Despite the often damp conditions, recent sightings on the reserve have continued to delight many of our visitors. The star of the show, our female bittern continues to thrill as she makes her regular(ish) feeding flights from her nest near Lower Hide. Keen photographers have been posting some amazing shots of this busy bird on our Leighton Moss Facebook group; do take a look. Recently fledged bearded tits, along with adults, have also been putting on a wonderful show from this hide, so it’s well worth the walk down there at the moment.
Ospreys can be seen most days coming to fish in Lower or Causeway pools while birdwatchers have also been reporting plenty of kingfisher activity in the same area. Young birds are very much on show at the minute and visitors can expect to come across ducklings, cygnets, coot chicks and roving songbird broods all around the reserve. Meanwhile fans of marsh harriers are getting superb looks of both the males and females hunting and engaging in impressive food-passes.
Unusual reports include the appearance of both a little tern and common tern on the Allen Pools during blustery conditions on June 3 – the former species being a very rare visitor here. In recent days there have been up to four Mediterranean gulls hanging around the black-headed gull colony at the coastal pools too, giving keen-eyed observers something a little different to look for. With lots of gull chicks now on show a visit to these hides is a must. Unfortunately the avocets haven’t had quite so much success, with those fortunate chicks that escaped predation presumably falling foul of the poor weather in recent days. There are currently at least seven avocet chicks hanging in there while a handful of nests have yet to hatch (these are likely to be relays by birds that had earlier lost their eggs or chicks). Non-breeding waders at the pools include good numbers of both black-tailed and bar-tailed godwits, along with knots and the odd greenshank. A pair of dapper spoonbills dropped in for a brief visit midweek but sadly soon moved on.
Thanks to the awful forecast we had to reschedule our popular Singing & Ringing guided walk this morning; hopefully the weather will be kinder next Saturday! We do have one or two spaces available on this and other Singing & Ringing events in the coming weeks so if you fancy joining us please call the visitor centre on (01524) 701601 to secure your spot – advance booking is essential.
Bearded tit pic copyright David Mower
Cetti's warbler pic copyright Jon Carter
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