Leighton Moss - 14/04/18

For those of us getting on the coach at The Pineapple the birding started early as a Goosander flew over and some calling led us to a Kestrel on the viaduct. Birds seen from the coach on our journey north included Pheasant & Buzzard and the rookery at Lancaster Services was in full, raucous swing.

Shoveler (Alan & Glo)

After a quick stop there, we drove onto Carnforth and a number of people were dropped off at the outer hides while rest went onto main reserve. As we were walking down to the Eric Morecambe hide a Willow Warbler was seen & heard – a first this year for a number of us! Just outside the hide the grisly remains of an Avocet were noted on a plucking post – no doubt a welcome meal for the local Sparrowhawk. From the hide itself we saw plenty of live Avocets busying themselves with courtship and nest building. Other waders present included Black-tailed Godwits coming into their beautiful, rufous breeding plumage, a couple of Knot mixed in with the roosting Redshank and on the far pool was a much larger flock of Black-tailed Godwits. Also seen were a good few lingering winter wildfowl including Pintail, Wigeon, Teal & Shoveler.

Jenny Brown's Point (Holly Page)

A number of us walked on to Jenny Brown’s Point, little was seen on the fields and we were disappointed not to see any Wheatear. Once we reached the point itself we scanned the shoreline to find Curlew & Shelduck and out to sea 3 Red-throated Divers were noted.

Treecreeper (Alan & Glo)

By this point the weather had turned nice and warm which actually resulted in coats being removed!! Walking back along the lane and onto Jack Scout, Greenfinch and Blackcap were seen and, after quick stop for homemade jam at a house along the road, we arrived back on the main reserve. From Grisedale hide we got our first glimpse of an Osprey which had been lingering around the reserve for the last few days. We decided to head over to the Causeway hide to try and get a closer view but, typically, by the time we got over there it had moved on. Noted birds from causeway hide included Gadwall, Shoveler and nesting Great Crested Grebes clearly incubating eggs – we witnessed a changeover between the pair along with courting behaviour. Other birds seen down that end of the reserve included both Cetti's Warbler and Bearded Tits at close quarters.

Osprey (Alan & Glo)

Those that stayed in that hide were lucky enough to see the Osprey return and catch a fish. A few of us decided to visit the nearby Butterfly Conservation reserve of Myers Allotment. It was a little too early in year for many butterflies as not many flowers were in bloom yet but we did spot a single Peacock and a male Brimstone plus a female Blackcap.

Marsh Tit (Alan & Glo)

Back at Leighton Moss, after a quick call in the cafe for a cup of tea, we had wander to the feeding station which was playing host to Bullfinch, Coal Tit and Marsh Tit. Also present was a male Pheasant who delighted in displaying to anything & everything whether it was a female Pheasant or Kath Edwards!

Overall it was a very enjoyable day and you it finally felt that the long winter was ending with a real feel of spring in the air. 87 species were seen in total.

Teal (Holly Page)


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