windy weather makes prime…

    • 11 Jun 2022
  • Brilliant Bitterns & Other Recent Sightings

     The half-term week has seen some very mixed weather, and while that may have put a few people off from visiting, it certainly hasn't impacted on the amazing wildlife on show here! 

    Once again the stars of the show have been the bitterns, which seem to be absolutely everywhere. Visitors have reported seeing these enigmatic reedbed-dwellers from every hide on the main reserve in recent days and the stunning sight of four…

    • 4 Jun 2022
  • Latest Sightings & Half Term Fun!

     With half term upon us here in Lancashire, we've got lots on for nature-loving families to enjoy while visiting the reserve! As if the sheer sound of booming bitterns, soaring marsh harriers, emerging dragonflies, blooming wildflowers and splashing otters isn't enough we also have some great activities to further occupy any younger wildlife explorers. 

    This week sees the launch of the RSPB's Big Picnic Adven…

    • 28 May 2022
  • Bitterns, ospreys and otters, oh my!

     It's been a wonderful couple of weeks for those visiting the reserve in the hope of seeing bitterns! Now that their eggs will have hatched, the females are making regular feeding fights - leaving the nests to go and stock up on fish with which to feed the growing youngsters. These flights can be seen just about anywhere on the reserve and all one needs is a little patience, and a dash of luck! Thankfully the birds…

    • 21 May 2022
  • Swifts, Spoonbills & Other Signs Of Spring

     Despite the drizzle of recent days, it's been a bumper fortnight of sightings at Leighton Moss. The dense cloud cover has meant that large numbers of hirundines are feeding lower in the skies; sand martins and swallows are regularly skimming the surface of the pools. The arrival of swifts to the reserve has been a sure sign of spring; they’re replenishing their energy stocks after a long migration. We can soon expect…

    • 6 May 2022
  • Ring-necked duck & other recent sightings

     The reedbed is bubbling with life at Leighton Moss; the arrival of sedge and reed warbler are filling the reserve with their chattering singing. These two warblers can be a little tricky to distinguish, but the reed warbler is more reliably rhythmic whilst the sedge has a more scattered, staccato song. If you need an expert ear to help you identify these tricky birds, then we have a selection of guided walks over the…

    • 20 Apr 2022
  • Nature To Your Home & Spring Sightings

    After teasing us with a taste of spring last month, the chillier climes of the past week have seemingly stunted migration slightly. However, there is still plenty to see on the reserve!

     Chiffchaff and blackcap, the earliest of the warbler arrivals, are making their presence known; their distinct songs have made our woodland trails a little livelier over the past fortnight. We have been receiving our first reports of

    • 12 Apr 2022
  • Runners, raptors & other recent sightings

     Despite the occasional sleet showers and sudden frosts, spring has certainly arrived at Leighton Moss over the past few weeks. Lesser celandines are fringing the paths around the reserve, blackcap song has joined the beginnings of the summer symphony and sand martins can be seen flitting over the pools. Marsh harriers are regularly treating visitors to great viewing of their food pass displays amidst exhibiting nest-building…

    • 2 Apr 2022
  • Spring Keeps On Giving!

     It's been a bit of a hectic week here with lots of activity all around the reserve. Following an item on BBC Northwest Tonight on Thursday, we have been inundated with enquiries about the starling murmurations! It's great to see so many people coming to discover Leighton Moss for the first time and along with the welcome sunshine, it's resulted in a busy few days. As always, however, the reserve has plenty of space to…

    • 19 Mar 2022
  • Spring's on its way to Silverdale!

     The beginning of March has brought us many bright, albeit blustery, days.  A walk down the Causeway is now accompanied by an overture of (almost) booming bitterns – at present, there seems to be six individuals rumbling in the Silverdale reeds, a promising start to the season. The results of last week’s fish survey showed a particularly high number of eels on site this Spring, which will hopefully provide a banquet…

    • 9 Mar 2022
  • Mesmerising Murmurations & More!

    The past week has seen a notable improvement in the weather and as a consequence, it's been lovely to see the reserve so busy! And with the improvement in conditions, the wildlife has also been putting on more of a show. Our otter family continue to impress down at Causeway and Lower pools most days (mornings tend to be better) and up to six marsh harriers have been seen all in the area simultaneously - what a sight…

    • 26 Feb 2022
  • Wild Weather and Wonderful Wildlife

    It's certainly been an interesting few days here at Leighton Moss, with all manner of climatic shenanigans to contend with. We've seen some wild weather; a fair bit of rain, occasional busts of sunshine, some seriously gusty winds and as I write this, snow! Despite these sometimes challenging circumstances there is still lots to get out and enjoy all around the reserve.

     Our first avocet of the year turned up at…

    • 19 Feb 2022
  • Spring and Love are in the air....

    As Valentine’s Day approaches, we are feeling the love here at Leighton Moss! We have been thrilled to hear FIVE male bitterns booming over the past week, as they begin to establish territory and attempt to attract a mate. This is rather early for this behaviour, so we are hoping that there are still a few more males who are yet to boom.  Marsh harrier bonding behaviour is building too; keep a look out for a male…

    • 11 Feb 2022
  • World Wetlands Day & Recent Sightings

     February is here and is offering us some early signs of spring. Snowdrops are blooming and blanketing the ground, whilst marsh harriers are displaying bonding behaviour already on the reserve. We mentioned a few weeks ago about bitterns grumbling; these grunts are now developing into fully fledged booms that are beginning to rumble through the reeds.  

    In keeping with the high wildfowl numbers of the past few weeks, we…

    • 4 Feb 2022
  • Big Garden Birdwatch & Recent Sightings

     It’s the weekend you’ve all been waiting for – it’s time for Big Garden Birdwatch! We hope you’re poised and ready to record the birds that land on your patch. Not only is it a rather fun way to spend an hour of your weekend, but the data collected is invaluable to conservation work. Last year, over 1 million people participated, a record which we are hoping to beat for 2022. If you need some last…

    • 28 Jan 2022
  • Starling Stirrings & Learning Musings!

     The starlings have been keeping us on tenterhooks for the past few weeks, frequently flying straight over Leighton Moss in search of a place to rest their weary wings. This week, however, they’ve been showing promising signs of their return to our reedbed. Despite still arriving in smaller, fractured groups on Thursday afternoon, a gathering of over ten thousand birds flocked over Causeway before heading down to roost…

    • 21 Jan 2022
  • Waxwing Thrill & Other Recent Sightings

    January can only mean one thing – no, not broken resolutions – but Big Garden Birdwatch! Have you’ve signed up yet? If you’ve never taken part in our citizen science extravaganza before, or just fancy a refresher, then we’re hosting the perfect workshop for you. Big Garden Birdwatch: A Beginner’s Guide is running on Friday 21 and Saturday 22 January, so book online now to learn more…

    • 15 Jan 2022
  • New Year, New Year List!

     Happy New Year from all of us at Leighton Moss; we hope you had a fabulous time celebrating over the festive season. Our Robin Robin trail is still running until the 10 January, so if you’re after elongating the holidays then why not head down with your little ones this weekend for the last of the Christmas cheer?

    The New Year is the prime time to get excited about birding again. If, like us, you’re itching to get…

    • 7 Jan 2022
  • Starling News & Other Recent Sightings

     At this time of year (well, from October onward to be honest!) we get asked a lot about starling murmurations.

    When will they be here? What time do they arrive? Where's the best place to see them?

    Of course there is nothing quite like the sight of tens of thousands of starlings wheeling in unison over the reserve at dusk and this amazing show is a truly memorable experience for all those who witness it. The problem…

    • 30 Dec 2021
  • Christmas Opening & Starling News

    Please note our Christmas opening hours... 

    The visitor centre, shop and cafe are open 9.30am - 4.30pm daily with the following exceptions:


    Christmas Eve: 9.30am-3pm
    Christmas Day: CLOSED (inc nature reserve, all hides and paths).
    Boxing Day: 9.30am-4.30pm


    New Year’s Eve: 9.30am-3pm
    New Year’s Day: 9.30am-4.30pm

     Despite some cold and misty days, there has been lots to see on and around the reserve in recent days…

    • 22 Dec 2021
  • Otters On Show & final part of John Wilson interview

     With calmer conditions in recent days the reserve has been a joyous place to explore. As water levels drop, the dabbling ducks have returned en masse and diving duck numbers including pochard, goldeneye and tufted duck have increased across the site.

    Our resident otter family also seem to prefer the current weather and water levels and have been putting in lenghty appearances most days; Lower and Causeway hides are the…

    • 17 Dec 2021