We had a super weekend, with some lovely weather, and it really brought out the birds and insects on the reserve. There seem to have been lots of birds of prey, with several sightings of buzzards over the visitor centre and Newfield plantation, plus marsh harrier, sparrow hawk and hobby from Pickup hide, and a kestrel at Lin Dike. The kingfisher has been seen several times at Pickup hide and the Kingfisher screen throughout the weekend. We’ve also had several sightings of Little Egrets at Lin Dike and Pickup Pool. Other sightings of note include a snipe at The Moat, redstarts on the new path, pink footed goose at Big Hole to the right of Redshale road, a spotted flycatcher near the pond dipping platform, yellow wagtail at the Flashes, a ruff at New Flash and a wheatear on the fence near Pickup hide. We’ve had lots of sightings of little ringed plovers and ringed plovers at Lin Dike, plus greenshank, dunlin, common sandpiper and green sandpiper. There aren’t so many sightings of songbirds as we get into late summer, but some visitors have seen sedge warblers, willow tits and whitethroats
We had a minibeast safari with Alan and Amanda on Sunday and the children got some great finds, including two six banded clear wing moths, which are fairly rare. They feed on a wildflower called bird’s-foot trefoil, which we have plenty of on the reserve. We also put out the moth trap on Saturday night and had a really interesting catch for this time of year. We got 2 old lady moths, a blood vein – a white moth with a beautiful streak of red across it’s wings, 2 lesser swallow prominent, 6 flame shoulders, 6 yellow underwing, a canary shouldered thorn and a gold spot, which is the beautiful moth in the photo.
If you visit the reserve don’t forget to drop into the visitor centre to let us know what you have seen, and write it in our sightings book.