Mel, our catering manager, witnessed a rare event yesterday - mallard ducklings (seven of them) jumping out of the willow at the edge of the car park. This tree was reduced in height earlier in the year to prevent it from becoming unstable and it was a matter of some debate as to how much we took off the top. It is nice to know the resulting 'chimney' was of use to a female mallard as a nest site and the ducklings made the 10m drop to the ground safely (don't worry, they bounce!). Below are pictures of said willow before and after its reduction, and its appearance now.
Fledged nightingales can be seen/heard in at least two places around the trail currently - often with an adult 'croaking' nearby. Floods of last week have dropped right back to something like normal, although it still remains very wet for June. Large numbers of herring gulls and black-headed gulls remain with a few med' gulls mixed in. A few black-tailed godwits, 2 green sandpipers and at least one greenshank dropped in over the last few days. Red kite, buzzards and hobby noted yesterday. Two young barn owls can been seen live on TV in the visitor centre - they are sometimes 'off camera' in the corner of the box, but they are just getting to the amusing/inquisitive stage and are quite active.