Trip reports

An Evening at Leighton Moss with John Wilson

An Evening at Leighton Moss with John Wilson
Little Egret (c) Ken Harrison

Friday, 25 August 2017

Fourteen of us met in the Allen Hide car park to begin our second evening of the season centred around the RSPB Leighton Moss reserve. As on most previous occasions our leader was former senior warden John Wilson. Undeterred by the threat of rain and subsequent light drizzle we made our way to the Eric Morecambe Hide which often offers good views of wildfowl and waders that frequent the nearby pools and the outlying saltmarsh.

After some twenty minutes or so the rain subsided and the visibility improved allowing us good views of the following species: lapwing (a large flock that had congegrated on one of the islands), pied wagtail, starling, little egret, gadwall, crow, black-tailed godwit and a distant and solitary greenshank - this greenshank was busily feeding near the edge of the saltmarsh.

At John's suggestion we then made our way to the causeway hide on the main reserve which gave us exellent views of the little egrets (some 109 in total) as they flew in to roost in the reedbed for the night. For a few moments this roosting colony of egrets rose up out of the reeds then the cause of this became clear to us when we caught a glimpse of a nearby marsh harrier.

The remainder of our time on the causeway also gave us good sightings of cormorant, pochard and grey heron. A loud burst of song from a cettis warbler was heard but the bird wasn't seen.

Our thanks go once again to John Wilson for leading us and also to the South Lakeland Group for their support that evening.

Michael Gardner.