The Causeway RSPB

Leighton Moss RSPB Reserve: The Path to the Lower Hide

Although the weather forecast threatened rain and poor visibility, we took ourselves up to Leighton Moss mid-week. Its about an hour’s drive away. We had to return a  bird-feeding station for the garden we’d bought there a couple of weeks ago. It was a very nice one in natural wood but would have been far too big for its allocated space.  The hangers for bird food look just fine where they are now on the trees.  The garden birds aren’t complaining at any rate, judging by the rate they’re getting through their suet blocks and peanuts. So much for the weather forecast!  It was a lovely day: quite warm and sunny.  And that’s not a usual combination for NW England in February. Leighton Moss is an RSPB reserve (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds). It is situated on the edge of Morecambe Bay and in the Arnside and and Silverdale  AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty). The reserve contains the largest reedbeds in North-West England and is home to some rare birds such as breeding bitterns, bearded tits and marsh harriers. All of which we have seen at various times. On this visit we took the path from Lillian’s […]

The Skytower at Leighton Moss

Cee’s Black&White Photo Challenge:Steps: The Skytower at Leighton Moss. As the largest reedbed in North West England, Leighton Moss is home to a fantastic variety of wildlife, including rare reedbed birds and playful otters.-RSPB website We’ve climbed these steps a few times on our frequent visits to this Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) reserve at Leighton Moss in Lancashire. On the morning the Skytower was opened, there were sightings of Great White Egrets, Marsh Harriers, Red Deer and much more besides.   The Skytower will not only provide a heightened spectacle for visitors, but it will also be easier for our staff and volunteers to monitor the nests of some of the reserve’s most iconic birds. From the top of the tower, rare reedbed birds, such as bitterns and marsh harriers, will be easier to spot going into and out of their nest sites, making it more straightforward to find out if breeding has taken place and how many nests we have. This is vital when it comes to making the reedbed the best possible home for them. – RSPB website Leighton Moss is always worth a visit, whether it be for birdwatching, red deer spotting, butterfly […]

The Very Hungry Baby Dipper

WP Photo Challenge: Dinnertime One very hungry and noisy young dipper was giving his mother no peace at all: For over an hour we watched as the mother flew back and forth with morsels of food (flies, grubs and unidentifiable delicacies): Each time his mother was away foraging the wee thing just sat on that rock hollering:

Avocets in Harmony

In response to WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Harmony   Two avocets searching for nesting material.

Throwback Thursdays: 4

A weekly series when I revisit old photographs Last weekend was annual Garden Birdwatch survey in UK, the idea being to allocate 1 hour over the weekend and count all the birds in the garden during that time. Results are then sent to Royal Society for Protection of Birds who collate all data to provide a snapshot of garden bird activity and populations. Unfortunately, the time we had allocated for this last Sunday coincided with the heaviest rains and the strongest winds of the weekend giving us a grand total of Nil, Zero, Zilch, Nothing. So this photograph from a few years back is what I definitely didn’t see. (This was take in the days when I regularly carried around a camera with a very heavy lens, and also had reflexes fast enough to capture birds in flight).    

Butterfly Hunting

Trip to Warton Crag, taking in Leighton Moss and Myers Allotment en route. At Myers Allotment there were literally hundreds of Meadow Brown flying low, almost hugging the ground and scores of Whites fluttering above the taller vegetation.  No Fritillaries in evidence but saw a Broad-bodied Chaser.                                                                                                                                              Perfect summer’s day at Warton Crag with a bit of a breeze keeping it cool enough for the “Great Fritillary Hunt” which was the prime reason for going. Lots of Skippers on the lower slopes. Also saw an unusual moth on a gorse bush (identified by a contact as a Barred Red). Eventually the High Brown Fritillaries put in an appearance at the first clearing higher up the crag. So all in all a very successful and enjoyable day.

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