A couple of feathered summer visitors have been seen this weekend that have not been usual sightings at Leighton Moss. A female wheatear has been reported perching on a post at Lilian’s hide on Saturday, and a spotted flycatcher was seen at Griesdale hide around midday on Sunday. The latter is an unusual sighting for Leighton Moss. It’s likely that these birds were passing through on their way south as they migrate for winter. Speaking of migrants, the hobby is still here and is still regularly seen in its favourite dead tree opposite Lower hide.
The latest on the Marsh harriers is: 2 were last seen today, 3 September. A female and a juvenile were down at the Griesdale end of the reserve, which seems to be the usual location for them at the moment. All our original adult marsh harriers have gone. It is possible that the juvenile is one of the seven that fledged here. The adult female is likely to be a bird from further north such as Scotland or Scandinavia. Scandinavian birds may overwinter here.
10 greenshanks and the ever present 2 spotted redshanks are usually in position on the stony island opposite Public hide but they have also been seen from the new Eric Morecambe hide on Sunday along with snipe and a whitethroat.
The Eric Morecambe hide is almost ready. We are just waiting for a ramp to the entrance to be installed. It is open to the public and has some temporary steps up to the door, however you are best checking with the visitor centre (Telephone: 01524 701601) if you are planning to visit to see that it has not been closed for the day in order to do this work. The new Allen hide is being built and will be closed all week commencing 3 September.
There’s been a juvenile water rail showing up at Tim Jackson hide quite a few times recently which is a treat because these waterbirds are so elusive in summer! It was seen mid afternoon on Saturday.
Otters are showing well at Lower hide. A couple were seen early on Saturday morning and again on Sunday but later in the morning. Someone reported watching for 45 minutes as an otter was feeding.
Kingfishers have been a regular sighting over the last 3 days. Two sightings at Lower hide were reported, one of them seen from the right-hand side pool. A kingfisher was also spotted over the drain by the track to the saltmarsh hides midmorning on Sunday. Today one was seen flying across the front of Lilian’s hide, again midmorning.
Elsewhere, visitors have seen ravens and buzzards from Public hide and Warton Crag where there’s also been a peregrine. A wisp of snipe are occasionally down at Griesdale mere.