• 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
  • Winter wildlife and recent sightings

    Gradually the water levels are reducing to normal levels on the reserve, and with that we are seeing the growth of bird numbers on the pools, particularly wildfowl. And though the hundreds of black-tailed godwits (sometimes exceeding 2000) that were on Lilian’s for several weeks have relocated to the coastal pools at present, they and other waders may return as this reduction takes place. This week we have seen the chief…

    • 30 Oct 2018
  • Naomi's blog: Bearded tits

    In this week's blog, Visitor Experience Intern Naomi Wadsworth gives an overview of the lives of these special residents of Leighton Moss, and the conservation work being done to support them:

    This blog is not a recent sightings blog, but will focus on one popular species of bird which is showing remarkably well at the moment - the beautiful bearded tit. John Wilson and David Mower graciously provided a lot of the…

    • 24 Oct 2018
  • Autumnal awe and recent sightings

    We are deep into autumn here at Leighton Moss and Morecambe Bay, and so far October has proven as always to be a delightful time for observing wildlife on the reserve. Of course, we are always at the whim of the weather. Episodes of heavy rain might discourage appearances from some species, as well as raise the water levels such that waders and waterfowl are displaced from places on site, moving elsewhere for a brief…

    • 17 Oct 2018
  • LVA Alex Bateson bids farewell

    Alex Bateson, one of RSPB Leighton Moss' Learning and Visitor Assistants (LVAs), reflects on her time inspiring children and adults alike to learn and care about nature:

    As my 6 month stint as a Learning and Visitor Assistant (LVA) draws to an end I thought I’d write a blog about my fantastic experience with the RSPB at Leighton Moss.

    Engaging young people with nature has always been a key belief and passion…

    • 1 Oct 2018
  • Naomi's blog: 'Fowl weather' and recent sightings

    Naomi Wadsworth, our new Visitor Experience Intern, provides an update on recent sightings this past week:

    Hello bloggers, it’s been a rather blustery week here at Leighton Moss, and whilst this may not have been the best weather for visitors, one man I spoke to described it as “fowl weather”, and indeed there have been multiple species gracing our presence. So without further ado:

    At Lilian’s Pool…

    • 28 Sep 2018
  • Fresh arrivals and recent sightings

    I have the great pleasure of handing this week's blog over to Naomi Wadsworth, a new Visitor Experience Intern at Leighton Moss. Here she is in her own words, introducing herself and updating you on recent sightings:

    Hello bloggers! My name is Naomi and I suppose you could say I’m the new kid on the reserve. I am overjoyed to be spending the next 6 months supporting the RSPB Leighton Moss team as your new Visitor…

    • 18 Sep 2018
  • Autumn's arrival and recent sightings

    Autumn has arrived at Leighton Moss, and promises a period of cool transformation following one of the hottest summers on record. In the coming months the intrigue and enticement of migration movements through Morecambe Bay and the main sight itself will be realised in the dramatic increase in wintering waterfowl and wader numbers. There has been an unbroken continuity to much of the wildlife activity on the reserve, outlined…

    • 3 Sep 2018
  • Wild weather and recent sightings

    Rain and wind have continued to assist the recovery of water onto areas of Leighton Moss and the wider reserve this past week. Myers’ Dyke is running once again, and the Eric Morecambe Pool, which had endured a considerable dearth of water up to the 13 August, was finally somewhat rejuvenated by a high tide and gale that evening. This weather, however, and this general time of year – sandwiched between the breeding season…

    • 15 Aug 2018
  • Marsh harrier moments and recent sightings

    The wild variation in weather has written itself onto the landscape here at Leighton Moss: from the abundant heat which has scorched the leaves of the sallows and coloured the wooded slopes of the valley with russet-red hues, to recent rainfall which has been a welcome influence in the drier regions but has buffeted the reeds. As Jon mentioned in a blog post a couple of weeks ago, a positive consequence of this heatwave…

    • 4 Aug 2018
  • Ringing, moths and recent sightings

    We were grateful at Leighton Moss to have been visited by several spates of rainfall over the past week, on the back of the driest June the reserve has ever seen. Whilst areas of the reserve have had to cope with mass evaporation - a huge reduction of water at Grisedale, Tim Jackson and Eric Morecambe pools in particular - these cool, damp episodes have promised rejuvenation, and have even prompted the return of the valiant…

    • 23 Jul 2018
  • Dynamic water levels & recent sightings

    While we’ve been enjoying this rather lovely weather, the lack of precipitation has certainly had an effect on the reserve. In fact, the total rainfall figure of just 18mm set a new record low for the reserve in June. And after three consecutive weeks with no rain at all, it’s really showing. We have lost 25cm of water from the main reedbed through evaporation alone and Myer's Dyke (which runs into Lilian’s Pool) has…

    • 12 Jul 2018
  • Recent summer sightings

    As the unprecedented heatwave continues, the wildlife at Leighton Moss finds itself having to adjust to the changing conditions. Water levels are dropping rapidly, both on the saltmarsh pools and on the main reserve. This of course, presents nature with challenges. For many songbirds drinking water is becoming a little more difficult to find and so we are regularly checking the fresh water around the feeders to ensure…

    • 7 Jul 2018
  • Bitterns on show & other recent sightings

    The prolonged dry and warm spell is certainly proving popular with visitors to Leighton Moss and many people are getting great views of some of our seasonal specialities.

    The female bittern has been putting on a good, if somewhat sporadic, show. She regularly flies from the reed bed out to Barrow Scout giving people in Lilian’s Hide, on the Skytower or in Grisedale Hide fabulous views. We can assume that the bittern…

    • 28 Jun 2018
  • Brief update on recent sightings

    Sightings of our mother bittern have been increasing lately, a tantalising prospect for all visitors. These regular flight paths now seem to cross from her nest (located close to the main dyke behind Lillian’s pool) past the front of Grisedale hide and on towards Barrow Scout, one of our satellite sites situated close to the Morecambe and Allen pools. Grisedale and the Skytower have been affording lucky visitors with excellent…

    • 19 Jun 2018
  • Nature's nursery and recent sightings

    As we move deeper into Summer, there’s no better time to witness the charming evidence of Leighton Moss as a grand nursery for nature. It’s pleasing to see this wealth of new life so visible across the reserve, undefeated by early Spring’s disastrous weather. Without falling prey to sentimentality, there’s something to cherish in the sight of these intrepid younglings embarking upon the lives ahead of them.…

    • 10 Jun 2018