• 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
  • Bold bitterns, cheerful chiffchaffs and other recent sightings.

    Hello bloggers, for this recent sightings blog I thought I would try a new layout and give you a brief rundown of bird and wildlife species to look out for in different locations around Leighton Moss and Morecambe Bay reserve.

    Firstly, the starlings have been giving the reserve team the run around in terms of where they are murmurating. The past few evenings has seen them murmurating and going to roost at Barrow Scout…

    • 17 Jan 2019
  • Shrikey! Not another recent sightings blog...

    It has been a week of mixed weather here at Leighton Moss but there have been some fantastic wildlife sightings and a good variety of species for visitors to enjoy.

    First and foremost, the starling murmurations. The murmurations continue to occur with the best views from the Causeway and Lower Hides. Thursday 10 and Friday 11 January saw well over 100,000 starlings at Leighton Moss. Do keep in mind that the welcome desk…

    • 12 Jan 2019
  • Recent sightings and a happy New Year

    Hello readers, the Leighton Moss team would like to wish you all a happy New Year and another great year of wildlife watching experiences! Speaking of experiences, RSPB Leighton Moss is off to a flying start in terms of bird and other wildlife sightings. So without further ado, here is the first recent sightings roundup of 2019.

    Leading the 2019 spectacle charge is our fantastic starling population. There is currently…

    • 4 Jan 2019
  • The Year in Review and Looking to 2019

    It’s been quite a year here at Leighton Moss. Most of our staff, volunteers and visitors would unanimously agree that the highlight has been the return of breeding bitterns after almost a decade. Not only was this a significant success in conservation terms but it also allowed many people to not only hear that famous ‘boom’ but also to see these notoriously elusive red bed dwellers. In fact this late autumn and…

    • 31 Dec 2018
  • Marvellous marsh harriers and other recent sightings

    Hello everyone, it’s been another great week of sightings for our regular wildlife and seasonal specialities here at Leighton Moss.


    The marsh harriers continue to delight and they can be seen from all areas of the main reserve site and occasionally from the coastal pools too. Isn’t it amazing to think that we have 5 of these beautiful raptors here when in 1971, there was only one pair left in the UK? Our …

    • 19 Dec 2018
  • Winter wildlife and recent sightings

    Evening everyone, the reserve continues to be in the midst of cold snaps and milder, wetter weather but sightings of wildlife have remained excellent over the past week. So without further ado...

    A festive bittern. Photo credit: Andy Hay

    With the wetter weather, bittern sightings have become a little less frequent in recent days. Sightings have reduced due to deeper water levels on the reserve meaning there are more…

    • 14 Dec 2018
  • Important notice

    To allow for essential maintenance the café will be closed for the following periods:

    Monday 17 December - close at 3.30pm

    Tuesday 18 December – close at 2pm

    Wednesday 19 December - closed until 12noon*

    *hot and cold drinks & cakes will be available in The Holt in the morning

    Thursday 20 December – the shop will be closed all day

    FREE ENTRY to nature reserve for non-members!

    The café will remain…

    • 12 Dec 2018
  • Bold bitterns and dapper dabblers

    Despite a mix of weather, from cold snaps to milder, wetter conditions here at Leighton Moss and Morecambe Bay. wildlife sightings of some of our specialties remain excellent. The chilly snaps often freeze the edges of the reedbed, so we can expect (and hope) for great sightings from otters, water rails and bitterns.


    Firstly, after a few days of absence, the great grey shrike reappeared in its favoured spot close to the…

    • 4 Dec 2018
  • Recent sightings and birding for beginners

    Hello everyone, this week’s blog provides a culmination of the recent sightings from Monday 19 November to Tuesday 27 November.

    Beginning with bittern sightings, these have been fantastic over the previous week with daily sightings from different locations. The majority of bittern sightings have been from the Causeway and Lower hides, with bitterns being seen relatively close to both hides. It is a privilege to…

    • 28 Nov 2018
  • American wigeon tops list of recent sightings

    Hello all, the week commencing Monday 12 November has provided several exciting new arrivals for visitors to sight or if you are like me; to wish you had seen.

    In my last blog I highlighted the appearance of a great grey shrike and I am happy to tell you that the bird has remained in the area. It has been sighted between Wednesday 14 November and Saturday 17 November inclusively. The bird was seen in the fields close…

    • 20 Nov 2018
  • A curious case of the shrike and the bittern

    Over the past week here at Leighton Moss we have had a wide array of species for visitors to enjoy. Most notably we have had an influx of wildfowl as our water levels return back to their normal depth. Also, while the majority of our waders remain at the coastal pools, small numbers are returning to the main site, alighting and departing various pools throughout the course of a day.

    Starting with key arrivals to the…

    • 7 Nov 2018