Some top sightings this week and a couple of exciting storms, giving us the chance to do a bit of storm watching as well as wildlife watching!
We've had a Caspian gull drawing in the birding crowds at Big Hole over the last few days, along with a couple of yellow legged gulls and a Mediterranean gull.
It’s been a wader weekend down at Lin Dike, with redshanks, greenshanks, snipe, dunlins, green sandpipers, black-tailed godwits, common sandpipers and a wood sandpiper all being spotted. There’s also been up to four garganey seen, a spotted flycatcher and a bittern was seen flying over today.
I spotted my first ever water rail on Thursday, which was right at the front of the reeds at Pick-up hide. Water rails are usually difficult to see as they are very secretive birds so I was really pleased. There was also a few lapwings, a couple of little egrets and a sand martin flying in and out of the sand martin wall.
We’ve had a few mammal sightings in the book, including a hare at the feeder screen, a young wood mouse and a bank vole outside the visitor centre.
There are loads of green-veined white butterflies about at the moment, with one of our volunteers counting 175! Other butterflies you can spot on the reserve include peacocks, gatekeepers, meadow browns, ringlets, common blues, small skippers, large and small whites. Why not take part in the Big Butterfly Count this week? You can discover what butterflies there are where you live and help contribute towards a nationwide survey. Butterfly populations are great indicators of the health of our environment and so it's important we know how they're doing. Go to http://www.bigbutterflycount.org/ where you can print of an I.D sheet and get counting!
Image of a Peacock butterfly from Grahame Madge - RSPB images