With some pretty mixed weather, it's been an unpredictable few days here at Leighton Moss! As yet the thunderstorms haven't delivered anything unusual and despite there having been some scarce visitors not too far away (rose-coloured starling, hoopoe and hooded crow all at Walney, rose-coloured starlings at Carnforth and Morecambe, Blyth's reed warbler at Knott End and black stork in the Rusland Valley) we have yet to see anything on the reserve to excite those rarity-seeking birders.
Despite the traditional migration season being over, summer can turn up some pretty spectacular oddities and some very memorable birds have graced us with their presence in the warmer months. In 2017 we saw both Caspian tern (June) and purple heron (Aug) arrive (photo by Mike Malpass) while back in June 2007 Leighton Moss welcomed one of its rarest ever visitors when a white-tailed plover dropped in. So, it pays to keep an open mind and a keen eye out at all times!
But of course for many the appeal of a wonderful reserve as Leighton Moss lies not in the lure of rarities but the opportunity to enjoy nature simply at its best. In the last week returning visitors have had memorable sightings of such fabulous site favourites as marsh harriers, bitterns (pic from archive by Mike Malpass), bearded tits, Cetti's warblers, ospreys, red deer and scores of dragonflies, damselflies and butterflies.
The pathways are a delight to stroll along right now as fledgling blackcaps, marsh tits and robins noisily explore their new worlds while a corridor of stunning wildflowers and fascinating wetland plantlife lines the route.
We are still busy working toward opening more of the site and its facilities but please note that for now we are operating with limited access.
The toilets remain closed as does the visitor centre shop and café. The car park and reserve are open only from 9.30am till 5pm daily.
Don't forget to check in with one of the team upon arrival (we have a temporary welcome area at the rear of the visitor centre where we will explain the current access routes and provide up-to-date sightings info, etc).