We may have showers, but that hasn’t put a damper on the wildlife around the reserve. Our two male bitterns (photo by Andy Hay) have been making themselves known this past few weeks, the best chance of hearing them booming is either just before the sun starts to rise at dawn and as the light is fading at dusk along the Causeway. Although this is the peak of the bitterns’ booming activity, they are being heard occasionally later in the day, from mid-morning to mid-afternoon! So even if you don’t arrive during the peak hours, there’s always a chance you will be lucky.
Of course, there is another reason to stay on the reserve till after dusk. There is still chance to see the starlings (copyright Andrew Holden), they are currently murmurating beautifully. The best time to see this wonderful display is at sunset, so it is getting later and later. It also depends on the weather, you are more likely to see a better mumuration on a clear night; clear skies means it will occur a bit later. On the other hand, if there is a lot of cloud cover, or if it is foggy, then the mumuration will happen earlier due to the darker lighting. For up-to-date information on where they have been going to roost you can either ask a member of our team in the visitor centre on the day of your visit or give us a ring.
If staying till dusk is a little late for you, don’t fret, there’s a lot to see throughout the day as well. We have a large variety of species on site, from snipe to goldeneye to marsh harriers. There are also our saltmarsh hides, which have a different selection of wader species such as the avocets which have been increasing in number over the past week, with 30 individuals now residing there - though today the saltmarsh car park has been closed due to spring tidal flooding! Keep an eye out on our Facebook page for any updates.
On the topic of flooding, the water levels have risen on the reserve due to recent rainfall. Due to this, it is highly recommended that wellies are worn when walking down the paths for Causeway, Lower, Grisedale and Tim-Jackson Hides. The path to Lillian's Hide and the Skytower is still accessible without wellies.
Any Springwatch fans here? Well, you may have heard about bbc presenter lolo Williams’ new book ‘Wild Places UK’ where the Welsh naturalist looks at the abundance of British wildlife and landscapes around the UK. And lolo himself is taking a trip up to Leighton Moss this coming weekend! Come along on Saturday 14 March between 3:30-4:30pm when you will be able to pick up a copy of ‘Wild Places UK’, meet Iolo in person and have him sign your copy!
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