We're very happy to announce that we re-opened the Skytower this week!
Now, visitors can once again rise above the reedbeds for a fabulous birds-eye view of the reserve and the wider landscape. From this breath-taking vantage point you may be lucky enough to see fishing ospreys, hunting marsh harriers, soaring swifts and grazing red deer amongst a host of other exciting wildlife. We have put some social distancing guidance in place to ensure that everyone feels comfortable while exploring the 9-metre high tower, so do please follow all on-site information.
We're still busy working on ways to open up some of the hides in the coming weeks - hopefully we'll have some news to share soon! Of course, we do have an accessible toilet on site too for visitors' use.
Other great news this week concerned the appearance of our first marsh harrier chicks of the season. On Tuesday morning the adult female from the nest at the back of Lilian's Pool was observed circling the nest area constantly calling and soon she had enticed two reluctant fledglings to emerge from the reedbeds to exercise their wings. The young pair flapped inexpertly around for several minutes, trying to get the hang of their new skills before disappearing back to the safety of their nest. Hopefully, we'll see much more of these wonderful birds in the coming weeks as they get to grips with the power of flight. It will be interesting to see if they have any brothers or sisters yet to make that great inaugural leap into the skies!
Elsewhere on the reserve young birds are very much a feature - ducklings, cygnets, goslings and chicks of multiple species can be seen and heard just about everywhere. Bearded tits are very active at the moment, with family groups being regularly encountered along the Causeway; listen out for their distinctive 'pinging' calls coming from the path-side reeds.
The summer months are not just about birds of course; this is a fabulous time to explore the Arnside and Silverdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and enjoy the profusion of wildflowers and butterflies for which this area is justly renowned. Now is a great time to look out for purple hairstreaks (photo by Jarrod Sneyd) around the visitor centre oaks and when visiting Leighton Moss why not try and make sure your itinerary includes some time spent at nearby Myers Allotment, Gait Barrows, Warton Crag or Arnside Knott for yet more butterfly spotting?