News archive

September 2007

Friday, 14 September 2007

News from Leighton Moss (September)

News from Leighton Moss (September)

There have been two bittern nests again this year - luckily the wet weather didn't flood them out. Two marsh harrier nests produced 6 young (nest one with 4 and nest two with 2). John Wilson continues to monitor our bearded tits with a preliminary count this year of 20 pairs. It's been a good summer for rare birds. A white tailed plover arrived here on 10 June, after being at WWT Caerlaverock. This is only the fourth time this species has been seen in the UK and the first time there has been a good sighting since 1975. Other sightings since then have been so brief that most birdwatchers were unable to see it. Luckily thousands of birdwatchers managed to see the one here. Other bird highlights have been a black tern at the public hide on 24 Aug and an osprey has been seen regularly since May. The saltmarsh pools have been a real bird spectacle this summer with 3 spoonbills being joined by up to 27 little egrets and finally a great white egret since 27 Aug, along with loads of wading birds.

The wardening team has been focusing on the summer reedcutting around the pools - a nice break from planting reeds for a while! Graeme Lyons came up from the Lodge to carry out a macrophyte survey on the pools. We're awaiting the results but it all looks promising with lots of pondweed and bladderwort on almost every site. This indicates that the major reedbed work that has been carried out over the last few years has been paying off. With the wet weather in June and July the water levels rose to winter flood levels on occasion, a situation unheard of in the reserve's history.

We highlighted the Sumatra campaign in style at our Family Fun weekend with loads of rainforest activities and about 350 people attending. We hosted exhibitions for the Silverdale Arts and Craft Trail as well as Carnforth and District Art Society. People from the Disabled Ramblers Society came for a guided tour of our reserve and nearby Leighton Hall in 'all terrain tramper vehicles' in mid July. Despite the rain, they all said they had a great time.

The education team has had a very successful summer season with a fully booked summer term of schools and good numbers attending the summer events.

We are currently in need of tearoom assistant volunteers, so if you know of anyone who may be interested in helping for a minimum of half a day a week then please call Gill Saunders, our catering manager on 01524 703011 for more information.

We would like to thank the Lancaster RSPB Local Group for all its support and for the generous donations to fund tables for our meeting room and craft events and a marquee, all of which we have found extremely valuable!

Great white egret photo 28/08/07 (copyright Mike Malpass)

Jen Walker
Visitor and Publicity Officer
Leighton Moss nature reserve