Two views from the top of RSPB Leighton Moss’s new Skytower. Which is…well, a tower. It’s about 30’ feet tall – affording great views, but hardly scaling empyrean heights.
I think the RSPB can be forgiven the hyperbole – it really is a great place from watch a quartering Marsh Harrier, or flocks of Teal on the mere…
…as I did.
My walk to the Skytower was just before Christmas, in a moment of calm before the next storm hit.
The causeway across the Moss was still flooded from the previous deluges, but I had new Wellies and waded across, then wandered past Leighton Hall and up Summer House Hill to the benches and viewpoint at the top…
Naturally, I decided to sit for a while, despite the bracing wind, and was rewarded by some close up views of a pair of buzzards.
I associate the display flights of male buzzards with the onset of spring.
Pairs mate for life. To attract a mate (or impress his existing mate) the male performs a ritual aerial display before the beginning of spring. This spectacular display is known as ‘the roller coaster’. He will rise high up in the sky, to turn and plummet downward, in a spiral, twisting and turning as he comes down. He then rises immediately upward to repeat the exercise.
I wonder if these birds were confused by the very mild weather which we had been experiencing, as many of our spring flowering plants seem to have been.
Buzzards, now thought to be Britain’s most numerous raptors, are very common in this area. But…
“…the species large size, free-floating movements on broad wings and wild high calls still have a capacity to capture our attention and imaginations.”
from ‘Birds Britannica’ by Mark Cocker and Richard Mabey
I certainly never tire of watching them.
From Summer House Hill I walked through Cringlebarrow Woods and Yealand Allotment to Hawes Water…