Saturday, 4 October 2014

Leighton Moss...Highlights

This last couple of weeks has seen me making visits to Leighton Moss.It has been an exciting and very interesting time.The great white egrets are still present,there has been a passage of waders,the red deer have begun their rut and the bearded  tits are visiting the grit trays.I featured the great white egrets in a previous post so this time I will concentrate on the waders,red deer and beardies.

There was a nice selection of waders present at the Morecambe and Allen hides and they were close enough for some decent images.The most interesting wader present was a juvenile curlew sandpiper which was carrying red and yellow tags on it's legs. I understand this bird had been ringed in Norway on it's way from the breeding grounds in Arctic Russia.I have shown the bird above together with a couple of dunlin,one still in summer plumage and a nice photogenic group of redsank.

The red deer of Leighton Moss have begun their annual rut and their roaring has been a common sound around the reserve during the week.I was fortunate to visit the Grizedale Hide late one afternoon to find two magnificent stags roaring at one another.One was eventually dominant and the other one departed.The larger stag remained and gave those present in the hide some memorable moments as he strutted his stuff in front of the hinds and young deer present.You will see from the images above that this stag appears to be a fourteen pointer,this makes him an "Imperial " stag and I think he will be the king of Leighton Moss.He maybe the star of  BBC's Autumnwatch  which returns again to Leighton Moss at the end of October.

Finally I managed to obtain some reasonable images of bearded tits.This is a bird that has eluded me until now.At this time of the year the bearded tits visit grit trays at the side of the public causeway to take the grit which aids their digestion of the seeds which form their diet in the autumn.It was a case of an early start and I was in position with a couple of other photographers at 8am.The first birds showed briefly around 8.30 and then didn't return until an hour or so later.From the until 10 there was quite a bit of action with a number of beardies coming for grit.The number of photographers had also grown and we all enjoyed trying to capture these special birds on camera.

It had been a super end to the week and I had managed some more memorable images for the portfolio.I hope you enjoy my efforts above and you can be sure I will be out and about soon to record more of Lancashire's wonderful wildlife. Thanks for looking in and enjoy the weekend. 


  1. Really enjoyed the post Brian...stunner of the stag mate! Bearded tits look amazing too,,will have to get up there soon!!