The half-term week has seen some very mixed weather, and while that may have put a few people off from visiting, it certainly hasn't impacted on the amazing wildlife on show here!
Once again the stars of the show have been the bitterns, which seem to be absolutely everywhere. Visitors have reported seeing these enigmatic reedbed-dwellers from every hide on the main reserve in recent days and the stunning sight of four birds flying around together on Friday (3) afternoon was quite astonishing! (Bittern pic by J Sneyd)
Also, the marsh harriers have been super-busy as they continue to hunt for food with which to feed their ever-demanding chicks. The majority of the harrier activity has been best observed from the Skytower, Lilian's Hide and Grisedale Hide, although as with the bitterns they can be seen right across the reserve.
Ospreys too have been wowing the crowds with frequent fishing forays. Along with the Foulshaw Moss birds (now busy feeding three chicks!) we are still seeing occasional visits from other birds, so if you happen to get any photos where the rings can be seen we'd really appreciate you sharing that with us so we can figure out just how many different birds may be involved. (Osprey pic by J Sneyd)
Over at Causeway and Lower pools, otters have been seen on and off all week while what appears to be a 'new' otter has been sighted a few times at Lilian's and Grisedale pools - it just goes to show that anything can turn up anywhere!
Over at the Eric Morecambe and Allen pools the avocets remain the main attraction although a spoonbill was an added treat for those in the hides on Wednesday (1). From photographs it would appear that the same bird is involved in a number of scattered recent sightings but we have no idea where it is spending the bulk of its time when it is away from our saltmarsh pools! Hopefully it will settle into a routine, allowing more local birders and visitors to catch up with it! While you're visiting these hides keep an eye out for Mediterranean gulls in amongst the mass of black-headed gulls too. (Mediterranean gull pic by J Sneyd)
If you're visiting next week, why not join one of our guided walks and get the most from your day on the reserve?
On Wednesday (8), let our expert guide take you on a gentle two-hour 'Meander On The Moss' where you will find out all about the history and wildlife of Leighton Moss. Listen and look out for seasonal favourites, including bitterns, marsh harriers, various warblers, butterflies, damselflies and much more. For details and to book your place click here.
Next Saturday, we invite women and girls to step out into the spring sunshine and join us for a women’s only group walk! With the growing conversation about women’s safety in nature, we are keen to create comfortable environments for everyone here at Leighton Moss. Come and enjoy a 'Morning on the Moss' with female RSPB staff / volunteers. Numbers are strictly limited and again, pre-booking is essential, See here for details.
And on Sunday you can come along and 'Meet The Moths at the Moss'! Leighton Moss is a terrific home for moths with almost 600 different species recorded and new ones found each year. Moths found overnight on the reserve and nearby will be on view for those who want to learn more about these fascinating insects. The moth trap will be opened at 10am and will include a short introductory talk. No need to book just drop in! No additional charge for this event; normal entry charges apply.
We hope to see you soon! And don't forget to let us know of your sightings while visiting the reserve, either in person or via our Facebook or Twitter pages.
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