Tuesday, 28 July 2009
Bright and Breezy
This was how it was to be at Leighton Moss on Monday PM following a wet morning. I made my third trip in as many weeks to this wonderful RSPB Reserve at Silverdale Lancs. It was not quite as exciting as previous visits when I had been very fortunate to see hobby and bittern but was still very enjoyable with a nice surprise early evening at the Griezdale Hide. I did my usual round of Public,Lower and Griezdale hides and enjoyed a warm and pleasant afternoon despite the very strong westerly.
It was much quieter than of late with not many marsh harriers about. I understand that possibly many of the juveniles have dispersed to pastures new, but one or two showed distantly, and I had a better view of one from the Public Hide as it quartered the reed beds in front of the hide.Early evening found me on my way to the Griesdale Hide hoping for sightings of red deer.This is one of the favoured locations together with the Tim Jackson hide at Leighton Moss to see this magnificent animal. At this time of the year the hinds very often have fawns with them and it is a delight to see them as they come out of hiding to browse.
As I entered the hide I was made aware of a juvenile Marsh Harrier which was on the ground and sunning itself right in front of the hide and affording wonderful views . There was another photographer present and we watched and photographed this magnificent raptor as it enjoyed the evening sun. The bird stayed there for an hour or so and seemed reluctant to move but eventually it did take to the air and flew off to roost elsewhere in the Leighton reedbeds. The sun had now gone and I also decided to depart for home having enjoyed yet another wonderful afternoon's birdwatching and photoghraphy at Leighton Moss. Images show the Marsh Harrier and a Little Egret that flew in for a quick snack before going to roost.