Trip reports

Locations around Leighton Moss

Willow warbler
RSPB Images

Saturday, 20 June 2015

Locations Around Leighton Moss. A joint meeting with the RSPB South Lakeland Local Group. Saturday 20th June 2015.

This was the repeat of the walk undertaken on 11th June 2011, with the focus being to broaden out into the local habitats close to Leighton Moss, and look at a broad spectrum of the local natural history. Today the weather was to frustrate some of this ambition with rain accompanying us through Trowbarrow to Hawes Water, and across the fields to Yealand Hall Allotments. It stopped as we reached Leighton Moss at 2.00 p.m. Nevertheless 12 members turned out to accompany our 2 leaders for the day.

We started with a visit to Lilians Hide, where a great white egret was patrolling the edge of the reed bed, and a small group of black-tailed godwits was feeding on the exposed mud. Moving on towards Trowbarrow we were soon able to compare songs and plumage of chiffchaff and willow warbler. Once in the quarry focus shifted to geology and flora. Various fossils, and the structure of the rocks were pointed out while the fly and bee orchids were in peak condition, and a further 3 species of orchid also seen. At Hawes Water a few azure and blue-tailed damselflies were clinging to the rushes near the birdseye primroses, but there were few birds to see as we ate our sandwiches in the rain.

The meadow behind Hawes Water, part of Gait Barrows NNR, was in full flower with a good range of species, including marsh orchids. At Lower Hide we were to get more birds with a great crested grebe in front of the hide, and a female marsh harrier quartering above the reeds. Some members managed to catch sight of a couple of bearded tits flying across the narrow point of the mere before we moved towards the causeway, and a male marsh harrier circling above the reserve. Whilst Public Hide added no new species to the day's sightings we did have good views of one of the recently fledged marsh harriers flying opposite the hide. By now the cafe was calling, and at 4.00 o'clock there was a cheerful gathering around the large table, with some tempted by the cakes as well as the hot drinks.

Jill and John Webb