Friday, 4 April 2014
RSPB = Rare Sights Produce Bliss
I visited one of my favourite wild places at the weekend - Leighton Moss RSPB Reserve. Hidden away down country lanes, it's a wonderful haven of reedbeds and lagoons, not far from Morecambe Bay and the southern end of the Lake District. There are peaceful paths through reeds and woodland and a few well-placed hides with panoramic views over the lagoons. Despite only having an ancient pair of binoculars, I still saw a good number of bird species as well as some red deer. I was thrilled to watch three harriers swooping about. They are beautiful birds. I am pretty sure I identified them as marsh harriers - the two males had very distinctive patterns of black wingtips, then grey bands and then brown patches close to their bodies. A male bullfinch thrilled me with its brilliant colours. I also saw my favourite little bird - that pink and grey bundle of fluffiness, the long-tailed tit. Leighton Moss is famous for being a breeding area for the elusive and rare bittern. I have never seen one but I did hear their curious booming sound, like someone blowing over the neck of a bottle. No bird photos, as I don't have the huge lens necessary for good wildlife photography - and anyway I just like quietly watching and enjoying the stillness in a place like that. Despite the very overcast weather, I had a blissful day out.