It’s been great on the reserve this week with lots of birds to see including one to add to my life list! The pectoral sandpiper arrived on Monday morning to everyone’s excitement and it’s still here today! Pectoral sandpipers are scarce passage migrants from America and Siberia and can be identified from their brown breastband and white belly (check out the drawing by Mike Langman, rspb-images.com).
I say this but I’m still doubtful as to whether I’d pick one out if I didn’t know it was there. To make it harder we’ve also had common sandpipers, green sandpipers and wood sandpipers! Here’s my best effort at separating them out: common sandpipers are comparatively stocky looking birds with a white shoulder patch and their white belly is very defined against the brown upperparts; green sandpipers are more elegant birds and as the name suggests, are a greeny colour on top and wood sandpipers are spotty with a cream eye stripe.
We have also had two kingfishers reported this morning which I was mega excited about (if not a little annoyed) as I have never seen a kingfisher before. I always seem to be in the wrong place at the wrong time or just looking the wrong way! A golden plover was reported this afternoon and sure enough when we looked out, there it was on the reedbed, beautiful in its breeding plumage.
We had a bit of drama as I arrived at the visitor centre this afternoon. A swallow had got in and kept hitting up against the windows as it attempted to get out. I decided to be brave and attempt to grab it and get it outside. Amazingly I did manage this; I think I was almost as scared and relieved as the swallow was as I carried it out to the front of the centre. I’d never held a bird in my hands before, it’s little heart beating away, it felt so fragile and it’s eyes were wide open in fear. I was a bit worried it wouldn’t recover but sure enough after a few minutes it perked itself up and flew away.
With loads of wildlife to see on the reserve it’s definitely worth a visit! To find out more about the wildlife, why not come on one of our guided walks? The next one is tomorrow when we will be finding out about dragonflies, butterflies and mini-beasts. Check out our events listings on our website for further information.