• Recent Sightings & Funding Boost for Rare Butterflies

     Our recent 'star bird', the pectoral sandpiper present at the Allen Pools, went AWOL earlier this week having delighted hundreds of visitors during its short stay. Wader watchers still had plenty to enjoy as the post-breeding season got underway with an increase in the number of black-tailed godwits and greenshank plus dunlin, knot, common sandpiper and little ringed plovers showed well in front of the hides.…

    • 19 Jul 2019
  • Spoonbills and Pectoral Sandpiper Drop In

    It's been an interesting few days here with tons of marsh harrier activity plus a couple of 'unexpected' arrivals!  

     The first of these showstoppers were four spoonbills which appeared on the Eric Morecambe Pool on Tuesday. Before long the flock had expanded to five individuals and by weekend it was down to three! I must admit, I do wonder where these birds have spent the past few weeks; have they travelled…

    • 14 Jul 2019
  • Summer time and the harriers are easy

     Following on from the successful fledging of three bitterns from one nest in recent weeks, the marsh harriers have now taken centre stage. With a trio of youngsters each from two nests near Grisedale Hide it’s just about impossible to not see these amazing raptors at the moment. The adult birds are busy bringing in food for the growing harriers and spectacular food passes can be seen (much to the delight of many visiting…

    • 6 Jul 2019
  • Baby Bitterns Take Flight

     Absolutely amazing news from the reserve last week, three bittern fledglings were spotted down by Lower Hide. As many of the readers of this blog and regular visitors to the reserve will know a female bittern had built her nest to the right-hand side of the hide. We have all been patiently waiting to see those first sightings of the young feeding. Some very lucky visitors have had that amazing opportunity, with the young…

    • 1 Jul 2019
  • Wonderful weather and excellent sightings

    What a wonderful week we have had here at Leighton Moss. Evidenced by some of the amazing photos coming out on our Facebook group, the sky has been blue, the bird song strong and the great sightings have continued.

     The major theme across the reserve at the moment is young birds. Whilst we are still yet to see those bittern young, it’s definitely something to keep an eye on over the coming days. The female’s flights across…

    • 20 Jun 2019
  • Summer Has Arrived?

    Two weeks into summer, the damp conditions continue but don't let that put you off! Grab a rain jacket and some walking boots whilst great sightings continue across the reserve. The main story at the moment is the large number of young birds. Visitors can expect to see ducklings, cygnets, coot chicks, lapwing chicks and rooving song bird broods all around the reserve.

     Our female bittern continues to excite visitors…

    • 14 Jun 2019
  • June's Damp Start

    Despite the often damp conditions, recent sightings on the reserve have continued to delight many of our visitors. The star of the show, our female bittern continues to thrill as she makes her regular(ish) feeding flights from her nest near Lower Hide. Keen photographers have been posting some amazing shots of this busy bird on our Leighton Moss Facebook group; do take a look. Recently fledged bearded tits, along with…

    • 8 Jun 2019
  • Bird Ringing Update

    Hello everyone,

     Sunday (1 June) saw us continue our Singing and Ringing events, for everyone who attended it was a brilliant morning. The event allowed the group to hear more about identifying bird song and habitat management practices here at Leighton Moss. As well as providing excursions to areas of the reserve where there is ordinarily no public access. Finally, some excellent views of some wonderful birds including…

    • 4 Jun 2019
  • Bittern updates and Recent Sightings

    For those of you still yet to see the wonderful long flights of our nesting bittern, there is still time with the female still making consistent flights across the reserve and down to Barrow Scout in search of food.  Whilst the go-to place on the reserve for spotting the bittern is Lower Hide, with the nest located to right of the hide. Sightings have also been made from Lilians Hide, Skytower and elsewhere across the…

    • 31 May 2019
  • Half term events, bitterns, osprey and new arrivals. Plus more recent sightings

    Hello everyone, The spring bank holiday and school half term are almost upon us now. So for those of you still yet to make plans for what we hope will be a sunny week ahead. Here is what’s happening at Leighton Moss over the coming days. (* Family orientated events)

     * Nature themed colouring, puzzles and origami. Independently lead garden trails hunting for animal tracks or hidden ceramic tiles! All available from…

    • 23 May 2019
  • The flight of the bittern

    There is no doubting the star attraction onsite at the minute, with many visitors enjoying their first views of bittern. Our dutiful female is still making consistent and sometimes long flights, to go in search of food for the young. At this stage we don’t know how many young she has, as we have not attempted to access the nest area, due to risk of disturbance.

    Her long flights have seen her mapped all the way to…

    • 21 May 2019
  • Boom time for bitterns and other recent sightings

    It’s been another great week for avid bittern watchers here on the reserve. The female that is nesting in the Lower Hide area has extended her feeding flights and has been making notable excursions on her food-gathering forays. This means that not only will visitors sat in Lower Hide are in with a chance of a fly-by but anyone stood on the Skytower, on the Causeway or in Grisedale or Lililan’s Hide could also be…

    • 18 May 2019
  • The Cusp of Summer

    Things are certainly getting exciting here at Leighton Moss with spring in full swing and hints of summer on the horizon. Our Visitor Operations Manager, birder and ringer Kevin Kelly sums up the past week or so:   

    "With migration in full swing last week, the inclement weather had put a temporary stop on northward bound migrants. But a recent shift in the systems were just enough to let some power through. Last weekend…

    • 11 May 2019
  • New arrivals and new starts

    It’s been a rather lively week here at Leighton Moss with yet more summer migrants arriving and a very special discovery near Lower Hide!

     Just to keep you in suspense, we’ll look at the new arrivals first. Joining the swallows, sand and house martins the first notable influx of swifts (pic by Chris Gomersall rspb-images.com) has taken place and several of these scythe-like masters of the air can be seen hawking…

    • 3 May 2019
  • Recent Sightings & Inspiring the Next Generation

    Well, what a glorious few days we have had over the Easter period! The sun has shone, the mercury has risen and the birds and beasties have been brilliant. Since the last post we've seen yet more summer migrants arriving including sedge warblers, grasshopper warbler and lesser whitethroat plus an increase in the number of reed warblers, blackcaps and willow warblers. That much-hoped-for spring duck, garganey too has…

    • 24 Apr 2019
  • Unusual sightings & otters in print!

    It's been another sunny, if a little chilly, week here at Leighton Moss. The expected arrival of summer migrants continues apace with our first reed warblers being heard early in the week and there has been a notable influx of willow warblers; many are singing around the reserve.   

    The marsh harriers continue to nest-build while at the same providing visitors with some breath-taking views and at least one bittern…

    • 12 Apr 2019
  • More Signs of Spring & Recent Sightings

    What a difference a few days make!

    Despite the rather cool conditions, there has been a notable arrival of migrants around the reserve in the past week. Amongst the many sand martins frequently feeding over the meres, a few swallows and house martins have been spotted. Our first willow warblers too have arrived and their lovely cascading song is a true sign that spring is truly here. Blackcap numbers continue to rise…

    • 6 Apr 2019
  • Spectacular signs of spring

    The sun is shining and spring is well and truly here. Our marsh harriers (two males and four females) have been performing their sky dancing routines to impress each other for the breeding season. Keep your eyes peeled for them all around the reedbed.

    The great crested grebes at Causeway Pool can be spotted weed dancing like they're in the Strictly Come Dancing final. They're so lovely to watch as they pass weeds and nesting…

    • 31 Mar 2019
  • More Hints of Spring & Recent Sightings

    After the promising and much-heralded blip back in February which lulled us into believing that spring was well under way, things have returned defiantly to winter once more! Of course, it may be colder, windier and wetter than it was a couple of weeks ago but on the face of it, it’s more like a normal early-mid March. Though unlike last year's 'Beast from the East' we're currently on the receiving end of what might be…

    • 12 Mar 2019
  • Spring arrivals and fond farewells

    Hello readers, Leighton Moss has certainly been sun-kissed in recent days and there is a definite feeling of spring in the air. Our resident woodland birds such as song thrushes, great tits, nuthatches and marsh tits have been in full song, you can listen out for them across the reserve.

    First on the agenda are the bitterns. We have observed some encouraging bittern activity, with a couple of bitterns chasing each other…

    • 27 Feb 2019
  • Avocets return and other recent sightings

    With a not-so subtle change in the weather in recent days, it certainly is starting to feel like spring here at Leighton Moss. Many of the resident woodland birds such as song thrushes, blackbirds, nuthatches and marsh tits are in fine voice and can be heard all around the site. Cetti's warblers are tuning up nicely in the scrubby areas of the reedbed and our overwintering marsh harriers have even started to display…

    • 22 Feb 2019
  • This Valentine's Day, how will you Show The Love?

    On the most romantic day of the year, contemplating the state of the planet and the impending effects of climate change probably won’t be at the top of your to-do list.  I’m sure you all know how to show love and appreciation to your loved ones, but what about the places that we ourselves and nature depend on?

    2019 marks the fifth year of the Climate Coalition Show the Love Campaign, a campaign which aims to…

    • 13 Feb 2019
  • Kites, harriers and bitterns

    Hello readers, we've had a busy week here at Leighton Moss with lots of fantastic wildlife sightings to delight visitors old and young. 

    I'll start this blog off with the key wildlife highlight this week - a red kite sighting. The red kite was seen on Saturday 9 February and flew South over the reserve, last seen from Tim Jackson Hide. This was fantastic to see, as red kites are not common in the Lancashire area…

    • 6 Feb 2019
  • New arrivals and recent sightings

    With the wonderful news of the arrival of three otter cubs here at Leighton Moss, this blog takes a closer look at this charismatic species. 

    Brrrr, we're in the grips of a cold snap here at the Moss so a lot of our pools have been fully or partially frozen. While this may not seem to be great weather for us humans to go exploring on the nature reserve it should lend itself to some excellent wildlife sightings. In particular…

    • 30 Jan 2019
  • Ice, Fire and Recent Sightings

    This coming weekend (January 26-28) will see up to half a million people taking part in one of the world's biggest 'citizen science' initiatives: the Big Garden Birdwatch. 2019 marks the 40th year since this nationwide bird-count was launched and the data gathered has helped paint a picture of the well-being of some of our most familiar bird species. 

    Here at Leighton Moss we've been gearing up for the Big…

    • 24 Jan 2019