Leighton Moss


One of the ponds at Leighton Moss RSPB reserve

Another beautiful day, so I went to Silverdale. The pheasants were truly jewel-like in the sunshine. Lots of birds that I can now recognise. I may also have seen a barn owl – it was almost white and flew and hovered like a predator. However, I can easily misrecognise too. I was convinced I could see a pintail in the distance until a woman with a telescope put me right: it was a black-headed gull in full breeding plumage with a perky little tail. There were definitely male marsh harriers, though, with their colourful wings.

No sign of the mythical otters, but I did see my first lambs of the year:


It’s a pity farmers use blood-red paint to number them; it does seem a bit gruesome, given their eventual fate.

Lots of greylag geese:

and what I now think of as “the old favourites”, including redshanks:


I also saw some species new to me: greenshanks, and wildfowl paparazzi. The latter were snapping away as if Kate Moss had just staggered out of Buckingham Palace four sheets to the wind. Their lenses were the size of traffic cones, and I felt quite embarrassed getting out my little Canon (“If you squint hard enough, you can just see the goldeneye”).

Yes, there were goldeneyes too.

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