• Recent sightings & continued murmurations

    At 4pm Monday evening I took a walk up the sky tower, I’d heard that the starlings (copyright David Kjaer rspb-images.com) had moved into the centre area of the reserve near Lillian’s hide, and I have to say, I was not disappointed. Small groups started swooping in a fair distance towards Grisedale. As the time reached around 4:15pm the show started to truly begin. The flock swayed back and forth, merging with arriving…

    • 23 Jan 2020
  • Get Big Garden Birdwatch Ready!

     As we reach the midway point of January, we always have something to look forward to, the annual Big Garden Birdwatch!

    As always, we are calling everyone to join in and tell us what they find in their gardens, yards and parks. Each year we have around half a million people take part, but the more people take part, the more information we will have. The Big Garden Birdwatch takes place on Saturday 25, Sunday 26 and Monday…

    • 14 Jan 2020
  • More Murmuration Musings

    First of all, on behalf of all the staff and volunteers here at Leighton Moss I would like to wish you all a very happy 2020.

     For many birders, this is the time to start a new year-list and our wonderful reserve is the place to visit if you want to add such key species as marsh harrier, bittern, bearded tit and water rail to your tally early in the season. Of course local birdwatchers will also wish to secure sightings…

    • 2 Jan 2020
  • Murmuration Gets Under Way

    One of the things we get asked about more than anything else at this time of year is, 'are the starlings murmurating yet?'. From October through to the end of December we usually give the same reply; not yet. In recent years the large numbers of starlings that roost here have been reluctant to really partake in murmurations before the end of December, preferring to appear on the reserve at dusk and going straight…

    • 26 Dec 2019
  • Recent sightings and a regular visitor's thoughts...

     Many of our visitors are being wowed by the continued presence of the redwings and fieldfares showing brilliantly in and around the orchard and garden here at Leighton Moss. The photographers seem to have moved seamlessly from bearded tits (still present but now much more difficult to see post-grit gathering) to these dazzling northern thrushes. And who can blame them, when they make such fabulous subjects? Also to be…

    • 17 Dec 2019
  • Recent Sightings and Road Renovations

     In the last few days, after having seen temperatures plummet, we have returned once more to damper, milder conditions. The ice that covered the pools earlier in the week is gone and the ducks that were huddled around the small patches of open water have now spread out across the reserve. A stop in Lilian's or Causeway hides will reward you with the sight of hundreds of birds busy dabbling or diving for food. Little…

    • 4 Dec 2019
  • Problems with Plastic & Recent Sightings

     With autumn firmly giving way to winter, the wildlife at Leighton Moss is very much gearing up for the colder months ahead. Large numbers of fieldfare (pic by Mike Malpass) and redwing have recently joined the blackbirds, song and mistle thrushes in our orchard, taking full advantage of the glut of apples in our orchard. Wildfowl numbers continue to build and the mass of ducks on Lilian's and Grisedale pools are quite…

    • 27 Nov 2019
  • #ThanksToYou Free Entry for Non-Members

     National Lottery players can enjoy a fantastic free day out at the RSPB’s Leighton Moss nature reserve in Silverdale as part of a country-wide ‘thank you’ in celebration of 25 years of the National Lottery.

    Over the past 24 years, grants from the National Lottery Heritage Fund have helped to make Leighton Moss and Morecambe Bay nature reserve an even better place for wildlife and people by funding several…

    • 20 Nov 2019
  • Lower Hide Re-Opens & Christmas Market News

    The weather is getting a little chilly as we enter November, but there is still much to see.

    The good news is that we have made some repairs to the Lower Hide and it is now open again - though in a somewhat reduced state! We intend to keep this slightly smaller version of the hide open for the foreseeable future as we look into how we provide a permanent solution. Thanks to everyone for their patience. 

    The bearded ti…

    • 12 Nov 2019
  • Recent Sightings & Connecting Young People to Nature

     While there are still a few bearded tits entertaining the crowds as they visit the trays, I think it's fair to say that 'gritting season' is certainly coming to an end. As we'd expect by the beginning of November fewer bearded tits are being seen gathering grit and they become increasingly, typically elusive once more. As always, if you hope to see these dazzling reedbed dwellers, morning is best (as with almost all birds…

    • 1 Nov 2019
  • Floods recede & sightings surge!

     I'm very happy to report that the water levels have almost returned to normal (whatever that is!) and there is now access to all the hides (except Lower Hide which remains closed to the public) for those visitors who may have forgotten their wellies. Obviously the pools are still holding more water than we'd expect them to at this time of year but that doesn't seem to be deterring the wildfowl - duck numbers continue…

    • 24 Oct 2019
  • Wellies Still A Must

     The water has been sticking around since the last blog. It’s definitely wellie weather right now here at Leighton Moss, and if you come prepared you have the chance to see some great seasonal wildlife spectacles.

    The bearded tits have been continuing to show very well on the grit trays along the Causeway and the path to Grisedale Hide in recent days. If you don't have wellies, still do feel free to come and visit…

    • 15 Oct 2019
  • There Will Be Flood - and recent arrivals

    As you may have guessed, high tides and lots of rain have resulted in some flooding around the reserve in recent days.

     By Tuesday the wet footpaths had become submerged and wellies were need to get to most of the hides. As of today (Wednesday), despite the glorious sunshine, it was still wellies-only-access to much of the site. With more rain forecast it looks likely that this situation will remain the same for several…

    • 2 Oct 2019
  • Lower Hide Closure and Recent Sightings

     IMPORTANT NOTICE:
    Please note that we have decided to close Lower Hide for the foreseeable future.
    Regular visitors will know that we have made recent repairs to the hide including a new roof. We had also planned to undertake other works to revitalise the hide. However, recently we have identified potentially significant structural issues. These will require us to seek further advice on the seriousness of these issues…
    • 27 Sep 2019
  • Waders Wade In & Other Recent Sightings

    Waders are still very much the focus of many visitors' attentions at the moment and the Allen Pool continues to deliver. Recent sightings have included spotted redshanks, green sandpiper, wood sandpiper, curlew sandpipers, ruff, little stint and greenshanks amongst the expected commoner species. Following some very high tides and some attendant westerly winds the Morecambe Pool has filled up, enticing a regular great…

    • 5 Sep 2019
  • Wader Tales & Recent Sightings

    What a great time we had on our What's That Wader event today. It was a glorious morning and the birds performed well for the group.

     Our first stop at the Allen Pools was supposed to be a short one as most of the wader activity has been on the Eric Morecambe Pools in recent days. However, while we were enjoying a lone lingering avocet plus a few lapwings and snipe, a peregrine dashed over the pools causing birds to…

    • 24 Aug 2019
  • Train-spotting Opportunities at the Eric Morecambe Pools

     As my train trundled toward Silverdale station this morning I was once again reminded of why I choose to use this form of transport for my daily commute. Just south of the station the line passes between our reedbed at Barrow Scout and the Eric Morecambe Pools and I always try and grab a window seat so that I can have a quick scan. From my cosy lookout, the scene before me was more reminiscent of the Camargue in Southern…

    • 8 Aug 2019
  • Hello Waders, Goodbye Kevin!

    While we may not like to concede the fact that summer is coming to an end, much of nature seems committed to telling us that autumn is just around the corner!  

     Many of our residents and summer visitors have pretty much finished breeding and lots of young birds have now fledged and are fending for themselves. A few exceptions include late broods of coot, moorhen, little grebe and mallard. Despite multiple attempts it seems…

    • 29 Jul 2019
  • 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
  • Funding boosts woodland restoration project for rare butterflies at our Challan Hall Allotment

    We're really pleased to announce an exciting woodland restoration project at our Challan Hall Allotment nature reserve in Silverdale, a satellite site of Leighton Moss. Thanks to generous funding, work can begin later this year to restore the reserve for rare butterflies.

    Historically the site had a wonderful mixture of open limestone pavement and grassland, as well as woodland, all of which is required by these butterflies…

    • 12 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