Kaleidoscope Moon


I decided to take an evening stroll down to Leighton Moss, thinking that on previous summer-evenings I’d seen Red Deer swimming in the meres near to Grizedale Hide and that maybe I would see them again.


Dryad’s Saddle.


Distant Great Spotted Woodpecker.


In the event, whilst I did spot a couple of deer, they were partially hidden in amongst the reeds. Fortunately, there was plenty more to see.


I particularly enjoyed the antics of this Little Egret. Unlike Herons – patient hunters which don’t generally move very much or very quickly, Little Egrets wander about, stirring up the mud at the bottom of the pond hoping to dislodge likely prey.


A nearby tree had seven Cormorants perched in it…


I knew that Herons and Egrets like to congregate to roost in the evenings, but perhaps Cormorants do too.

There were some Proper Birders in the hide, nice chaps, who told me that there were both Marsh Harriers and Bitterns nesting nearby. They were hoping for a sight of the Bitterns, which didn’t materialise, but we did see both adult Harriers, although somewhat distantly…



I find that I can only sit in a hide for so long before I start to get itchy feet and when the sun disappeared, perhaps for the last time that day I thought, it was time to move on.

Anyway, I wanted to get home before it got too late. On my way back around the reserve, I diverted slightly to take in the view from the Sky Tower…


From there I watched a pair of Swans and their large family of cygnets swim across the mere in a stately line and then, reaching their nest, enter into a noisy dispute with some Coots, who obviously felt that they had squatters’ rights.

Then I noticed some sort of commotion in the water, between the two islands of reeds in the photograph above. Fish were jumping out of the water, but not the odd fish rising for a fly, this was lots of fish and the fish were seemingly leaping in groups, with the activity moving around the small area as if something were pursuing the fish beneath the water. I’ve seen this sort of thing once before and that was just after I thought I’d seen an Otter dive into the water from the Causeway which crosses the reserve. In the middle of the area where the commotion was taking place the RSPB have built a small wooden platform. There were numerous birds on that platform and they were all obviously aware of what was going on too. The ducks all took to the water and headed swiftly away. The heron peered at the fish momentarily before unfurling its wings and also departing. Only the small white birds, which looked to be terns of some sort, didn’t seem to be bothered. Meanwhile a second area, along the edge of the mere, had also started to liven up with fish jumping this way and that. Perhaps there were a pair of Otters down there, doing a spot of fishing.

The area where this was all happening was right in front of Lillian’s Hide, so I thought I would head down there to see what I could see. When I got there, the fish were no longer leaping, but a disturbance in the reeds alerted me and there was my Otter, swimming along the channel in front of the hide. I lost sight of it, but there was another chap in the hide and, when I told him there was an otter nearby, he came up trumps by spotting it swimming away.


Not as good as my photos from this winter, but it’s not often that I get to see an Otter after work, so I was very happy.


The heron returned and I could see now why the terns were so unperturbed – they weren’t real – I suppose that this is an attempt to attract actual terns to nest on this faux island?



By the time I was walking back across the fields towards home, I’d missed the sunset, but there was still lots of colour in the sky.


The moon was half hidden by this great swathe of pink clouds. Using the zoom on my camera I watched the moon as it was repeatedly veiled and unveiled by the clouds.


Searching for a title for the post, and reverting, as I often do, to songs titles half-remembered from my youth, I thought I could recall a song called Kaleidoscope Moon.


A bit of googling however, reminded me that the song I was thinking of was actually ‘Kaleidoscope World’ from the album of the same name by Kiwi band The Chills.


Other songs on the album were called ‘Rolling Moon’ and my own favourite ‘Pink Frost’, so maybe I had dimly muddled these three and somehow got ‘pink’, ‘moon’ and ‘kaleidoscope’ from the three songs. I’m surprised that I seem to have managed to almost completely forget this band, although some fragment of a memory was clearly lurking in the recesses of my mind, and I’m very happy to have been serendipitously jolted into recollection.


Kaleidoscope Moon

13 thoughts on “Kaleidoscope Moon

  1. In my last post’s comments I mentioned my avoidance of repeating routes – you put me to shame. You repeat the same walks , or cover the same territory time after time, but each time is totally different. You are now using your stored knowledge to enhance chances by predicting likely happenings, for instance like the chance of seeing the otter; most people wouldn’t have taken that further step.

    1. beatingthebounds says:

      It takes all sorts! Whilst I totally understand the drive to see new places on each walk – and there are so many to see – I actually have to make an effort to try something new – it’s so tempting to repeat a walk which I’ve enjoyed before and know that I will enjoy again. I suspect, as in most things, that there’s a happy medium here somewhere. Your point is a good one though – by repeating walks I do have a feel for where and when I’m likely to see certain things.

  2. I’ve been following your walking adventures for a long time now but rarely been so intrigued as by this post. Beautiful photos and a lovely story to tell. Thank you.

    1. beatingthebounds says:

      Thanks Angela, I’ve added your blog to my reader so I can follow your Uke playing, travels and recipes. Cheers.

  3. A very varied landscape down your way, one of the best things about living in the UK- a kaleidoscope country with new habitats round every corner. Still discovering new places to visit almost every week after 60 years. One of the great things about You Tube as well is the element of surprise/ discovery/lucky dip factor. Like the scarecrow and the song.

    1. beatingthebounds says:

      Couldn’t agree more on both points – we’re very lucky we have the Dales, the Lakes and Bowland all close by, plus the Lune Valley and then on the doorstep we have limestone hills, several wetlands, woods, meadows, limestone pavements and Morecambe Bay – it’s that varied tapestry which makes the area so fascinating.
      And the lucky dip factor – absolutely! I shared a flat with a friend who loved the Chills, but they’ve completely escaped my memory. If and when I find the time, I shall look-up some of the other half-remembered obscure indie bands we used to go to see – Death by Milkfloat, Dog-faced Hermans, King of the Slums, World Domination Enterprises (I’ll stop there, this could go on all night).

  4. Finally found time to catch up on your many, many posts whilst we were travelling. All a wonderful read enhanced by your stunning photography and knowledge of flora. Wow to this post and the amazing moon captures. Totally enthralled by the variety of orchids you have snapped and your walk above Grasmere, Loughrigg and Alcock Tarn that brought so many memories back of my time there in 1976.

    1. beatingthebounds says:

      Thanks Helen – thought you’d been a bit quiet. Can we expect some reports of your travels now then?

    1. beatingthebounds says:

      Camera technology is amazing – I’m not sure how my camera manages to produce clear hand-held shots of the moon, just happy that it does.

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