Trip reports

Weekend Field Trip - Lancashire & Fylde Coast - Day 2 RSPB Leighton Moss

View over reedbed, Leighton Moss

Saturday, 17 October 2015

After a hearty breakfast, we headed off to our Saturday destination, RSPB Leighton Moss.

Some of the group chose to be dropped off to follow the coastal nature trail, which runs alongside two coastal lagoons, in order to see wading and water birds. A Kingfisher was showing well at the Eric Morecambe Hide - perching and diving by the sluice gate. Goosander were present on the second lagoon along with Godwits. In the trees by the railway line, Stonechat were joined by Greenfinch, Blackbird, Fieldfare and Redwing.

The rest of us headed straight to the main part of the reserve and spilt up to explore the various trails. My small party made its way towards the public hide on the causeway where we were told that Bearded Tits had been seen on the grit trays sited just off the path. As we headed down the track, we could see a gathering of birders and photographers peering into a clearing. Joining these, we waited patiently for these fantastic birds to put on a show for us but, alas for our little group, it was not to be!

Next we went to the Causeway Hide which was full as an Otter was providing great entertainment, diving and catching eels in the centre of the lake. You needed a scope to get a decent view but how fantastic to see one of these normally shy mammals feeding so confidently and totally oblivious to his audience. There was also quite a mix of birds to be seen here with plenty of duck species including Shelduck, Wigeon, Gadwall, Teal, Mallard, Pintail and Pochard.

Water Rail were seen from the Lower Hide along with three beautiful Great White Egrets and a good number of Little Egrets were also present. Little Grebe, Moorhen, Coot, Grey Heron, Black-headed Gull and Herring Gull all added to the spectacle.

Other birds of note seen on the reserve included (a very late) Swallow, Pied Wagtail, Wren, Dunnock, Robin and almost all members of the tit family; Long-tailed Tit, Marsh Tit, Willow Tit, Coal Tit, Blue Tit and Great Tit. Still no Bearded Tits however! A group of us did though see a large group of Long-tailed Tits with a few Goldcrest mixed in at the end of the causeway, as they flitted in the trees above us with their distinctive high pitched calls.

Nuthatch, Treecreeper, Jay, Magpie, Crow and Jackdaw were all present, whilst Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Siskin and Bullfinch were also seen at various parts of the reserve. A Yellow-browed Warbler was a lucky sighting for one member of our group.

Waders seen were Ruff, Snipe, Black-tailed and Bar-tailed Godwits, Curlew, Redshank, Greenshank and Lapwing - all contributing to a total of 68 bird species seen at the reserve. Other wildlife included Otter, Red Deer and Stoat as well as Red Admiral, Speckled Wood and Small Tortoiseshell butterflies.