A few more seasonal arrivals were noted this week with the pick of the bunch being a fine breeding plumage spotted redshank at the Eric Morecambe Complex. No doubt bound for northern Scandinavian nesting grounds these dapper waders are always a treat to see in their striking summer finery. Also on the saltmarsh pools, our first avocet chicks have hatched. With an impressive number of active nests this year we hope to see more of these delightful little nestlings in the coming weeks.
Avocet with chicks (copyright by Chris Gomersall)
The errant adult spoonbill returned to the Eric Morecambe Pools too, providing many visitors with a welcome year-tick. Mediterranean gulls have also been spotted amongst the mass of black-headeds at the Allen Pools.
Meanwhile on the main reserve, the drake scaup has continued to hang around in front of Causeway Hide for much of the week. A rare day-trip saw it spend much of Thursday on Lilian’s Pool before it returned to its favourite spot on Friday. The great-crested grebes and their brood of humbug chicks have been a joy to watch, again in full view of multiple admirers at Causeway Hide.
Somewhat surprisingly, our male bittern has ceased to boom. The lack of vocals has however given way to an increase in the number of sightings with one bittern showing particularly well at Lower Hide and it, or another, in flight from Grisedale Hide. Otter activity has been at a peak with plenty of reports from all around the reserve. Similarly ospreys have showed well most days, fishing over Causeway and Lower pools.
A few other bits and pieces to tempt visiting and local birders have included a hawfinch, cuckoo and a hobby. And of course at this time of year, who knows what might drop in next!
Island with, erm, terns
A few people have commented on the terns sat on the islands in front of Lilian's Hide. One or two unsuspecting birdwatchers have asked what species they are, to which we have to answer "fake"! These decoys have been put on the islands in the hope that they may attract real terns to nest. So pleased be warned, if you see a tern at Leighton Moss and it isn't flying, make sure you give it a thorough check. If it's a real bird, please let us know :-)
Jon Carter, Visitor Experience Manager