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Recent sightings

  • 30 July 2014

    Summer sightings at Fairburn Ings

    a busy week here again at Fairburn Ings! With the start of the summer holidays the reserve is looking on top form as ever with beautiful purple loosestrife growing around the discovery trail next to lots of rosebay willowherb and hedge woundwort. It amazes me how far reaching rosebay willowherb always seem to spread. Apparently ground clearing as a result of the world wars provided perfect conditions for this plant to spread from being a scarce woodland plant to ‘bombweed’ as it’s sometimes referred to! There is also plenty of honeysuckle to be found (and smelt!) along the riverbank. Also keep an eye out for great willowherb along cut lane and the Lin Dike route. Great willowherb does look very similar to rosebay willowherb but without the ring of flowers and with just a single flower-head. Black medick has been living up to it’s name recently also with its black seed pods coiled and ready to plant themselves in the ground to appear next year. Wild carrot is also quite established around the entrance to the playground by the centre. This looks very similar to cow parsley but with a larger head and with long green spindly bracts underneath as an identifying feature. If you notice any new wildflowers, why not pop them in the sightings book?

    Rosebay willowherb – Andy Hay (RSPB-images)

    I was amazed this week whilst walking around the visitor centre in the hot afternoon I came across a whole swarm of peacock butterflies! After getting used to seeing so many small gatekeepers this week it was a shock to 4 or 5 of these large butterflies fluttering round! The markings on the peacock I always think are very stereotypical for a butterfly with four large red and blue eye-like patterns on the wing ends. There are still loads of different dragonflies and damselflies to spot around the reserve. From ruddy darters to large emperor dragonflies you’re sure to see plenty especially by the riverpath on the way to Lin Dike. Brown and southern hawkers which are some of the larger dragonflies and are in fact the fastest flying dragonflies found in the UK giving them the ability to catch their prey in mid-air.

    Male southern hawker dragonfly – Dragonfly days

     

    There were a host of waders to been seen from Pickup hide yesterday with greenshank, common sandpipers, little ringed plovers, snipe, water rail and fifteen green sandpipers! These green sandpipers have spent the week around Pickup hide with their characteristic head-bobbing when standing still. Oystercatchers can also be heard with their playful calls around Big hole and four spotted by Pickup hide on Monday. A tawny owl was seen close to the kingfisher screen this week, bobbing along the path before taking flight! The tawny owls large white framed eyes is the most defining feature for me, giving them a soft look. One of our volunteers has brought some little owl pellets in to put on the nature shelves in the visitor centre so if you’d like a closer look at owl pellets come and have a look!

     Tawny owl – Hootsowls.co.uk

    Lovely lapwings are everywhere on the reserve this time of year after a very successful year of breeding. There were roughly 270 counted at Big Hole last Wednesday and there are still loads to be seen elsewhere on the reserve, especially from Lin Dike hide. A marsh harrier was also spotted over by Spoonbill flash last Wednesday, females are quite easily recognised by their yellow heads and darker brown plumage compared to the lighter plumage of the males. These are such impressive birds and the largest of the harrier family... always a treat to spot! Garganey can still be sighted at New Flash alongside black-tailed godwits which are now quite commonly seen over towards the flashes. It is also worth noticing the large amounts of small rodents around the reserve at the moment with lots of little legs scurrying across paths around the discovery trail in the evenings. With their large litters there are lots of shrews and wood mice scampering around looking to find seeds and berries to eat, and lots of birds keeping an eye out for them too...

    Female marsh harrier – Ben Hall (RSPB-images)

    Posted by Heather W

  • 19 July 2014

    We love our nettles!

    Well the sun has stopped shining but that doesn’t mean the wildlife here at Fairburn Ings has! We’ve had a spectacular morning for moths again this morning after last nights warm evening, perfect for our ‘meet the moths’ session. We could barely catch them there were so many! One of our favourite moths we caught today was a swallowtail moth which has such an awesome shape, amazingly very similar to a swallow with its pointed bottom wings. In total we had 142 moths and that is just a typical day of moth trapping here at Fairburn Ings at the minute with the warm weather. We’ve still have loads of gatekeeper butterflies on the reserve this week, with lots of green veined whites arriving too, especially around the visitor centre. The sound of grasshoppers will be keeping you company now in July. Did you know that the ‘stridulation’ (posh word for the noise they make when they rub two body parts together to make a noise!) is mainly made by the males to attract a female? One other very common insect which has been about this last week is the red soldier beetle. These are red-brown and can often be seen mating on hogweed and other open flowers like cow parsley.

    Red soldier beetle – English Country Garden

    This morning we’ve had lots of green sandpipers with 12 counted at Pickup hide and some over on Main bay alongside common sandpipers. We’ve had a great white egret spotted once again here on the reserve, seen from Lin Dike hide alongside all the many little egrets which are still about and in quite clear view. Some of you might have seen the great video of the two spoonbills which came to visit us on Wednesday afternoon! They were still flying between the Moat and Pickup hide, presuming that they were the same two which came to visit us a few weeks ago!

    Two spoonbills – John Ingham (assistant warden)

    There are a number of warblers making a noise this week including grasshopper warblers over by Pickup on Wednesday and a garden warbler was also heard at Lin Dike on Wednesday. I still love the sound of the grasshopper warbler’s insect-like call! There are still plenty of reed warblers singing over on Lin Dike and around the reserve up from the kingfisher screen. A fox was spotted by Big Hole on Wednesday. Now is the time when foxes will most likely have young so they will be busy looking for food for their young cubs.

     

    Fox – Grahame Madge (RSPB images)

    Our wardens are on a never-ending task at the moment in trying to manage all the vegetation on the reserve! The warm weather, sunshine and rain have meant that everything on the reserve is growing wildly and looking extremely healthy! Our beautiful rosebay willowherb is still growing alongside hedge roundwort along the discovery trail path. We also have loads of honeysuckle growing around Redshale road leaving a lovely scent as you walk through the reserve. One very understated ‘weed’ which is seen as a nuisance to most but is extremely useful for our wildlife is our lovely nettle! Yes I’m not going to pretend I have been stung on numerous occasions and hated the plant but after seeing how useful it is I think my appreciation for nettles has greatly increased! The stinging defence of the nettle provides such a good defence for the plants and also for insects. Firstly they encourage over 40 species of butterflies including peacock and tortoiseshell larvae. Nettle patches swarm with aphids which provide such a valuable food source for newly-emerged ladybirds, blue tits and other woodland birds. Nettles do tend to take-over your garden and sting you but before you start hating them too much just take into account how many insects they provide a home for and how useful that food source is for all of our birds!

    Nettle – Andy Hay (RSPB images)

    Posted by Heather W

  • 13 July 2014

    A fledgling first for Fairburn, plus lots of dragonflies and damselflies

    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.

    Posted by Beki

  • 7 July 2014

    Summer wildflower wonders...

    The past few weeks have been great for splashes of wildflower colour all over the reserve. Switch off for a few days and everything changes so quickly! We’ve got plenty of common ragwort sprouting along Redshale road with its yellow clump of daisy-like flowerheads. There are loads of clusters of ribbed melilot, a tall yellow vetch-like plant and self-heal, a small purple circular plant, both further along Redshale road near the area of bare ground. One other tall purple-pink plant that has been sprouting around the discovery trail this week is rosebay willowherb... I always associate seeing these alongside the train tracks! Fluffy white meadowsweet is smelling lovely on the Discovery Trail with loads of purple hedge woundwort popping out in above the undergrowth. Common centaury is also looking very pretty and flowering along Redshale road with loads of common birds-foot trefoil also flowering at the minute. I used to call these mini-broom flowers as they do look very similar to the yellow gorse or broom flowers. Lovely sweet smelling honeysuckle is definitely out in force now and is attracting loads of lovely fresh-faced butterflies!

    Meadowsweet - Andy Hay (RSPB-images)

    Whilst walking through the reserve early this morning, the definite highlights were the butterflies! Walking through Village Bay field we firstly became surrounded with fluttery ringlet butterflies, at Charlie’s hide some second brood green-veined white butterflies were busy amongst the reeds and under the silver birch trees past cut lane speckled woods and meadow browns were plentiful. One comma flew past us as we walked along Redshale road before landing amongst some hawthorn, quickly we noticed there was not one but five commas on the same tree and a gatekeeper resting on some brambles just below! It is such a great time to get to know your butterflies this time of year, they are literally everywhere and the colours are very prominent.

     

    A pair of commas

    For the past two days the glossy ibis has been showing off at Lin Dike hide, we’ve had some great very close up pictures of the celebrity ibis, so let’s hope he sticks around a bit longer. Our avocet parents and two chicks are still about at Pickup hide looking very well, we are waiting for the time when the chicks are ready to fly... hopefully they can do it! Sand martin chicks are starting to fledge now from the wall some of them having an easier time than other’s with the many predatory birds hanging about with a watchful eye. We had about 40 black-tailed godwits flying eastward over the reserve on Saturday and have had a number of other waders including three redshanks at Spoonbill flash and a green sandpiper at Pickup hide. Also keep your eyes out for ruby tailed and ichneumon wasps amongst the deadwood along the Discovery trail.

    Black-tailed godwits – Chris Gomersall (RSPB-images)

    Posted by Heather W

  • 3 July 2014

    Spectacular spoonbills and a glorious glossy ibis...

    We’ve had a lovely warm week here at Fairburn Ings. I’ve got to start this sightings blog with the wonderful flying spectacle we had this morning as me and my fellow volunteers walked along the road path into the reserve. The insects were out in force this morning which originally wasn’t great, but looking up and seeing the sheer amount of swifts above our heads made it all the more bearable! There have been loads swooping above Main Bay this morning and after lunch. I still find it amazing how swifts manage to stay on the wing without ever stopping to perch. It’s been a record year for our sand martins this year as well with the wall looking very full with nearly-ready to fledge chicks. If you look carefully you can make out their little heads just poking out of the wall holes!

     

     Sand martin – Jenny Thorne (Residential volunteer)

    The glossy ibis is back! Its attracted loads of attention once again from all, especially whilst it was over at Pickup hide on Thursday. A group of us spent the day running back and forward from the hide in the attempt to catch a glimpse, it wasn’t until 5 o’clock when we were supposed to be closing up when we actually managed to see the ibis... and boy what a show. We had the two protective avocets with their chicks, little egret, lapwing, a suspicious looking heron and glossy ibis all grouped at Pickup hide. If only the spoonbills had come to join in too! We’ve had sightings of the two spoonbills again this morning over at Lin Dike hide but they have also been seen this week at Pickup. Our lovely avocets have been perhaps a little over-protective of their chicks scaring away all the other birds!

    Two spoonbills – Darren Starkey

    Ringlet and meadow brown butterflies have been plentiful this week, with counts reaching over a hundred throughout the reserve. Red admirals have also been starting to show this week with their striking red bands. Red admirals are one of our migrant butterflies originating from central Europe; they are just starting to emerge now and will stick around until the beginning of October. We’ve also had our first sightings of the impressive emperor dragonfly on the reserve this week. This is one of the UKs biggest, most colourful dragonflies so is probably one of the most obvious to spot - despite the fact that they rarely settle for you to have a good look at it!

    Emperor dragonfly – British dragonfly society

    We have had a surprising amount of little egrets this year on the reserve with 14 counted at once over on the flashes earlier in the week and with 13 counted at Lin Dike yesterday. There are also a fair few juvenile little egrets within these groups as well. A snipe has been seen this week over at the Moat and also at Pickup with water rails also still about. Last night we also had two green sandpipers at the Moat these look very similar to other sandpipers but with almost black upperparts and slightly smaller. Our female mandarin has still been about at the duck feeding platform this week, she is quite easy to spot by her thick neck and white-eye stripe. Especially amongst all the numerous juvenile mallards and swans with their cygnets bombarding people with their duck seed at the platform!

     

    Snipe – Chris Gomersall (RSPB-images)

     

    Posted by Heather W

  • 27 June 2014

    'Pickup' some wildlife delights!

    Fairburn Ings is teaming with great wildlife sightings at the moment! Yesterday and this morning we had a pair of spoonbills over at Pickup hide; they have been lingering around Pickup this morning and have been spotted flying over towards the Moat and Lyn Dyke. This is the second sighting of this heavily conserved bird here at Fairburn this year, and is definitely worth a look for their classic spoon bill! Pickup hide has also played home to a family of avocets this week! They travelled from Main bay where they hatched right over to Pickup hide, believably for more safety and perhaps for a bit of a break from the black-headed gulls! These are chicks are about 5/8’s in size so we’re hoping that they will reach adulthood. They are already loosing their downy feathers and adapting their classic black and white plumage. These will hopefully be the first successfully bred avocet chicks ever at Fairburn Ings!

    Avocet chicks - Chris Gomersall (RSPB-images)

    Whilst walking up to Bob Dickens hide the other morning I was amazed at how many brown butterflies were fluttering amongst the undergrowth, they were meadow browns. These are starting to emerge now in June/July and are very similar to speckled woods but without the white eyes on the wings. Other fluttery spectacles include ringlet butterflies and gate keepers which are also becoming more common now in summer. Blue tailed damselflies have been plentiful all along Cut Lane this week, with over 300 being counted in one day! Ruddy darter damselflies have also been spotted this week around the reserve. These are smaller than common darters, males are red and females are more of an orangey-brown, both with forward facing wings. They prefer weedy ponds so the discovery trail is great place to find these amazing damselflies.

    Male ruddy darter – Graham Calow (Nature Spot)

    Viper bugloss has been growing steadily next to the visit centre these past few weeks, this flower is considered an invasive species in some areas as it originally comes from Europe but you still have to appreciate the beautiful colours of this flower. The buds start off pink and turn blue with red stamens poking out of the flower head. Another tiny delicate flower I have noticed growing along cut lane is woody nightshade, or bittersweet. This is a beautiful small purple flower with a long yellow centre which grows right in the hedgerows; you do have to look very carefully to see them! Himalayan balsam is flowering at the moment and lots can be seen down by the kissing gate on the way towards cut lane. Although these are invasive you still can appreciate the striking large pink flowers!

     Woody Nightshade – Victor Thomas Coughtrey

    We had a great viewing of a red kite swooping over Big Hole this morning and a peregrine was spotted by the Pylon next to the flashes. Loads of little egrets have been spotted lately. Seven were seen at Lyn Dyke hide yesterday, with plenty more at Pickup, Lyn Dyke and over by the Flashes. A water rail was also spotted by Parkers pond making the familiar squeaking sound! A mandarin has just been sighted by the duck and swan feeding platform opposite the car park. There is also plenty of juvenile action around the reserve, with juvenile blue tits surrounding the feeders and competing for feed alongside the adults. There is definitely plenty about here at Fairburn Ings so why not pop down this weekend for a spot!

     

    Posted by Heather W

  • 23 June 2014

    Blooming wildlife in the sun

    Its been a beautiful week at Fairburn Ings, with glorious sunny weather pretty much every day. Its meant the reserve has been alive with insects, and the wildflowers are looking stunning, the orchids in particular have been putting on a great show. Head past the Kingfisher Screen and up Red Shale Road, on the left are several southern marsh orchids.  Although we are of course in The North, the southern marsh orchid is much more common here, the northern marsh orchid is occasionally found in the area, but its stronghold is further north, particularly in Scotland. 

    Further up Red Shale Road, on the right before you get to the kissing gate, there is a pyramidal orchid in the field, it is just over the fence, but you can see it quite well from the path.  Head along the Riverbank trail towards the village to find our third orchid, the bee orchid. They are a little bit harder to find and not easily spotted from the footpath, ask in the visitor centre for more details about their location.

    As well as the orchids, there are plenty of other wildflowers in bloom at the moment, the wildflower triangle in front of the visitor centre looks stunning, it is full of hedge bedstraw, and the chicory is about to flower.  Along the dry stone wall there are some lovely vipers bugloss and oxeye daisies. All these flowers attract plenty of insects, including bumble bees and butterflies.

    (Photo of vipers bugloss along the drystone wall at Fairburn Ings by Beki Williams)

    At this time of year we put our moth trap out regularly in the hope of seeing some hawkmoths, we’ve not been disappointed this week, with lots of elephant hawkmoths, and poplar hawkmoths, we also had a new one for me, a lime hawkmoth, it just looks like a camouflaged fighter jet with the beautiful green colours.  Also in the moth trap we’ve had a buff arches, green silver lines, drinker and much more. If you want to get a bit of a closer look at some of these moths then be at the visitor centre on Sunday 29 June for our Meet the Moths event, we’ll be checking our light trap from 10am, come and help us identify the catch.

    (Photo of lime hawkmoth by Beki Williams)

    There have been plenty of sightings of little egrets recently, usually from Lin Dike hide, although they do occasionally drop into Pickup Pool as well.  Also down at Lin Dike a redshank and a ringed plover have been seen with their young, there have also been several reports of grasshopper warblers calling and a female garganey on Cedric’s Pool.  We had lots of reports of kingfishers over the weekend, the young have fledged now and its likely they are finding their feet on the reserve, so we’ve seen them at Pickup pool, the feeder screen, the pond dipping pond and the Kingfisher Screen as well as down on Cut Lane.  

    For the most up to date sightings information please pop into the visitor centre and check the recent sightings book, and don't forget to let us know what you've seen when you visit.

    Posted by Beki

  • 17 June 2014

    From bee orchids to bitterns...

    What a weekend we’ve had for sightings at Fairburn! From bee orchids to bitterns it’s been a great time to visit us here in sunny West Yorkshire. Southern marsh, pyramidal and bee orchids have been spotted around the reserve looking beautifully delicate contrasting against the lush greenery. Bee orchids are so named for their bee-like-look which they have evolved to attract certain types of bees, unfortunately we don’t have the correct species of bumblebee in the UK so bee orchids are self-pollinated here. These can be spotted along the Riverbank trail with some close to Bob Dickens hide. We’ve had a few sightings of emerald damselflies this week alongside the now common azure and common blue damselflies. Ruby-tailed wasps have been spotted around the discovery trail this week. These are very pretty with their shimmery turquoise heads and red abdomen and are a type of solitary wasp. They can sometimes be classed as ‘cuckoo wasps’ for laying their eggs in the nests of other solitary bees and wasps! I was lucky to see a photo of ladybird eggs and larvae this week... it’s always worth asking what discovery trail camera people have seen! You just don’t recognise these as being linked to the classic ladybirds we’re all so used to seeing. It is definitely worth taking your time walking around the discovery trail this time of year as there is so much to see in amongst the wildflowers and hedgerows.

     

    Bee orchid – Jane Mowson (RSPB ranger)

    One little bird that hasn’t been in the sightings book for a while is the treecreeper. These lovely little bobbing birds have been described as ‘tree mice’ and nest behind loose bark in trees, in ivy or even behind building cladding. One was seen along the board walk on the discovery trail but they can quite often be seen creeping up and zooming down trees around Village Bay hide. There have been regular sightings of a little egret at Pickup hide skulking in amongst the reeds over the past week. It amazes me how these beautiful white birds keep themselves looking so immaculately white whilst wading through the murky water! I was excited to see that we now have sightings of juvenile lapwings at New Flash! It’s great to see these amazing birds breeding successfully. New Flash also holds pochard broods and little grebe juveniles.

    Juvenile lapwing – Andy Hay (RSPB-images)

    We managed to have two very exciting sightings yesterday; the first of a water shrew over by New Flash! These are largest shrews in Britain with long pointed snouts, short black velvety fur and small white tufts behind their small ears. Water shrews only have a lifespan of 19 months and are not very common in the UK so it’s great that we’ve had a sighting of these elusive little mammals. Also yesterday we had an amazing sighting of a bittern flying towards Main Bay! Bitterns have had a lot of publicity lately after Springwatch captured the first wonderful footage of bittern chicks, which I’m sure all nature-lovers enjoyed (they did it for me!). I managed to hear my first booming bittern two months ago standing at the pond dipping platform here at Fairburn, and boy what an incredible sound they make! These really are brilliant birds and having them in the sightings book really was a treat when I got into work this morning!

    Bittern – John Bridges (RSPB-images)

    Posted by Heather W

  • 12 June 2014

    Sunny sightings at Fairburn Ings

    It’s a great sunny day at Fairburn Ings so prepare for another sightings blog! The reserves invertebrate collection is looking really healthy at the minute with loads of common blue and azure damselflies fluttering amongst the reeds and four spotted chasers hovering over the ponds. A gatekeeper was spotted last Wednesday afternoon along the Riverbank trail. These butterflies have a very distinguishable black spot on the tip of their wing with chestnut-brown wings going to grey on the outer edges. It is still slightly early to see these butterflies out and about as they’re usually expected mid-summer... definitely a sign of a warmer spring! Brimstone butterflies have had a very good year this year at Fairburn Ings there can be loads of them still seen fluttering busily around the discovery trail.

    Gatekeeper – UKbutterflies

    We’ve had three black-tailed godwits over on New Flash this week; these are large wading birds with orangey-brown chests in summer. The species can often be confused with bar-tailed godwits which don’t have the striped wings and have shorter legs than the black-tailed godwits.

    I have heard a fair few skylarks over the past week around the reserve, whilst walking along Newton Lane and over towards Lyn Dyke link. Along the Link I watched as one skylark did its classic twittering higher and higher up into the air and then looked down to see another one hand landed on top of a gorse bush just in front of me. I love their little wisps on the top of the head like little backwards caps! There have been other sightings of skylarks over on Lyn Dyke link so keep your eyes up!

    Skylark – Andy Hay (RSPB-images)

    We’ve had lots of viewings of kingfishers at the screen this past week as well with some juveniles also being spotted. The best way to tell a juvenile apart from an adult is to look at the brightness of its feet. Adults have bright orange feet compared to the younger bird’s duller more mottled foot appearance. Another give away is to look for the paler beak of the younger bird. These younger birds can be seen keenly experimenting with fishing this time of year. One visitor saw a juvenile catch a water beetle which she got some amusing photos of and showed us at the visitor centre!

     Kingfisher – Mike Richards (RSPB-images)

    The Slavonian grebe is still about at Fairburn this week and can be seen from Bob Dickens hide. Reed, sedge and grasshopper warblers are still plentiful at New Flash and Phalarope pool with some reed warblers also being heard in the reeds at Village Bay field. Another plentiful hopping little bird is the reed bunting. When out helping with a bird survey on the east flashes the other day we saw loads of these little birds bobbing up and down it was impossible to know if we’d already counted them or not! There were ample juvenile reed buntings over the flashes as well which were great to spot. Whilst walking amongst the reeds over on the flashes we came across lots of water forget-me-nots, these are very similar from the wood forget-me-nots which can be seen around the visitor centre and along Riverbank trail. Apart from the differences in habitats, there are a few differences between the two forget-me-not species. Wood forget-me-nots have more azure-blue petals with white-yellow centres whereas the water wood forget-me-nots have more clustered sky-blue petals with bright yellow centres. So you’ll have to have a very close up look!

    Reed bunting – Mike Richards (RSPB-images)

     

    Posted by Heather W

Your sightings

Grid reference: SE4527 (+2km)

Glossy Ibis ()
9 Jul 2014
Common Sandpiper (1)
30 Jul 2014
Tree Sparrow (12)
30 Jul 2014
Little Ringed Plover ()
27 Jul 2014
Kingfisher ()
27 Jul 2014
Gadwall ()
27 Jul 2014
Shoveler ()
27 Jul 2014
Common Tern ()
27 Jul 2014
Stock Dove ()
27 Jul 2014
Green Woodpecker ()
27 Jul 2014

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Where is it?

  • Lat/lng: 53.74373,-1.31765
  • Postcode: WF10 2BH
  • Grid reference: SE451277
  • Nearest town: Castleford, West Yorkshire
  • County: West Yorkshire
  • Country: England

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