• 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
  • Weekly Round-up & pt2 of our Interview with John Wilson

     It’s been a wild week for weather but despite being blasted by Storm Barra, our paths are all still accessible without wellies. The wintering wildfowl are giving us plenty to view from the hides so there’s still lots of birding to be had on a drizzly day. As with the past few weeks, numbers of overwintering dabbling ducks are growing, with impressive numbers of teal, gadwall, pintail and shoveler seen on most…

    • 10 Dec 2021
  • Winter Weather & John Wilson's Legacy

    We've certainly had all kinds of weather to contend with here in recent days; from the ferocious winds courtesy of Storm Arwen last Friday night, to a sprinkling of snow earlier this week, to glorious sunny frosty days and a touch of light drizzle! On the whole, Leighton Moss's wildlife doesn't seem to have been put out too much by these constantly changing conditions and visitors have been enjoying some of the best…

    • 3 Dec 2021
  • Moorcroft Festive Event & Temporary Path Closure

    PLEASE NOTE: Due to excessively high winds the reserve paths and hides are closed this morning (Saturday 27 Nov).
    The visitor centre, shop & cafe remain open as usual & we hope to reopen the reserve this afternoon if conditions allow.
    We are very happy to say that our friends from Moorcroft pottery will be in The Holt (9.30am - 3pm) so do please pop along if you can and see some of the lovely ceramics on…
    • 27 Nov 2021
  • Marvellous Murmurations & Other Sightings

     As we'd expect at this time of year, the spectacular starling murmurations are swiftly replacing bearded tits as the main focus for many of our visitors. Activity around the trays has of course dwindled but a few beardies may still be seen as they come to gather grit over the next couple of weeks or so. But the real starts of the show at the minute are the aforementioned starlings and their pre-roost displays. With…

    • 19 Nov 2021
  • Autumn Gold & Recent Sightings

    It's been a funny old couple of weeks weather-wise - we've had periods of dark days with lots of rain, and consequent path-flooding in parts, and we've seen glorious bright, calm days when the reedbeds glow an autumn gold. Thankfully the water levels have dropped a fair bit now and so the majority of the site is accessible without the need for wellies. At the time of writing, the path to Lower Hide is still submerged…

    • 13 Nov 2021
  • Celebrate your inner Robin on our adventure trail this Christmas

     We’re delighted to be partnering with Netflix and Aardman on Robin Robin, a half-hour, stop-motion, festive story for the whole family, about a young robin trying to fit in. It’s debuting on Netflix on 24 November – get the date in your diary! To celebrate, we’re inviting you to join exclusive Robin Robin-themed adventure trails right here at RSPB Leighton Moss nature reserve this Christmas season…

    • 12 Nov 2021
  • Autumn Excitement

     As the clocks go back and we edge ever closer to winter, there is a tangible change on the nature reserve. The bearded tits are still visiting the grit trays, though less regularly (due in part to the rather wild, windy and wet conditions we've endured of late) and the red deer stags are still trying to impress the hinds, though the fervour is somewhat reduced. But there is a distinct late-autumn feel, as the leaves…

    • 30 Oct 2021
  • October-Beard-and-Bellow-Fest

    For many visitors October at Leighton Moss is synonymous with two key natural events; the first, the commencement of bearded tits using the grit trays and second, the red deer rut.

     Both these spectacles are relatively easy to see and photograph, if one puts the time in and understands some of the behaviour of the two species. The 'beardies' will visit the trays most days, preferring calm, bright conditions - so, do not…

    • 23 Oct 2021