It’s done it again

What looked to a spell of unbroken strong south westerlies this week has descended into nothingness with faint possibilities of something leach's petrel wise  Thursday am.    Despite Friday now being back on as a slack weather mist netting day it doesn't currently look like Yellow-browed warbler is on the obvious agenda.   At least there are possibilities for odds and sods on the outfalls.Red nab/outfalls dropping tideLittle gull - definitely two adultsMed gull - 2x2cy, 4xad, 1x1cy...
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Ringing the reedlings

With the nights starting to draw in and the leaves beginning to turn on the trees, autumn is certainly on its way and here at Leighton Moss that means one of its most secretive residents is coming out of hiding – the bearded tits or "bearded reedlings". These colourful little birds are one of my favourite species here I always look forward to seeing them out and about around the reserve... Autumn is the best time of year to come and see the secretive reedbed residents, as they venture out onto special grit trays. We put the grit trays out for them to stock up on grit which helps them digest seeds, their main food source during the cold winter months. It’s one of the reasons they are able to stay here all year round. Like most other small birds, bearded tits feed on insects during the summer, particularly because t...

Greenshanks..Leighton Moss

I recently visited Leighton Moss to see what waders were present at the Morecambe and Allen pools.This is often a good time to have nice close up views of waders as they stop off to refuel on their long migration journeys south.I was particularly looking forward to seeing greenshanks.This elegant wader often appears in good numbers at Leighton Moss at this time of the year.A check on the internet did in fact confirm good double figure numbers of greenshanks down at the marsh pools.It was a nice still and warm day and the light was ideal for photography.As usual the Morecambe hide was busy with birders and it was nice to catch up with people I hadn't seen for some time.Eventually some greenshank appeared close to the hide and I was kept busy with the camera.As well as the greenshank and many redshank, little egrets and snipe also performed f...

Bowland and It’s Lack of Raptors © Mark Avery

Guest blog – Bowland and its lack of raptors by Terry PickfordMark ♦ June 24, 2016 ♦ 17 CommentsTerry ringing peregrine chicks Forest of BowlandI have been involved with monitoring and protecting raptors, in particular the Peregrine beginning 1967, when the North West Raptor Group was established, then only 7 active territories remained in the North West England. In the 1980s I located the first ground nesting pair of Peregrines close to the A6 on Shap. Field work began in 1974 in the Forest of Bowland when in April of that year Paul Stott, a founder member of the NWRG, discovered the first Peregrine nest in Bowland containing a single abandoned egg. In 1947 this same territory was known to be the only occupied Peregrine site existing in this moorland region following the end of the Second World War. The 1947 nest contain...

Red Squirrel Week and conservation science in action

Release date:  Sat, 24/09/2016 (All day) Main image:  Summary:  It's The Wildlife Trusts' annual Red Squirrel Week and we're appealing for your help in saving the last red squirrels in Lancashire and Merseyside. Find out more about conservation science in action with our Red Squirrels United project and how your support makes a real difference in saving our beloved red squirrels. Now is a great time to be looking out for red squirrels as they forage for nuts to build up their vital food caches to survive the winter. We're eagerly anticipating our autumn squirrel survey, which begins on Sunday 9th October and lasts for ...

Medfest

An approaching low tide check of the outfalls and red nab saw a decent number of med gulls, notably a gang roosting on the SW point of red nabOutfalls/red nabMed gull - 5 x 2cy, 3xad and 3-4 mobile 1cyWigeon - 6 (first four two days ago - thanks pete)Little gull - adThe NR office is being demolished this morning...
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Getting late for both whitethroats

A bits and pieces day with a three net ringing session at Middleton, some coverage on Heysham head and around HNR office.   A decent amount of vis for a couple of hours mid morning.Vis mig approximatesMeadow pipit - 200 seAlba wagtail - 40 seGrey wagtail - 7 seSiskin - 1Swallow -45 (small number in roost)Starling - 4 sSkylark -2 seGroundedLesser whitethroat - 1 Heysham headWhitethroat - one ringed MiddletonBlackcap - 3 scattered singletons locatedBlue tit - largest flock of the Autumn ringed at Middleton!Goldcrest - gang of c15 Heysham head but just one new bird caught at MiddletonStonechat - report of male HeyshamHead two days agoRed admiral southRingingIncluded grey wagtail (4), blackcap, whitethroat...

Reed all about it

Leighton Moss is home to the largest reedbed in North West England. Now a rare sight, reedbed is a dynamic habitat that requires constant management in order to give the best home to the wildlife that relies on it. Assistant warden Nick Godden explains some of the recent work he has been doing with colleagues in order to make Leighton Moss the best place for rare wildlife like marsh harriers, bearded tits and bitterns... This blog was intended to document the mammoth task of planting 6500 reed plugs in an area of the reedbed that has been bare for many years. However, the weather had other ideas. Heavy rainfall on the 20 and 22 August saw water levels across Leighton Moss rise sharply. To make matters worse, that weekend saw a series of spring tides and this meant the only exit route for the reserve’s water was closed. This ...
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Good year for the Trust

Release date:  Tue, 27/09/2016 (All day) Main image:  Summary:  What a year it has been for The Wildlife Trust for Lancashire, Manchester and North Merseyside. Despite cutbacks in moneypots available to charities and fears over future funding, we have raised continued to get support for projects and increased membership. We have launched new nature reserves at Lunt, in Merseyside, and Cutacre on the Wigan/Salford border and seen the coming of age of the Biodiverse Society project, which is providing vital wildlife information across the region and nationally. You Wildlife Trust has been at the forefront of decisions regarding prote...

Bearded Tit Gritting Season Gets Underway

Spent nearly two hours watching the grit trays at Leighton Moss RSPB Reserve this morning, hoping to get sightings of our colour ringed Bearded Tits. Just about to pack up when a male appeared at 09.33 and spent ca 4 mins gritting.At home checked its details on IPMR. It had been ringed as a juvenile in June 15th 2015 and had been seen at a successful nest in one of our reed wigwam nest box in early June 2016. The fascinating thing is that it was one of the first birds to start gritting in 2015 being seen on the trays first on 20th September.In total it was recorded on the trays on 11 days in autumn 2016 between September 20th and 23rd October.Bearded Tits need grit in the gizzard because this time of year they change their diet from insects to the much harder reed seed. A German study found up to 850 pieces of grit in one gizzard in a...