Trip reports

Visit to Leighton Moss

Visit to Leighton Moss
Jenny Brown's Point [Photo: Peter Berrill]

Sunday, 20 March 2016

The coach was greeted at Leighton Moss Visitor Centre by the warden who came on board and informed us to what to see and handed out Trail Guides.

As the Allen and Eric Morecambe hides were closed due to pathway improvements we decided to visit the shoreline at Jenny Brown's Point. After taking the Silverdale Road we then turned onto the woodland path to pick up the Coastal Footpath. Nuthatches called continuously, a great spotted woodpecker was heard drumming and a cock bullfinch looked splendid in the bright sunshine calling from a tree branch above our heads. The warm conditions had encouraged a couple of small tortoiseshell butterflies to take flight.

At Jenny Brown's Point redshank wandered about in the creeks along with several oystercatcher and curlew patrolled the shoreline. Off shore cormorant dived for fish in the tide race and a small flock of wigeon bobbed in the waves. Several eider were quite distant and patience was required to pick them out through an emerging rocky island.

We returned via the Coastal Footpath and were surprised to see how far up the sea defences a previous tide had come. A couple of little egrets flew close by and small groups of greylag geese fed in the fields. Avocets were present on the open water in front of the closed hides.

After passing back through the Visitor Centre we made our way to Skytower from where you can see the entire reserve. Scanning the mere below us we counted twenty-one little egret and a single grey heron.

Redshank sat in a huddle and a ruff strutted about behind them. A greenshank appeared from nowhere and a single black-tailed godwit dropped in. Ducks included gadwall, mallard, teal, shoveler, shelduck, pintail and tufted. A female marsh harrier came towards us and dropped into the reedbed. A male circled above the reedbed further up the reserve and several buzzard could be seen over the distant hills.

An all too brief glimpse of a brown bird dropping into the reedbed to our right could have been a bittern!

It was a pity not many of our members turned up to appreciate this beautiful reserve, but those who made the effort managed 73 bird species.

Peter and Lesley Berrill