• Brilliant Boost for Bitterns

     Despite the reserve currently being closed to the public, there is still plenty going on behind the scenes at RSPB Leighton Moss! 

    Our wardening team have been as busy as ever, still catching up with jobs they were unable to do during the first lockdown as well as cracking on with seasonal tasks that are priorities at this time of year. One of the main projects currently underway (when water levels allow, at least!) is…

    • 14 Nov 2020
  • Reserve Closure

    We’re sorry to announce that Leighton Moss will be closed to visitors from 5 November.

    We know that for many of you, the reserve provides enjoyment and solace through these challenging times, so this decision has not been taken lightly.  

     In line with Government guidance, our visitor centre, shop, café and hides need to close through lockdown.

    Many RSPB reserves are able to at least keep their trails open but…

    • 4 Nov 2020
  • Latest Sightings and Updates

     It’s certainly been a mixed few days weather-wise but it doesn’t seem to have deterred many of you from spending time here on the reserve over the half term week!

    And of course our friends at Autumnwatch are back on TV – reminding millions of us of the sheer wonder the UK’s amazing wildlife can offer. It's been great to see our colleagues doing such a wonderful job at RSPB Old Moor too. It…

    • 30 Oct 2020
  • Beards and Antlers; Autumn at its Best

    Once again the week's headlines have been dominated by those amazing bearded tits. They do seem reluctant to use the grit trays so far this year for some reason and are instead gathering their much-needed grit from the pathways. Hopefully visitors will be able to continue enjoying these stunning little birds as they go about their grit-gathering for a few more weeks yet.

    Of course working here I’m very fortunate in…

    • 17 Oct 2020
  • Beardies & Bitterns Bring Joy

     It’s been another busy week or two here at Leighton Moss and as we’d expect at this time of year the main attraction is of course those perennial favourites, bearded tits.

    Many visitors are getting great views of these enigmatic birds as they emerge from the dense reedbeds to gather grit and pick up fallen seeds from the paths. They seem to be a bit slow in taking to the grit trays this year; perhaps the mild…

    • 9 Oct 2020
  • Autumn Gets Going & Bearded Tits Bring Joy

    It looks like we’re in for a few decent days so what better way to enjoy them than to get out into nature!

     When I was doing my rounds earlier today it certainly felt like a classic autumn morning. The sun was bright and the air was cool, as I stood there listening on the Causeway I could hear the distinctive pinging calls of bearded tits and the explosive sound of Cetti’s warblers – sheer magic.

    The…

    • 25 Sep 2020
  • Bearded Bonanza Beckons

     Although the days still feel rather summery just now, we are definitely seeing increased signs of autumn around the reserve. And of course, one of the highlights of the seasonal change is the annual bearded tit grit tray festival! (Note: not an actual festival).
    As insect numbers dwindle, the bearded tits prepare to change their diet to one of seeds to help to survive the winter months. It's difficult not to hear (and…
    • 17 Sep 2020
  • Autumn Gets Underway

     With things becoming decidedly more autumnal of late, we have been noticing a few changes here on the reserve.

    Down at the Eric Morecambe and Allen pools wader numbers are picking up, as we'd expect at this time of year. Good numbers of redshank (photo by Brian Salisbury) and lapwing are usually present and on some days the pools play host to lots of roosting black-tailed godwits. Among the commoner birds one can…

    • 5 Sep 2020
  • Return to the Moss - a volunteer's story

     In this week's blog we invited volunteer Jennie to share her experiences of how the current Coronavirus pandemic affected her visits to Leighton Moss both before lockdown and again after the reserve re-opened... 

    Return to the Moss By Jennie Chapman, RSPB volunteer

    A bright and chilly mid-March morning. I dug out my blue polo shirt and navy fleece from the bottom of a drawer, found my name badge in the jacket pocket…

    • 28 Aug 2020
  • More Hides Open at RSPB Leighton Moss!

     I am delighted to report that the Eric Morecambe and Allen hides are now open!

    As with our other accessible hides on site, we have put some clear social distancing measures in place and hide occupancy is restricted.

    Please consider this when visiting the hides and be mindful of others' needs. We ask that you do not 'hog the hide' when others are waiting to enter - we want everyone to be able to enjoy this wonderful place…

    • 26 Aug 2020
  • Shop re-opens & latest sightings

     We have some very exciting news to share this week.

    After a great deal of planning and rearranging, we are delighted to share that our shop at the visitor centre has reopened! We will be open daily from 10am to 3.30pm so do please come along and stock up on bird food and feeders, grab a new hedgehog house or treat yourself to a new pair of binoculars!

    And while the café remains closed we also have a selection of sandwiches…

    • 21 Aug 2020
  • Water, Water Everywhere...

    It’s been another rather unusual week here up in North Lancashire. We’ve had everything from glorious sunshine to the most extraordinary thunderstorms that anyone can ever remember witnessing! Of course with the storm came yet more rain – further hindering our reedbed work as water levels remain unusually high for the time of year.

    But there’s always a positive! Those secretive bitterns can often…

    • 14 Aug 2020
  • Swift Departure and Recent Sightings...

     I think it's fair to say that we've had a mixed week weather-wise! Some days have been very pleasant and mild while others have blighted us with persistent rain. In fact the water levels have risen so dramatically that the wardening team have had to postpone some major management work out in the reedbed. Hopefully we'll get enough dry days in the near future to see the levels drop and we'll be able to reinstate the postponed…

    • 7 Aug 2020
  • Tern Up for the Books

    The big news this week (and when I say big, I mean it both literally and figuratively) concerns the all-too brief appearance of a Caspian tern that graced us with its presence yesterday (Thursday). Seen initially from Causeway Hide the rare seabird took off in the direction of Arnside where it was later rediscovered by diligent local birders. Unfortunately its stay there was also short-lived and once again it vanished…

    • 31 Jul 2020
  • Summer Sightings

    What a week it’s been!

      We opened up Lilian’s and Causeway hides in time for last weekend and we saw plenty of returning faces, plus lots of new ones, enjoying the many delights of Leighton Moss. The feedback has been terrific so far and we're really pleased to see that everyone is respecting the social distancing guidelines and being highly considerate to others - of course we'd expect nothing less from our wonderful…

    • 24 Jul 2020
  • Hides Re-open!

     We have more good news to share with you this week! We have reopened both Lilian's and Causeway hides!

    There are of course, strict social distancing guidelines in place regarding the use of the hides and there is plenty of information in and around the hides to make things clear. The staff at the Welcome desk will also provide all the relevant detail when visitors arrive on site.

    It was great this week to see that…

    • 18 Jul 2020
  • The Sky's The Limit

     We're very happy to announce that we re-opened the Skytower this week!

    Now, visitors can once again rise above the reedbeds for a fabulous birds-eye view of the reserve and the wider landscape. From this breath-taking vantage point you may be lucky enough to see fishing ospreys, hunting marsh harriers, soaring swifts and grazing red deer amongst a host of other exciting wildlife. We have put some social distancing…

    • 9 Jul 2020
  • Egrets, We Have A Few

    One doesn’t need to spend much time on the reserve at the moment to be made fully aware that we are in the midst of the breeding season. It seems that there are young birds everywhere! As visitors make their way around the pathways they can’t help but be met with the sights and sounds of recently fledged warblers, finches and tits. On the pools, gangs of coot with their almost fully-grown youngsters dot the…

    • 4 Jul 2020
  • Unpredictable June Anticipation!

    With some pretty mixed weather, it's been an unpredictable few days here at Leighton Moss! As yet the thunderstorms haven't delivered anything unusual and despite there having been some scarce visitors not too far away (rose-coloured starling, hoopoe and hooded crow all at Walney, rose-coloured starlings at Carnforth and Morecambe, Blyth's reed warbler at Knott End and black stork in the Rusland Valley) we have…

    • 17 Jun 2020
  • Leighton Moss Open!

     It's been a week since we re-opened parts of the reserve here at Leighton Moss and it's been great to welcome visitors back to our wonderful site. 

    Due to access restrictions based on government guidelines we have had to consider which areas would offer visitors an enjoyable experience while considering their well-being and safety, along with that of RSPB staff. So, one of the first things we did was reduce the…

    • 6 Jun 2020
  • Partial re-opening of reserve

     We are delighted to announce that this morning (Saturday) we opened some sections of our trails and the car park so that we can welcome visitors back to wonderful Leighton Moss!

    Of course visitors will be required to follow on-site guidance which will be provided by our team. Be aware that we are limiting the number of vehicles in the car park and as a consequence, it has limited capacity. If the car park is full upon…

    • 30 May 2020
  • Update to reserve closure

    Despite some very slight changes in lockdown restrictions in England, Leighton Moss remains closed to the public for now. Our priority is to ensure that we only re-open when we have everything in place to keep our members, visitors, volunteers and employees safe.

    We must also make sure that the wildlife that calls our site home is ready to receive attention after a couple of months completely on its own. You'll have seen…

    • 11 May 2020
  • A booming great start to the breeding season

    We're so excited that for the first time since 1999, we've got three booming male bitterns here at Leighton Moss!

    Bittern populations are monitored by recording the number of ‘booming’ males, so called for their rather unusual birdsong.

    The bittern is Britain’s loudest bird, but the noise it makes is far from a typical bird song. Indeed, for such a shy and elusive bird, their call is not exactly…

    • 6 May 2020
  • When a Warden Isn't Wardening...

    As you can imagine, it's all a bit strange right now for those of us who ordinarily spend our days working at Leighton Moss - and we certainly share the frustrations of our visitors who love to while away the hours on our wonderful reserve!

    As part of our efforts to keep nature-focused while the reserve remains closed, we'll be continuing to share the experiences of staff and volunteers as they adjust to a, hopefully…

    • 3 Apr 2020
  • Get Set for a Wild Challenge!

    While the reserve remains closed and most of us are staying at home, let's not forget that there is still lots of potential to enjoy nature where we live!

    Personally, I've been keeping an eye on the skies above my house in Lancaster looking out for passing birds and enjoying the noisy antics of the local house sparrows in my neighbourhood. In recent days I've also spotted peacock and small tortoiseshell butterflies…

    • 27 Mar 2020