Lunt Meadows

Short-eared Owl hovering over the rough grass
A rare occurrence this winter – a sunny day and the opportunity to visit somewhere new the Lancashire Wildlife Trust Lunt Meadows Nature Reserve.

Over the past few months the reserve has developed a reputation as being one of the best places to watch owls hunting over the flood meadows of the River Alt. However on arrival it quickly became clear the reserve was considerably larger than I’d expected. In addition the Boxing Day floods had led to the river overflowing its banks.

Coot amongst the reedbeds at Lunt Meadows
Keen to see what could be found it was time to go for a wander around. Plenty of Coots on the pools and the usual Teal. Marsh Harrier overhead, at least 3 Buzzards, Kestrels, Stonechats but no sign of any Water Voles.

 

 Grass footpath complete with river of mud leading to one of the viewing screens  Lapwings a few of several hundred on site.
 Access to the viewing screens was a bit tricky.  Plenty of Lapwings, sadly no Golden Plover.
Barn Owl flying over Lunt Meadows
 3.30pm and the first Barn Owl appears
 Barn Owl quartering the meadows
 and shortly after another hunting over the field adjacent to the car park.
 Difficult to beat the sight of a Barn Owl quartering a meadow in the fading light of a winters day
Stunning birds especially when viewed against the dark backdrop of the woodland edge.
 One of at least 3 Short-eared Owls on the lookout for voles.
Whilst amongst the reedbeds to the southern end of the reserve the Short-eared Owls were out hunting.
 Short-eared Owl diving into the long grass
Not looking good for one of the local voles.