At 4pm Monday evening I took a walk up the sky tower, I’d heard that the starlings (copyright David Kjaer rspb-images.com) had moved into the centre area of the reserve near Lillian’s hide, and I have to say, I was not disappointed. Small groups started swooping in a fair distance towards Grisedale. As the time reached around 4:15pm the show started to truly begin. The flock swayed back and forth, merging with arriving flocks in an amazing display. Soon after they started drifting closer, the sound of thousands of flapping wings as they murmured just in front of us, before they rushed down to roost just to the right of the Skytower within the reeds. They roosted as the sun set, at about 4:30pm.
Of course, information on the starlings changes on a daily basis. The mumurations can happen at different times every day depending on the weather and the time the sun sets. Right now, we recommend being situated in your chosen starling spot at 4pm. You can always ask a member of our team here at Leighton Moss for information on starling location and best timing to be there on the day of your visit or give our visitor centre a call.
Though not on the grit trays, the bearded tits have made a few appearances within the last few days around the Causeway and the boardwalk. Of course, these birds are no longer eating grit as they have all they need to digest all the seeds in their winter diet, but that does not mean they have left. They are just a little more secretive as they live within the reeds, rarely coming out into the open, but as the last few days has shown, there is still a chance to spot them all year round.
Another one of our star species has popped their head up, with two bitterns (copyright Richard Cousens) being spotted from Lower Hide. Lower and the Causeway are still the best places to see these birds. If you do spot any bitterns or other interesting finds, make sure to write it in the sightings book or mention it to our team, we love to hear what’s around.
Only a couple of days till the 2020 Big Garden Birdwatch. We hope lots of you are taking part, whether that be with family, friends or school. On Saturday 25 here at Leighton Moss, we invite you all to help us make some bird feeders you guys can take back home for your garden. Just drop in anytime between 11am and 3pm in the Hideout and get stuck in! (Free event. Normal entry fees apply to non-members)