Summer is well underway at RSPB Leighton Moss with the emergence of some very special residents - the first young marsh harriers of the season have taken to the skies and visitors are invited to watch them in action.
As the largest reedbed in North West England, the Silverdale reserve is an ideal home for these iconic birds of prey. In early spring, they migrate from wintering grounds in Africa to the UK and Europe in order to pair up and breed.
Richard Miller, Warden at RSPB Leighton Moss and Morecambe Bay nature reserve, said: "Summer is a fantastic time to come and see marsh harriers here at RSPB Leighton Moss. We know that there are three nests on the reserve this year, with two chicks already having flown out; we expect to see more young harriers exploring the surrounding reserve over the next few weeks. We have also been able to put a camera on one of the nests which has two chicks in it. This live footage, which is showing in our visitor centre, is now giving visitors to Leighton Moss an amazing insight into the secret world of these magnificent birds!
Richard added: "We manage the reedbed here for a wide range of wildlife, but the marsh harrier is one of the most special. Once very much on the edge of extinction, marsh harrier numbers have recovered so that we now have around 400 pairs at various sites across the UK, Leighton Moss being one of the best places to come and see them, especially when the chicks fledge the nest."
Visitors can look for these rare birds at Leighton Moss any day. Live footage from one of the nests is showing in the visitor centre cafe and on the website. For more information on the marsh harriers, other wildlife and events at Leighton Moss, visit www.rspb.org.uk/leightonmoss.