Me and Mrs Wildlife love Leighton Moss, we have learnt so much about birds and wildlife in general from our visits there, having not been for over a month we decided a trip into Lancashire was overdue!
Very warm weather at this time of the year is not ideal for watching wildlife, birds in particular, with renewed foliage on bushes and trees making them hard to see and most either sitting on eggs or feeding youngsters sightings and photographs can be few and far between.
Even the feeding station at Leighton Moss did not have the usual number of visitors when we checked it before setting out into the reserve, thsi lovely great spotted woodpecker was having a good feed though.
We had the expected views of various ducks, swans, moorhens and coots from one hide, nothing of note and little to photograph as they were all a long way away. We moved on to another hide...good timing as a red deer appeared from the reeds and fed for a while.
Our afternoon loop is down the longer side of the reserve, the Lower Hide is about a mile from the car park, not a long walk but not one you want to do twice on a very hot day! Checking another hide on our way down we were treated to a black headed gull extravaganza, hundreds of them with their raucous calls made it deafening and not a place to linger too long!
Leighton Moss has quite rightly received a lot of plaudits for its conservation and restoration work, the results of the work are evident in the number of dragon and damselflies to be seen.
A broad bodied chaser, large red damselfly and a blue tailed damselfly, please correct me if I've incorrectly named these!
We had a brief sighting of a male marsh harrier as we wandered on towards the Lower Hide, a wonderful graceful bird and we were optimistic of a better view later. Once across the causeway most of the walk is done but it is worth pausing along the way, some of the channels can be full of wildlife, not on this occasion though:-)
Little else was seen despite close inspection through the scope and we decided to pack up and walk back, a reed bunting was spotted along the way.
We called in at the public hide which is about the mid point of the walk back to the visitor centre, more black headed gulls were in evidence.
We then saw a four spotted chaser, another dragonfly, as we neared the car park.