Autumn Gets Underway

 With things becoming decidedly more autumnal of late, we have been noticing a few changes here on the reserve.

Down at the Eric Morecambe and Allen pools wader numbers are picking up, as we'd expect at this time of year. Good numbers of redshank (photo by Brian Salisbury) and lapwing are usually present and on some days the pools play host to lots of roosting black-tailed godwits. Among the commoner birds one can often find a few greenshank, plus the odd ruff and we had a handful of curlew sandpipers and avocets last week. At this time of year it’s well worth scanning through the gathered birds; there’s always the chance that a scarce shorebird or two may well be mixed in with their commoner cousins. Visitors to the coastal hides have also been reporting sightings of peregrine, osprey, great white egret and kingfisher along with goosanders and plenty of little egrets.

Meanwhile, over on the main reserve at least two marsh harriers are being seen regularly. Their lingering implies that they may well be the first of the birds that will spend the winter with us. Bitterns are being seen daily too – often making quite protracted flights over the reedbeds. 

 Wildfowl is building up across the site, as we’d expect, and along with the shoveler (photo by David Mower), gadwall, pochard, teal and tufted duck we’re seeing increasing  numbers of wigeon returning and up to five garganey have been lingering. Meanwhile overhead, the first skeins of pink-footed geese etch their way across the sky heralding the approach of winter. 

We've really noticed the movement of swallows and martins in recent days and I saw what may well turn out to have been my last swift of the year last week; it's always a bittersweet moment, knowing that I'm unlikely to see another until they return next spring! 

Don’t forget our shop is open from 10.30 am till 4pm daily. If you’re looking for a new pair of binoculars or a scope, you can now arrange a 1-2-1 appointment with one of our friendly experts – each Saturday through September. A member of our knowledgeable team will be more than happy to answer all your questions and help you to find the perfect optical gear to suit your needs and budget. You can just turn up or if you’d rather you can pre-book by contacting us on 01524 701601 or emailing Leighton.moss@rspb.org.uk

We hope to see you soon – till then, take care and keep safe!