The last few weeks has seen the first of the waders returning from the north. First the green sandpipers appeared, then the spotted redshank, then the ruff and now greenshank is back.
Over the last few days we have also seen a few knot and a little ringed plover so you never know what may pop in during the next few days.
Start watching for birds as you approach the entrance to the car park. Yellow wagtails have been seen recently on the road approaching the car park or catching insects just in the gate. Also many of our marsh harriers are hunting in the surrounding fields.
Then as you walk through the car park start looking out for butterflies such as the speckled wood that often favours these shady areas. Then as you cross the bank look out for more butterflies such as large skipper, ringlet, small tortoiseshell etc.
In the willows to either side of reception listen out for young birds calling to be fed by their parents. There is a lot of young sedge warblers, whitethroats and tree sparrows around at the moment.
When visiting Xerox hide scan the black-headed gull colony and you might see a mediterranean gull. We have seen one on Monday and now today. Also waders are beginning to use the newly exposed mud on xerox. The bulk of the waders remain on marshland with 2 spotted redshank, 2 ruff and 2 green sandpipers being present along with black-tailed godwit and redshank.
Also between xerox and marshland there has been a grasshopper warbler singing. A visit early or late might reward you with the sound of a grasshopper warbler.
Then down at singleton end of the reserve we have a brood of tufted ducks on the lagoon, bittern continues to be seen and great sightings of bearded tit can be had.
Ruff is the latest wader to appear at Blacktoft. He was present along with 5 spotted redshank (all black summer plumage), green sandpiper, lapwing, redshank, avocet and around 30 Black-tailed godwits.
The spoonbill also visited us for a short while during the middle part of the day. This is its fourth day of visiting marshland.
Otherwise our marsh harriers and bearded tits continue to entertain. Yellow wagtails were seen around newly cut grass searching for insects. We also had a couple of common terns over head today and 2 little egrets.