The glossy ibis stuck around at Fairburn until mid-week, the last sighting on Wednesday afternoon. It was great that it stayed for a few days, plenty of visitors got some great views of the bird feeding very close to the path at Lin Dike. Alongside the glossy ibis, there were plenty of other birds keeping it company, including a number of little egrets.  During the week there were ringed plovers plus little ringed plovers, black tailed godwits and snipe all on the flashes.

We’re all really chuffed that we’ve had our first ever successfully fledged avocets at Fairburn Ings. Avocets have nested at the reserve in the past, but never got to the point where they have raised their young past the ‘tiny ball of fluff’ stage, so the fact we’ve got a pair of adults with two young on Pickup pool at the moment is fantastic, and a first for Fairburn Ings.  If you haven’t already caught a glimpse then get down here to have a look, if you don’t have any binoculars then you can borrow some from the visitor centre.  If you don’t know what you are looking for then join one of our ranger walks, they are free guided walks lead by one of our volunteer rangers. The times vary each day, give us a call (01977 62819) or pop into the visitor centre for more details.

Thanks to Joe Seymour for this picture of the young avocets

July is a brilliant time for insects, particularly the magnificent dragonflies and elegant damselflies.  They love the shallow pools at Fairburn Ings, where the young live as nymphs, sometimes for several years, if you’re lucky you might find a nymph when pond dipping at the reserve. As adults they buzz around the pools looking for a mate and food.  You are likely to see azure and common blue damselflies at Fairburn, they are very similar apart from a marking on the thorax, the thick part of their body. A common blue damselfly has a mushroom shape on its thorax and an azure damselfly has a horseshoe shape.  We also have lots of blue tailed damselflies, which are mostly black with a blue bit on the tail and emerald damselflies, which are a stunning metallic green.  Dragonflies you are likely to come across include the brown hawker, 4 spotted chaser, ruddy darter and black tailed skimmer. I’d love to describe them all, but we’ll be here all day, the best thing to do is get yourself down here and have a look. Or come along to our minibeast safari, (adults are welcome as well as children!), we will be happy to point all the different species of damselfly, dragonfly, butterfly and any other type of minibeast we stumble across.

This is a picture of an emerald damselfly which was on the door to the visitor centre this morning!

Other noteable sightings at Fairburn Ings this week include a black tern which made a brief appearance on Wednesday over Main Bay, there were a few green sandpipers at Pickup Hide for a few days and a family of treecreepers on the Riverbank Trail on Sunday.  The sand martin wall is still a hive of activity at Pickup Hide, and we’ve still got tree sparrows nesting in the boxes at the visitor centre, they should be fledging any day.

Don’t forget to let us know your wildlife sightings when you visit the reserve, pop them into the sightings book in the visitor centre.