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Recent sightings

  • 21 November 2014

    A truly golden celebration

    In honour of the golden anniversary of Leighton Moss, the “golden” wildlife has truly put on a spectacular show. At the moment we are hosting golden plover, goldeneyes and goldcrests, which can all be seen from Lilian’s and Tim Jackson hides.

      Ben Hall (rspb-images.com)

    The past week has been brilliant for wildlife at Leighton Moss with the otters in particular granting visitors with wonderful views. The mother otter and her cubs have been showing very well outside Public and Lower hides. I was down at Lower hide the other day and was treated to a good forty-five minutes of the cubs playing-right in front of the hide!

    You can get some great views of a variety of ducks from Lilian’s, Tim Jackson and Grisdale hides. The majority of the birds down there are teals, wigeons and shovelers. A goosander has also been spotted at Lilian’s hide.

    Our birds of prey have also been impressing with some great views of marsh harrier, peregrine, merlin and sparrowhawk. During the starling murmerations in particular, the sparrowhawk and peregrine can be seen hunting the starlings adding to their great performance of aerial acrobatics. For the opportunity to see this autumnal spectacle, we recommend getting here around 3 pm and the visitor centre team can direct you to the place with the best chance.

    Huge thanks to our intern Anya for providing these sightings.

    Posted by Annabel Rushton

  • 17 November 2014

    Latest sightings - lovely plovers and more

    A very busy weekend here meant that there was lots of eyes on our wildlife and we've got some fantastic sightings to report.....

    Down at the Eric Morecambe and Allen hides, the wading birds have been brilliant. A golden plover and a grey plover have been spotted there which, even if they are not wearing their most glamorous plumage at this time of year are both great birds to see here. There has also been a spotted redshank, a ruff and some dunlins too amongst the flocks of redshanks and black-tailed godwits. The great white egret seems to be favouring this spot at the moment, so if you haven't seen it yet, this is where to head. Arguably our most attractive resident - a kingfisher has also been a regular visitor in this area.

      Grey plover with a snoozy dunlin by Andy Hay (rspb-images.com)

    If you are on the look out for kingfishers, then the main dyke under the Causeway and  Public hide are top locations too. Whilst at Public and Lower hides, keep your eyes peeled for otters as there have been up to four fishing and playing in the pools. Some of our shyest residents - bitterns and water rails have been putting on a show at Public hide, particularly in the area known as 'Al's Alley' (a strip cut by one of our wardens Alasdair) to the right from Public hide.

    The starlings are putting on a mixed performance at the moment. Saturday evening was great - with a stunning mumuration at Public hide. Sunday night was less spectacular as they came in smaller groups and went straight to bed. They are often kept wheeling round if a peregrine, sparrowhawk or marsh harrier gets in amongst them, so they must have all just been having a quiet night yesterday. It is best to get here for around 3 pm. The visitor centre team can let you know where the starlings were seen the previous night and direct you where to go for the best chance of spotting this fabulous autumn phenomenon.

    Whilst watching for the starlings at Public hide, you will also spot the little egrets coming into roost at Island Mere (the clump of trees in the middle of the pool at the back). They look like white handkerchiefs when they all perch together in the trees at night so it is well worth watching out for.

     

     

    Posted by Annabel Rushton

  • 13 November 2014

    Stars of the show arrive at last!

    I am sure many of you have been aware that during Autumnwatch, the starlings that usually grace the skies at Leighton Moss every year didn’t make the spectacular arrival we were hoping for. Since then many of our visitors have been enquiring into their whereabouts, as you are all very keen to see the fabulous murmurations that have become so synonymous with autumn at Leighton Moss....

    The exciting news is that numbers have started to rise here at last. We have around the forty thousand mark at the moment, with more arriving every day, so hopefully numbers will increase further in the run up to Christmas. At the moment, views are best from Grisedale hide about half an hour before dusk, but they do move around a lot. For more up to date information check with the welcome desk team on the day of your arrival.

      Starlings clearly love Leighton Moss (Paul Richardson)

    I often get asked why starlings flock in this way and where the word ‘mumuration’ comes from, so I thought it was the perfect topic to explore in this week's 50th anniversary blog. The swell in starling numbers that we experience throughout the country in October/November time is due to the birds migrating across from places like Scandinavia to spend the colder months in the UK. Here at Leighton Moss they are usually here until the New Year, but in very cold winters they have been known to stay until March, which happens in other parts of the country too, such as our Ham Wall reserve on the Somerset Levels. This year, there has been a lot in the press about autumn being late, due to mild weather and this was no doubt a contributing factor to the late arrival of our starlings (either that or they were camera shy).

    'Mumuration' is the term used to describe the behaviour of starlings flocking together in this manner, dancing across the sky in incredible shapes as they look for the best place to roost at dusk. It is all to do with safety in numbers (similar to shoaling fish). The more of you there are, the less chance you have of being eaten. Being in a huge mass, swirling round the sky is confusing to predators such as sparrowhawks, peregrines or marsh harriers that may get among them. If they do, it keeps the starlings whirling round for ages. The word ‘murmuration’ itself comes from the murmuring sound that all those thousands of wings make as they beat simultaneously. If you are ever stood underneath them whilst they are doing this, it is an incredible experience as you really do hear a whoosh of wings - just remember to put your hood up and close your mouth as it can rain with starling poo!

    Another popular question is why do they not crash into one another? Well it is to do with their reaction times. Starlings can react to each others movement in less than 100 milliseconds (as opposed to the average human reaction time of 215 milliseconds), so they avoid collisions.

      Is it a bird, is it a plane, is it a hedgehog? (Neil Bland)

    Last year's Autumnwatch (for which the starlings showed up) had the use of a very high quality night vision camera, which allowed us to glimpse into the starling’s world after dark. What was found was very intriguing. We assumed that once they go down into the reedbed to roost, that the starlings are fairly still for the night, but the footage showed that they do actually move around a lot. They roost clinging to the reed stems and swap places and shift around through the night to get warm, as well as changing spots in the reedbed. It was fascinating to see as it is not something we get to witness normally.

      A stunning starling (Ged Gill)

    When watching these stunning starling displays, it is important to remember that numbers of these special birds are struggling. Sadly we have lost 50 million starlings in the UK since the 1960s. There are likely to be a number of reasons for this including the loss of traditional roosting and nesting sites, the use of pesticides, over-zealous gardening and the recently uncovered research by the University of York into the affect of anti-depressants on them. This issue was highlighted on this year's series of Autumnwatch when Michaela Strachan met up with Dr Kathryn Arnold who has led the research. Dr Arnold's study took her to sewage treatment works, which are a common place for starlings to flock and feed. This led her to look into what was going into the sewage, as many of the drugs taken by humans will pass through our bodies in an unchanged form, ending up in our water courses and in time, into invertebrates. She investigated the amount of anti-depressant found in earthworms at sewage treatment plants and found it to be a tiny amount- around 3-5% of the average human dose.

    The study continued by feeding 24 captive starlings with earthworms that had the same concentration of anti-depressant in them. Their behavior was monitored for the following six months and the results were worrying. One major finding was the starling's lost of appetite - compared with control birds who hadn’t had any anti-depressant, they ate much less and snacked throughout the day. Birds have peak feeding times first thing in the morning (to get their energy up from the night) and later in the day (to get them through the night). They will feed throughout the day, but these are important times of frenzied feeding that they need to get through the cold, dark nights. A reduction in their appetite and short bursts of snacking means they are much less likely to survive the night. Dr Arnold's study also found that the starling's desire to mate was much reduced. When introduced to the males, the females were not interested in them which would of course effect breeding.

    Further research is due to be carried out in wild starling populations but it does highlight the problem of the amount of pharmaceuticals going into our water and the affect this can have on our wildlife, which could mean that much better filtering systems are required on our sewage plants.

    With large issues like this affecting our wildlife, it can seem an impossible task, but there are ways in which we can all help. Putting out suet and mealworms at this time of year helps starlings to get through the cold nights. Some of their favourite food is leatherjackets (the larvae of daddy longlegs), so not spraying your lawn with chemicals can help too. Adding nestboxes to your garden or school provides them with much needed nesting sites. For a variety of ways in which you can help give nature a home, click here.

      Birds of a feather flock together (Andrew Holden)

     Following a visit to Leighton Moss to see starlings last year, one talented visitor Sarah Clark penned this lovely poem about her experience, which I thought you might like to share. Thanks Sarah!

    I’m not a great birder and I can only name a few

    It was seeing starlings on the telly which totally changed my view

    These birds were coming in to roost and playing in the sky

    Formation flying in their thousands, right before my eyes

    I was riveted and decided then and there I had to see

    A live performance of these birds in close company

     

     

    Sometime later Dave made my wish come true

    Off we went to Leighton Moss just we two

    Travelling through fog and rain down the M6

    Fearing we’d not see starlings through the thick mist

    However we arrived just in time to see a sight

    Which was everything I had wished for, as it slipped from day to night

    I filmed the scene unfolding with arms over my head

    Due to the height of the surrounding reeds in their bed

    My camera caught our voices too and I clearly stated

    “That’s what I came for Dave” in a voice of one elated

    We watched for a while longer until the murmuring was over

    Those starlings must love their life, more than any pig in clover

    Only rarely do we do something, we have wished for

    It was truly brilliant Dave! I couldn’t ask for more

     

     

     

    Posted by Annabel Rushton

  • 12 November 2014

    Top of the tree!

    I was on leave last week so missed doing my 50th anniversary blog. However, I am glad that I did as today's news makes for a super duper topic......

    We have incredibly exciting news that a couple of tree sparrows have been spotted throughout the day at the feeding station! Although they are regularly seen in other parts of the local area we don't see them often here at all so they have caused much excitement .

    Looking back into records for Leighton Moss, there were two-four pairs breeding here until the eighties. There were also 15-25 of them regularly spending the winter on the reserve, feeding on grain in the Leighton Hall pheasant pens. However, a change to the feeding methods in the pheasant pens at that time meant that they dispersed. There were records of them on the edges of the saltmarsh in winter, including on the grain field near Allen hide until the late eighties but very few sightings since.

    Like many farmland birds, tree sparrows have suffered huge declines (over 90%!) since the 1970s. A reduction in over-winter stubble fields and also the increased use of herbicides and insecticides have all contributed to this. Tree sparrows are on the red list of conservation concern, but thankfully their rate of decline seems to have slowed a little with partial recovery in some areas. There are around 200,000 breeding territories in the UK.

    When you walk along the path to the Allen and Eric Morecambe hides, you will notice many nestboxes on poles. This is part of a project to encourage tree sparrows to nest here. Grain is also spread down there (thanks to Glasson Grain for providing it), to encourage these cute little birds. With populations at nearby Storth and Beetham, we have been hoping they would find us sooner rather than later, so we are very pleased to have them showing up at the feeders - hopefully they'll tell all their mates!

      Tree sparrow by David Mower

    These gorgeous little birds differ from their house sparrow cousins as they have a chestnut head and white cheeks with a big black spot on. They are also more chestnut-coloured in the body. Tree sparrows nest in holes in trees, buildings, cliff faces and banks including sand-martin holes. They also use nestboxes and will use the same one or two nest sites year after year. Sometimes they will even take over a nest site already occupied by a different type of bird, and nest on top of an existing nest, even if it already contains eggs or chicks! Tree sparrows have 5-6 eggs, which both parents help incubate, and which hatch after around two weeks. They fledge the nest after two-three weeks and both parents feed their young for around another two weeks after that. Tree sparrows can have two or even three broods in a good year.

    If you have never seen one, or not spotted one here before, then now is your chance! Fingers crossed they will be putting in appearances for a long time to come.

     

    Posted by Annabel Rushton

  • 11 November 2014

    Little and large

    It has been a great week for seeing bitterns and otters, especially from Public hide. The wardens have cut an alley into the reeds to the right of the hide, which means bitterns have been feeling safe to skulk out to the edge, as well as water rails.

    Because the otters have cubs at the moment they have been out and about a lot. Best views are from Public and Lower hides. I have had some of my best views of otters this week when I have been on the reserve, the two cubs are very keen to come out and play, much to the delight of many photographers!

    Autumn is a cracking time to learn all about different ducks at Leighton Moss as they arrive in large numbers to spend the colder months here. There has been plenty of them about on Lilian’s pool - eighty pintails, ninety teal, twenty goldeneye, fifteen goosanders and a couple of red-breasted mergansers to name but a few! On your way to the hides listen out for Cetti’s warblers, especially on the causeway near the grit trays, as there are up to seven around! Speaking of the grit trays, the bearded tits are not quite as regular as they were through October, but they are still coming down on still days, so don't forget to look for them on the way to Public hide.

    The  saltmarsh is also well worth a visit. A kingfisher has been popping out very frequently - I got a great view of one the other day, and there is a nice little selection of wading birds - redshanks, black-tailed godwits, lapwings, curlews, little egrets and a great white egret have all been making regular appearances so head down to Eric Morecambe and Allen hides.

      Little and large - little egret and great white egret by Martin Kuchczynski

    Thanks to new intern Anya for this week's sightings!

    If you've been inspired by Autumnwatch to come and visit this outstanding area to see all of this wonderful wildlife and more, then these fantastic 'Nature on Your Doorstep' Guides will help you discover more.

    Posted by Annabel Rushton

  • 1 November 2014

    Awesome Autumnwatch #4 - That's all folks

    I can't believe how fast this week has gone! Far too quickly! They arrived in a mass of cameras and trucks and wires and kit and people and presenters just over a week ago, and now they're gone :( If you've been tuning into the latest series of BBC Autumnwatch you'll know that we have been home to Chris Packham, Michaela Strachan, Martin Hughes-Games, Nick Baker and the whole team, for the last four nights. The first three shows had me gripped and last night's finale was no exception....... 

    The opening showed off Leighton Moss at its best with some of the seasons highlights including stunning drone footage from over the reedbed (did you spot Alasdair's swift shape cut into the reeds?), barn owl cam showing two of their chicks and our two otter cubs rolling round in the water honing their skills in Public pool.

    The barn owl adults hunt around the site in early morning and evening. This year's mild weather and good source of food (it has been a good vole year) means they are onto their second brood, which is fantastic.

    Down on the Morecambe Bay mud, some of the area's finest wading birds were in the limelight - flocks of redshanks feeding, black-tailed godwits in their grey winter plumage, curlews with their long, sabre-like beaks. These are just some of the birds that call Morecambe Bay home as oystercatchers, knot and a huge variety of ducks can be spotted too. Head down to Eric Morecambe and Allen hides to see more. 

    From the mudflats to another of the area's fascinating habitats - limestone. Martin was abseiling down a cliff face, showing off just what diverse life lives among this intricate landscape. To discover this unique habitat for yourself, why not take a stroll round nearby Trowbarrow nature reserve or have a wander up Warton Crag?

    As it was Halloween yesterday, it was a great time to show off the beautiful brown long-eared bats that live locally. What incredible ears they have! They are almost as long as the bat's body itself! We've recorded six species of bat at Leighton Moss, with brown long-eared being one of them. The summer months are the best time to spot them in the evenings.

    From bats, to bat food - moths were a great feature on last night's show. We have been recording moths at Leighton Moss for 50 years and have found over 500 different species. People often put their moth traps away in autumn, as summer is when you get the greater variety of moths. However, it's important to keep putting traps out as there are some types of moth that are seen during this season that are under-recorded. You can help by sending your moth sightings into Butterfly Conservation here. Four stunning moths were shown on last night's show, although our Assistant Warden Al wanted me to point out that one of them was mis-identified on the programme (can't believe Chris missed that one!) Firstly we saw the lovely merveille du jour, then a herald, the third one was a feathered thorn (not a mottled umber) and the fourth was a December moth. There are 2,500 species of moth in the UK, so they really are fantastic creatures to study. If you haven't got a moth trap, as Michaela and Chris showed last night, you can paint sugary solution (or indeed brandy) on a branch or tree trunk and they are attracted to that too.

    I don't know about you, but I loved the piece about the changing colour of autumn leaves and how that happens. Leaves are green due to chlorophyll - a key component in photosynthesis, which is how plants make food. At this time of year, because the days are shorter, there is not enough light available for photosynthesis, so plants live off the food they have stored up during the summer months. Because the chlorophyll is no longer needed it breaks down into a colourless compound which allows other colours (which were already present in the leaf, just not visible) to come through. Fascinating!

      Autumn leaves by Andy Hay (rspb-images.com)

    When the end of the show came, it was a real mixture of emotions. We've loved every minute of having the BBC here, and are truly thrilled to have been the home of Autumnwatch for a second year, but it has gone far too quickly and we're going to miss our extended Leighton Moss family.  I personally have had an absolutely epic week - being interviewed by the gorgeous Nick Baker on Unsprung was a personal highlight! We'd like to say a huge thank you to everyone in the Autumnwatch team for being a pleasure to work with and for showcasing just what a fantastic home for nature Leighton Moss, Arnside and Silverdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Morecambe Bay really is.

      In the Autumnwatch studio with two of my heroes - Nick Baker and John Wilson

    Whether you have not yet visited us, or have been coming for as long as we've been around, there is so much to see every season here, and there's bound to be some places you've never explored, so come and do it soon!  

    Posted by Annabel Rushton

  • 31 October 2014

    Awesome Autumnwatch #3

    Goodness me, what a tense show last night's Autumnwatch was!

    Right from the word go, there was action from the underwater cam - an eel, a stickleback and then finally, an otter!

    From large mammals to tiny ones - I was then gripped by the rodent agility course. We have a good variety of small mammals here and this entertaining experiment really does highlight how flexible and agile they are when it comes to getting food! A thick branch, a spiky hawthorn twig and even a wobbly rope didn't put off the brown rat, bank vole and wood mouse. You can often see bank voles in the woods along the path to Tim Jackson and Grisedale hides.

      Bank vole by Richard Cousens

    Over the past few shows, Martin Hughes-Games has been on the trail of beautiful Bewick's swans in Estonia. Well, we don't have any here at Leighton Moss, but a couple of whooper swans who have come to spend the winter in the UK have been spotted. We also have resident mute swans - the ones with the distinctive orange beak.

      Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Mute swan by Keith Scovell

    Part of our work here at Leighton Moss involves counting wildlife. We regularly count the wading and water birds in the reedbed and out in Morecambe Bay, we monitor butterflies through the summer months, we record moths every morning....it really helps us to know exactly what we have here and how to help make the site best for it. I think therefore, my most exciting bit of the programme was following Martin into the reedbed to show how we are using fascinating new technology - a drone, to help us count the red deer here. By it's very nature, reedbed is low lying with tall reeds (which can grow up to 12 ft!). As Martin showed, all manner of wonderful wildlife such as bearded tits, otters, marsh harriers and water rails live within it, along with our largest residents - the red deer. When they head into the dense reeds, they quickly disappear from view, making it very hard for us to determine just how many we have here. The drone allows us to view the reedbed from the air and means we have been able to establish that we have around 20 red deer on the reserve. If you are hoping to see them when you visit, the best place to head is the Tim Jackson and Grisedale hides.

    But the action didn't stop there! The barn owl footage on the night vision camera was simply stunning - seeing the owl swap its prey from its beak to its talons in mid-air was amazing!! Many people know that barn owls eat voles, but during the autumn and winter here, when there are plenty of starlings around, they are a common meal for our barn owls to feed on!

    So there we were, happily watching the wonderful wildlife on Autumnwatch, when the screen went black! Had a mouse chewed through the cable? Had our pilot flown the drone into the camera? Had Chris Packham gone for a cake break? Unfortunately the power had gone, but being the absolute professionals they are, our pals at the BBC remained calm and worked like troopers to restore our favourite show to our screens. Well done team!

    As always, Autumnwatch not only celebrates nature, but also highlights some of the problems facing our wildlife. The gannets nesting on Grassholm, getting tangled in rubbish was a heart-wrenching piece and shows how important it is to reduce, recycle and re-use our waste to prevent it impacting on our wildlife.

    So tonight is the last show :( I can't believe how quickly this series has gone by! So what can we expect from this Halloween finale? Bats? Moths? Martin on a Mission? Will the starlings show up? Tune in at 8 pm, BBC2 to find out!

    We are open as normal so please do come and see the action for yourselves. We are running a free park and ride or you could hop on the train to Silverdale station - just 250 m from our front door. If you are coming from further afield, why not stay a little longer to really explore the Arnside and Silverdale Area of Outstanding Beauty and Morecambe Bay. These great 'Nature on Your Doorstep' Guides will help you discover more.

     

    Posted by Annabel Rushton

  • 30 October 2014

    Awesome Autumnwatch #2

    I bet you were gripped watching last night's action on Autumnwatch, I know I certainly was! What a show - opening with the cheeky heron on the otter cam and then to see all the drama from the barn owls on the night vision camera! The adult barn owls hunt around the reserve early morning and dusk to bring in food for their chicks, which we think are a second brood. Last night's Autumnwatch showed a young barn owl, not from our brood, intruding on our roosting chicks, trying to take the food. One of our chicks had a tussle with it and certainly made the point that it was not welcome!

      Barn owl by John Markham (rspb-images.com)

    It was intriguing to watch the pink-footed geese in the south of Morecambe Bay at Lane Ends in Pilling. 20,000 of them out on the fields tucking in is a sight to behold. As Michaela said, they are a "visual spectacle and a sound sensation". They fly round in V formation, congregate in flocks in fields and have a variety of interesting calls to one another - an all round sensational species.

    The red deer at Minsmere were phenomenal - their large stag known as 'The General' getting into a fight with 'The Captain' was epic to watch. We have a herd of red deer here at Leighton Moss too. They are somewhat more subdued than 'The General' and his challengers, as our main rutting time here is slightly earlier in September and early October. They are being spotted regularly at Tim Jackson and Grisedale hides with the hinds (females).

    What about the tawny owls? Weren't they just terrific! Autumn is a great time to listen out for them where you are. We get lots of sightings in the woods around Lower hide. Last night's show highlighted the impressive range of noises they have aside from the stereotypical "twit, two" (which is actually two tawny owls- females call the males a "twit", and the males say "twooo").

    As shown last night, one of our most charismatic birds is the bearded tit. I can't wait to see the results of Chris Packham's grit experiment. Bearded tits are insectivores in summer i.e. they eat insects. However, at this time of year when there are much fewer insects available they change to being granivores (grain eaters), more specifically eating reed seed. To help them to grind up the reed seed, they take in grit (yum yum) and this experiment is looking into which size they prefer - course, medium or fine.....we'll find out later tonight, so tune in, BBC 2, 8 pm.

    Of course it is not just the wildlife shown on the programmes that is being spotted around the reserve. Down at Public hide, we have been getting lots of views of two of our most secretive residents - bitterns and water rails, so keep an eye out for them there. If you head down the Causeway beyond Public hide to the bridge, stop for a while to look out for one of our most glamorous residents - the kingfisher. The variety and number of fish in the main dyke that runs through the reserve (where Martin was doing his human tadpole impersonation on Tuesday) means that this is a favoured spot for these beautiful birds.

    We're open as normal throughout so why not come and see the drama for yourselves? There's loads to see and do in the whole Arnside and Silverdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and around Morecambe Bay. These 'Nature on your Doorstep Guides' will help you to discover more.

     

     

     

     

     

    Posted by Annabel Rushton

  • 29 October 2014

    Awesome Autumnwatch #1

    WOW! What a fantastic first day of Autumnwatch yesterday! From an otter live on Autumnwatch Extra, to Nick Baker's hilarious antics on Unsprung, there was never a dull moment throughout the entire day! If you missed the action from the main show, here are the highlights:

    Martin Hughes-Games looking like a human tadpole on his mission in a wet suit. Absolutely hilarious! He was uncovering the differences between dabbling ducks, diving ducks and sawbills. Autumn is a cracking time for learning all about the different ducks here at Leighton Moss and around Morecambe Bay. The dabblers are the ones that upend in the water - sticking their bums in the air. They're feeding on water weed on the surface. Look out for mallards, pintails, teal, gadwall and shoveler around the pools here. The divers, as their name suggests, find their food in the mud at the bottom of the pools. They can be difficult to keep an eye on as they are constantly ducking underwater but look out for pochard, tufted ducks and goldeneyes. Sawbills are the ones with serrated beak edges - ideal for catching slippery fish. These include goosanders and red-breasted mergansers. They are less regular on the reserve but keep an eye out for them on Public pool and down at the Eric Morecambe and Allen hides.

    The stunning pink-footed geese spectacle out in Morecambe Bay at Lane Ends was fantastic to watch (we were as excited as Michaela!) Around 20,000 of them are out on the mud flats and flying in V formation over the Bay.

    How epic was the red deer rut!! This was filmed at our big sister reserve RSPB Minsmere (where Springwatch was filmed this year). Our red deer have their main rut during September and have calmed down a little now. We are getting excellent daily views of them every day from our Tim Jackson and Grisedale hides.

    As mentioned on the show last night, due to some westerly winds, starlings haven't arrived in large numbers yet. We have around 6,000 coming in to roost of an evening doing a mini murmuration. Fingers crossed the winds will change and bring in more before the end of the series!

    With a bittern already spotted in front of Public hide this morning, what will be featured on this evenings show? Will the bearded tits be hogging the limelight? You'll have to tune in to find out - 8 pm, BBC 2. If you can't wait that long, head to Autumnwatch Extra for action all day on the red button and internet.

      Bittern by Craig Linford

    We're open as normal throughout so why not come and see the drama for yourselves? There's loads to see and do in the whole Arnside and Silverdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and around Morecambe Bay. These 'Nature on your Doorstep Guides' will help you to discover more.

    Posted by Annabel Rushton

Your sightings

Grid reference: SD4775 (+2km)

Great White Egret ()
17 Nov 2014
Goosander (1)
18 Nov 2014
Bittern (2)
18 Nov 2014
Marsh Harrier (1)
18 Nov 2014
Water Rail (1)
18 Nov 2014
Bearded Tit (2)
18 Nov 2014
Spotted Redshank (2)
17 Nov 2014
Bar-tailed Godwit (16)
16 Nov 2014
Kingfisher (1)
16 Nov 2014
Tree Sparrow ()
15 Nov 2014

Contact us

Where is it?

  • Lat/lng: 54.16814,-2.80107
  • Postcode: LA5 0SW
  • Grid reference: SD478750
  • Nearest town: Carnforth, Lancashire
  • County: Lancashire
  • Country: England

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Note: Some reserves are not served directly by public transport and, in these cases, a nearby destination (from which you may need to walk or take a taxi or ferry) may be offered.

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