As planned we headed off today to visit the RSPB nature reserve at Leighton Moss in Silverdale. After a ‘brief encounter’ with the clock on Carnforth Station…
…we took the train to ‘Sunny Silverdale’ and it lived up to its name. The weather was incredible.
Entry into Leighton Moss Nature Reserve is free if you arrive by public transport – it would have cost £7 each otherwise so our £4 Northern Duo train ticket came in very handy! The paths are incredibly well kept….
and take you through reed beds and woodland…..
We spotted loads of birds in the woodland before we even got anywhere near a hide. A combination of the shortcomings of the camera on my Samsung Galaxy and my lack of photographic ability meant that I didn’t get any good photographs of them but we managed to a see a mother wren with a nest containing three babies, a cetti’s warbler, marsh tits, blue tits, great tits, coal tits and blue tits all in one spot. To be honest I wouldn’t have spotted the warbler or the wren’s nest if a little girl hadn’t pointed them out to me!
The hides have lovely views out over marshy lakes…..
…where we saw a flock of Godwits (oh for a proper camera with a zoom lens like all the real bird watchers had!)
We even managed to see an otter!
The only birds I managed to photograph with any success were the ones that were used to people and certainly weren’t scared of them. These swans with their cygnets were standing right in the middle of the path and were reluctant to move (or to let us past). The babies were sunbathing and didn’t want to shift and the parents just stood guard.
Eventually they waddled off with a warning hiss from the cob as he passed.
The crowning moment of the visit came when we’d left the site and were heading back to the station. We spotted an Osprey! Gordon and I had seen quite a few of them in Australia but I’d never seen one in this country and wouldn’t have been confident enough to make a firm identification. Fortunately there was a ‘proper’ bird watcher nearby who got out his bird book and agreed that it was indeed an Osprey. Wonderful!