Another wader and wildfowl breeding season is drawing to its conclusion over at Beckingham at the moment and it’s looking like another success!

Our lapwing numbers have gone up once again, with a total of 16 pairs attempting to breed on site in 2018. This is up by 2 from last year. So far 14 young have fledged and it’s great to see them flying around. There are still more younger chicks around though, so hopefully our final total will increase.

Oystercatcher have bred on site successfully for the first time this year, after failed attempts for the last two years. They have one well grown chick at the moment that looks as if it’s only a few days off fledging, so fingers crossed for this little one!

It is redshank however, that have been most impressive this year. 3 pairs were present at the beginning of the breeding season, with 2 going on to make breeding attempts. A survey last week revealed 3 fledged young and a further 2 only a few days behind them. We are thrilled with this and it’s certainly the most successful this species has ever been on site.


Redshank. Andy Hay (rspb-images.com)

Shoveler have done very well too, with at least 5 broods of well grown young on site at the moment – up from 2-3 successful pairs last year. We have also added a new breeding species to the reserve list….shelduck. Pairs of shelduck have been present for the last few years on site, but we have not been able to confirm breeding until now. Great news!


Shelduck. Ben Hall (rspb-images.com)

The tree sparrow colony is in full swing, with around 110 young fledged from first broods and second broods just hatching at the moment.

Some wildlife highlights from the last few weeks include merlin, peregrine, ruff, barn owl and a stunning common crane that dropped in briefly onto the wet grassland fields – a first for the site. We also found a new plant species for the site - watercress. Our deep ditches are also improving all the time and the aquatic flora at this time of year is impressive!


Watercress.

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