With so many reported sightings over the past couple of days we wanted to keep everyone up to date with what can be seen during a visit to Fairburn Ings.
The number of Grasshopper Warbler just keep increasing with 10 now being a cautious estimate, these little birds are now being heard, if not seen across the whole of the reserve. There have also been a number of cuckoo heard calling, at the moment they seem to be around the Main Bay tip and the stacks, the area to the left of Pickup hide. We also had an Osprey flying over the stacks today and a late report came in of an Osprey flying over Main Bay on Sunday.
There have been a range of duck and wader species across the reserve with amongst others Lapwing, Snipe, Ringed and Little Ringed Plover being seen today and Avocet, Mediterranean Gull, Black-tailed Godwit and Garganey, along with a single Goosander yesterday. There have also been 2 Little Gull on Village Bay for the last couple of days.
Four Wheatear have been seen by Lin Dike, with a Greenland Wheatear on Moat field yesterday as well, this subspecies is seen in the UK around the end of April stopping off on the way to its Northern breeding grounds.
Again the signs of spring are all around with 6 Great Crested Grebe making the most of the reserve teams man-made Willow island nests and a number of Buzzard were seen displaying.
There are still large numbers of Butterflies around, with 27 Orange Tip, 14 Speckled Wood and 10 Peacock seen yesterday.
The Grasshopper Warblers have been out in force this weekend with up to 6 being heard across the reserve. One of the advisory group was lucky enough to get a picture of one of these secretive birds, have a look at the Gallery for this and other reserve photographs.
The first Common Terns of the year were seen over the weekend as well, with a single individual on Saturday and 3 seen yesterday flying around Village Bay amongst a flock of Black Headed Gulls. There have also been a pair of Garganey on the reserve, they were seen from Cut hide on Saturday and then in Village Bay yesterday and this morning there has been the first report of a Cuckoo up on the Tips.
The Black Swans now have young with 4 Cygnets being seen from Cut hide, as well as a Water Rail, Green Sandpiper and Kingfisher. There was also a Garden Warbler heard down Cut Lane.
There have been up to 7 Whitethroats down at Lin Dike, with Blackcap and Lesser Whitethroat, which have also been heard along the Riverbank trail along with Reed Warbler and Willow Warbler.
The Avocets are still being regularly seen by Hickson's Flash, and across the rest of the reserve there have been a March Harrier, Dunlin, Pink footed Goose, Common Sandpiper, White and Yellow Wagtail, Little Ringed Plover and daily sightings of Swifts.
Further afield there was a sighting of a Ringnecked Parakeet at Allerton Bywater on Saturday morning.
There have been a number of sightings of Grasshopper Warbler at Lin Dike this week. Also at the West end of the reserve have been pairs of both Goldeneye and Gadwall, a small flock of Avocet, up to 23 Black Tailed Godwit seen on Tuesday, and a Whimbrel was seen flying West over the flashes on Wednesday. Also seen by the flashes on Wednesday were 3 Little Ringed Plover and a Marsh Harrier.
At Main Bay on Monday was a single Little Gull, with Common Sandpiper and White and Yellow Wagtail seen later in the week. Whilst there were Greenshank, Green Woodpecker and Green Sandpiper seen from Cut hide on Thursday.
Across the rest of the reserve there have been sightings of Whitethroat, Lesser Whitethroat, Blackcap, Swift, Kestrel, Kingfisher and Buzzard.
Whilst not on the reserve a highlight of the local area was a Wryneck seen in the back garden of one of the houses in Fairburn, this very unusual visitor was only there for a short while, but the resident managed to get a good view.
An early morning walk round Main Bay tip today provided views of Ringed Plover, Blackcap, Whitethroat, Swift, Green Woodpecker, Yellowhammer and 2 Roe Deer.
Other wildlife seen this week include numerous Butterfly species, with 6 different species being seen on Thursday, including 29 Green Veined White and 19 Orange Tip. There was also the first recorded sighting of a Dragon/Damselfly this year with a Large Red Damselfly seen on Thursday. 3 Brown Hares were also seen across the road from the car park.