The water levels are staying low on the Heronries and this is bringing in the egrets and some waders, such as green sandpipers. 16 egrets were counted on the Third Thursday Walk, including a great white. However, very few songbirds, except for a Robin! Are you seeing many small birds in your gardens? This time last year, very few winter duck had arrived, whereas this year the numbers are building up well. Many are putting on their courtship plumage, so easier to distinguish. There are still cormorant nests with young. Is this because their earlier attempts failed? I hope somebody can tell me.
Raven seems to be visiting the area more. One is being seen regularly often being harried by carrion crows. We’ve also seen one from our garden being chased by a sparrowhawk.
The WeBS team saw some interesting birds on their first count of the season. Spotted flycatcher was one and then a quick vision of a much discussed bird, which had to be a merlin. Kingfisher sightings also stay up over the past years. They also saw a clouded yellow butterfly in the north. Has anyone else seen any local ones?
The last dragonfly and butterfly survey of the year, yesterday, was much more productive than expected. The morning started off chilly, but there were plenty of common darters willing to be photographed and migrant hawkers never staying still and a few willow emeralds, hanging, as they seem to do on willow trees! There were 5 species of butterfly, but overall numbers were down.
We also saw lots of ivy mining bees, with their lovely ginger thoraxes and stripey bodies, a late species that has only been in this country for about 20 years.
There is always something to see. As always, if you see any interesting wildlife sightings on the reserve or have some photos you would like to share, please send them by email to email@example.com or write them in the sightings book in the Visitor Centre.