Today was our annual bird ringing demonstration, and like all days that we plan to do bird ringing, it was raining. We did get a few birds including 6 chaffinches, 2 great tits, 1 blue tit and 1 dunnock, but for the most part it was too wet making the mist nets very visible to birds. However, we'd like to thank BTO bird ringer, Dave Grant, and his assistants Kev, Julie and Emma, for giving such a fantastic demonstration and lots of information for the 15 people who braved the weather at 7.00am to see bird ringers in action.
Sightings on the reserve this week have included several ospreys, the last was seen on Tuesday during the early afternoon. It was seen on the Barr Loch, briefly attempting to fish before being chased off by gulls and crows. Also present at the Barr Loch that day was a water rail, a pair of common sandpipers, a single wigeon and a single male pochard. A large group of 60+ tufted ducks and over 100 mallards.
Highlights at the feeders this week have included a stunning male bullfinch that keeps returning, sometimes along with a female and sometimes on its own. We have also had regular sightings of a great spotted woodpecker and all of the usual suspects including chaffinches, goldfinches, greenfinch, blue tit, great tit, coal tit, robin, blackbird, dunnock etc
Quite a few recently fledged jackdaws have been visiting the feeders along with their parents, so we have been able to watch them being fed by the adult birds.
Around the reserve we still have singing sedge warblers, chiffchaff & grasshopper warbler. There have been quite a few long tailed tits hanging around the car park too.
Moths this week have included small elephant hawk moth as well as elephant hawk moth, poplar hawk moth, garden tiger, double square spot, small square spot, coxcomb prominent, straw dot & common wave, along with many others.
Butterflies have included ringlet, small copper, green veined white, peacock and a possible brimstone. Damselflies have included azure blue, common blue and emerald.
Here are some of the wildlife highlights this week:
2 wigeon, 41 mallard, 11 tufted ducks, 4 goldeneye and a male pochard on the Aird Meadow Loch. A kestrel hunting over the meadow. 4 swallows, 1 house martin, 1 grasshopper warbler (still reeling), 2 sedge warblers and 4 male reed buntings. At the feeding station we had adult male and juvenile great spotted woodpeckers, 4 house sparrows, a pair of greenfinches, 2 goldfinches, 3 siskins, 1 redpoll and a male bullfinch.
On the Aird Meadow Loch, 2 adult mute swans and 3 cygnets (first of the year), 8 mallard, a male pochard, 16 tufted ducks and 3 female goldeneyes. A swift over the meadow and on the meadow itself, 1 grasshopper warbler, 5 sedge warblers and 2 reed buntings. At the feeding station 1 sparrowhawk, 3 collared dove, a great spotted woodpecker, a sedge warbler, a chiffchaff and two willow warblers (all feeding), 3 greenfinch, 2 goldfinch, 1 redpoll and 2 male reed buntings. On the Barr Loch was a pair of gadwall, a grasshopper warbler and a female blackcap with a juvenile.
1 wigeon, 22 mallard, 1 pochard, 15 tufted ducks and 3 goldeneye on the Aird Meadow loch. Also, 4 oystercatchers on the raft along with 2 black-headed gulls. At the feeding station, a common whitethroat, an adult and juvenile GS woodpecker, 2 redpolls and a pair of bullfinches.
1 wigeon, 13 mallard, a male pochard, 16 tufted ducks and 4 female goldeneye on the AM Loch. Also, 2 common sandpipers overhead, 2 sand martins, a sedge warbler and 5 reed buntings (4 male, 1 female.) On the Barr Loch, 7 mute swans, 137 mallard, 103 tufted ducks, 1 buzzard, 2 common sandpipers. At the feeding station, a male sparrowhawk, a male GS woodpecker, 2 juvenile wrens, 1 whitethroat, 1 chiffchaff, 2 willow warblers, 5 long tailed tits, a family of greenfinches, 1 goldfinch, 2 male siskins, 1 redpoll and a pair of bullfinches. On the Aird Meadow trail, 1 grasshopper warbler, 1 willow warbler and a spotted flycatcher. Also a red admiral butterfly outside the visitor centre.
Grasshopper warbler and sedge warbler on the Aird Meadow, willow warbler, a pair of greenfinches,1 male siskin and 1 male bullfinch.
8 tufted ducks and 1 goldeneye on the Aird Meadow. A pair of GS woodpeckers at the feeding station, along with a pair of siskins, a male redpoll and a male bullfinch. 2 blackcaps and 1 treecreeper along the Aird Meadow trail. Also a red admiral, meadow brown and small tortoiseshell butterfly.
14 mallard, 6 tufted ducks, 4 goldeneye, 7 mute swans and 1 cormorant on the Aird Meadow. Overhead, 1 sparrowhawk, 1 raven and 1 buzzard. A dipper on the River Calder, also 2 house martins, 3 sedge warblers, 4 willow warblers, 1 spotted flycatcher and 1 bullfinch there. At the feeders, 2 GS woodpeckers, 1 sedge warbler, 1 willow warbler, 4 long tailed tits, 6 house sparrow, 2 siskin, a redpoll and a bullfinch.
Let's hope for another week of glorious weather!
Unfortunately our Wilson Hide was burnt down on the 1st of July and we have arrived this morning to a smoldering wreck of what was once one of our best loved view points. Both the police and fire brigade attended the scene last night be we don't know any more information about what might have happened.
Needless to say, that area of the reserve has been taped off and we're sorry that you will no longer be able to visit that hide.
However, with all bad comes good and any future viewing facilities we build in that area will be much improved for you, our visitors. We'd be really grateful to hear any suggestions you might have for making our new viewpoint the best ever.
Other than that, it is a beautiful day and we shall make the most of the rest of the summer that is to come.