With all the fun of the Spring Fair now over, my binoculars are back in hand and I've even managed a couple of walks out on the reserve this week. Summer really began yesterday and the reserve looked glorious with trees and flowers in full bloom and the whole place looked radiant in the warm sunshine.
Great news, our spotted flycatchers are back with us again! They can sometimes be seen around the Gatehouse lawns and car park, with other sightings coming from the hide and adjoining woodland.Let's hope they once again use the nest boxes around the Gatehouse buildings,as we've had amazing views of the spotted fly families being raised at close quarters over the last two years. A real treat as this is a bird in decline in many areas.A pair of blackcaps have taken up residence in the work area near the small pond at the rear of the Gatehouse; the males lovely call is coming through the open door as I write!
On the raptor front,a red Kite soared gracefully over the Sandy Heath Quarry on Tuesday and up to four buzzards have been in the air together over the reserve . Hobbies are often seen darting through the skies, in pursuit of the many swifts and hirundines around at the moment ( It seems to be a better year for swifts, am I alone in seeing them in good numbers and in different places to their regular spots this year?).
The raven family are still noisily making their presence known on the new heath, with the family of five birds being seen together quite often.Our warden, Andy, thinks they may move off very soon, but let's hope they return to breed again.
So, with the warblers , flycatchers, cuckoo, hobby and hirundines,we have the full contingency of migrants back on the reserve, the only missing piece being a much wanted nightjar or two!