It’s certainly been a mixed few days weather-wise but it doesn’t seem to have deterred many of you from spending time here on the reserve over the half term week!
And of course our friends at Autumnwatch are back on TV – reminding millions of us of the sheer wonder the UK’s amazing wildlife can offer. It’s been great to see our colleagues doing such a wonderful job at RSPB Old Moor too. It’s a great reserve, do visit it when you can!
Well, here the bearded tit activity has slowed down a little on those days when the weather’s been a bit wet and windy but managed to pull some out of the bag right at the last moment on our final guided bearded tit walk of the season earlier in the week. Even prior to us seeing the beardies we were having a great time with sightings of guillemot (not what one would call a classic reedbed specialist (!) and a rare bird on the main reserve) plus we had superb views of a cracking little yellow-browed warbler – another scarce visitor here.
Wildfowl numbers continue to build and there are lots of shoveler, teal & gadwall on the meres plus wigeon, pintail & tufted duck. Pochard seem to come and go, occasionally dragging the smart drake ring-necked duck with them. A very late garganey has also been seen on and off. Keep an eye out to for those odd hybrids: cinnamon teal / shoveler and wigeon / gadwall. Odd, but fun to pick out among the mass of more familiar ducks!
Marsh harriers continue to be a feature with at least seven birds on site. I think you’d have to be pretty unlucky not to see one while visiting us at the moment. I can still clearly remember seeing my first marsh harrier at Leighton Moss when I was a lad – the perfect combination of elegance and deadly intent (the harrier, not me). Sheer magic. I never tire of seeing these epic birds. Photo by Mike Malpass
Don’t forget, the shop and café are now open from 10am daily.
We have friendly optics experts on-hand should you be looking for a new pair of binoculars or a spotting scope – we are happy to provide impartial advice in order to help you find just what you need.