Wednesday, 22 September 2010
After the dreary drizzle of the last couple of days, summer seems to have made a very welcome return. Went over to Leighton Moss. Saw a buzzard, just outside Kirby Lonsdale, being seen off by a flock of around 20-30 Jackdaws, it circled lazily in the sky while they frantically harangued it. Interesting that the group split, one lot returned the way they had come and rest continued after the Buzzard. We had lunch in the airy upstairs cafe - some lovely fresh sandwiches and cakes, before heading off into the reserve. The flowering reeds were starting to look dry and silvery in the sun, rustling in the breeze, with lots of Dragonflies hawking just above their tops. Went to the Griesdale hide first, lots of ducks, Mallards and Pochards mainly, Little Grebe, a fishing heron and I think a Snipe. The heron lurked on the edges of vegetation, holding its head to one side before striking - compensating for refractioin or dazzle from the sun or was it trying not to cast a shadow on its prey? We then went to the Allan hide where there were Curlew Sandpipers, Redshank, Curlew and a Crow bringing bunches of Elderberries in to eat on the island. About 4pm at the Griesdale hide we saw an adult deer and juvenile come out of the reeds to graze, then two more adults and two spotty youngsters. As dusk fell we walked along the causeway , seeing a group of deer watching us in the distance. Later as we left the hide, we heard lots of splashing from the reed beds, then stags started calling around us, low and deep, a little eerie in the half light. Above our heads flew the most bats I have ever seen at once in one place, tiny black silhouettes against the silver clouds, veering off at the last moment as they hunted around us. Hard to leave and head home.