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 27 January.
An hour of bird watching really makes a difference, whether that be sitting outside, or tucked up inside watching through the window with your binoculars and a cuppa to hand.
In between your bouts of back-yard birding, there’s also plenty of time to pop over and see what’s around here at Leighton Moss. Winter is a great time to see many of our specialities. Wildfowl continues to dominate with Causeway, Lilian's and Grisedale particularly productive at the moment. Several species of duck, little grebes and both little and great white egrets may be enjoyed from the hides and SkyTower while wanders along the path may reward patient birdwatchers with views of water rail, reed buntings and marsh tits.
Starlings are still murmurating away, best seen from Causeway or SkyTower. The best murmurations often happen during clearer weather so make sure to check the forecast. The numbers have peaked at around at 70,000, ensuring an amazing spectacle on clear, bright evenings. We suggest being situated at your chosen watching spot at 3:30pm to avoid disappointment as the time of the mumuration can vary from day to day and usually happens anytime between 3:30pm and 4.30pm. We would also like to remind visitors not to park on the road near the Causeway entrance as this creates obstructions for other vehicles, thank you.
Snipe are most often seen in well vegetated wetlands such as our reserve in the winter, especially when they group together foraging for food or snoozing at the pool edges. An impressive 75 snipe were counted from Grisedale hide recently and most days at least 30 may be seen if you look carefully!
The number of marsh harriers continue to wow the crowds. It's not easy to accurately guess the number of harriers hunting around the reserve from one week to the next but we do know that at least ten different individuals have been identified. Given how recently this species has taken to wintering at Leighton Moss it is incredible to see so many birds here and we can only expect the numbers to increase in the coming years! (Photo by David Mower)
We know January is a time for saving pennies after Christmas, so we have some new deals in our RSPB shop to get you ready for your Big Garden Birdwatch. Our Big Garden Birdwatch starter kit includes three different bird feeders from our Classic easy-clean range for all different picky eaters. One for seeds, one for nuts and nibbles and another for suet. Of course, you need some bird food for these feeders, and you get a great selection with 1.8kg of Premium sunflower hearts, 1kg of Buggy nibbles & 12 super suet balls (sunflower heart variety). All of this would usually come to £41.21, but with our half price deal is only £20.60! A great bargain to get you ready for your Big Garden Birdwatch.