News archive

September 2008

Monday, 15 September 2008

News from RSPB Leighton Moss nature reserve - July and August 2008

News from RSPB Leighton Moss nature reserve - July and August 2008

News from RSPB Leighton Moss nature reserve - July and August 2008

Wildlife Highlights:
We had three successful marsh harrier nests on the reserve with nine young fledged (4, 3 and 2) with the first young bird fledging on 30 June. This year we had one avocet chick and a young bittern (see photo, copyright Joe Hagen) was seen (which means we probably had one successful nest). Our bearded tits have had a good breeding season. After last year's poor productivity, when only 13 young were ringed, our population has bounced back and to date 50 young have been ringed including some recently fledged in late August. So far, 13 adult males have been identified suggesting a breeding population of 18-20 pairs. They are always very quiet and difficult to see in August as both adults and young are moulting, but they should start using the grit trays during the second half of September. Other wildlife to note is a record count of 48 little egrets, the chough has still been around Warton Crag and the surrounding area, a little stint was here on 1 and 30 July and two crossbills were seen on 20 July. An adult otter and presumably two young cubs from last year have been seen on a couple of occasions, which is great news!

It has been a busy couple of months out on the reserve. The Warton Crag management work went well in July with all bracken areas targeted for clearance finished off. In August the massive ragwort population out on the Crag was tackled, with the cutting time specifically planned to prevent re-growth next year. Four thousand more reed plugs have been planted on Barrow Scout fields, adding to the already expanding colonies of reed. The first round of summer reed cutting has been completed successfully with good views maintained out of all hides. Since this cutting, the weather has deteriorated rapidly. We have had the wettest August since our records began in 1985, leading to a big delay in the second summer reed cut, amongst other water level dependant activities.

Shop and Tearoom:
Tina, our new Senior Centre Assistant, has been here since July and has settled in well. Our latest campaign is 'Safeguard Our Sealife', which is proving successful including a range of cuddly toys and children's t-shirts.
'Boomers' is blooming as we near the end of summer - we now have a new name, new menu and an ever-changing specials board featuring a variety of tasty homemade food.

We had good attendances on the family activity days. Families went home with wormeries, painted vases and knowing all about the creatures that live in the pond. Along with everyone else, we survived the Summer Fair - drowned rats on the Saturday and holding on to our hats on the Sunday. We are working on an exciting project with the Forest of Bowland AONB, which we are taking into eight schools throughout the winter months. The project is designed to inspire the schools to celebrate and conserve the special wildlife and countryside in the FoB.

People engagement:
Amongst other events our usual red deer at dusk walks have been run every week in July and August and have proved popular, although very weather dependant. We also attended the Cumbrian Steam Rally at Flookburgh to highlight the marine campaign.

Jen Walker
Visitor and Publicity Officer
RSPB Leighton Moss Nature Reserve

Sunday, 14 September 2008

Tidal reedbed and muddy creek at RSPB Blacktoft Sands nature reserve

Blacktoft Sands trip cancelled - September 14th

The coach trip to Blacktoft Sands has unfortunately been cancelled due to lack of bookings.