July has been a headlining weather month breaking record temperatures and lashings of rainfall combined with ear splitting thunderstorms. But the little feet around the reserve have continued to thrive.

Here’s a quick round up of some of the juveniles (and adults) seen around the reserve.

Young lapwing (Pic: Pete Short)

It looks like it’s been a great year for breeding lapwing at the reserve and across Yorkshire this year. It’s great to see good numbers of young as well as adults at the reserve and we’re hoping for a bounce back for lapwings in coming years. We will of course be doing all we can to help them along.

Although one of our most numerous birds and very wide spread it’s a joy to see young pied wagtails now flying but still hassling parent birds for food. These two sat patiently waiting for food as the adults flitted frantically around working hard for them.

Juvenile little egret. (Pic: Pete Short)

Little egrets continue to show well. This juvenile little egret was making the most of a sunny spell to search for food. Whilst in inclement weather this group of 22 were sheltering on Xerox – there was a total of 30!

Little grebe with juvenile.

Another diligent parent is little grebe. Little grebe’s seem to have done well on the reserve this year with young on several of the lagoons including ousefleet flash lagoon, xerox, marshland and townend all boasting these cute little divers.

Juvenile stonechat (Pic: Pete Short)

Is this juvenile stonechat proof of breeding on the reserve this year? There has been a pair on the grazing marsh all summer, but young stonechats can disperse early so this one may have come from elsewhere.

Young bearded tit.

This young bearded tit was amongst a group of 4 that came out of the margins at marshlands hide – sadly the others shot straight back into the reeds but this one dropped onto one of the muddy island edges earlier today.

There’s been a good crop of them around with up to 20 birds being seen recently (usually on sunnier less windy days!).

It would be remis of me not to mention the marsh harrier fledgling numbers.

Juvenile marsh harrier.

Breeding data for Blacktoft this year  – 13 pairs, 9 successful nests and 17 young at the reserve with over 30 young fledging within a 4km radius!

And of course It would be churlish of me not to bring you the odd “ugly duckling”. These cygnets are always a pleasure to see – who said they’re ugly?

Mute Swan Cygnets

Of course there’s evidence of other youngster around even if they haven’t been caught on camera.

Sedge warbler.

This adult sedge warbler was busy collecting food to take back to its young.

Yellow hammers

This pair of yellow hammers looked to be collecting konik hair, possibly to re-line their nest?

Of course juveniles haven’t been the only birds on the reserve. There’s been plenty of adults about too and wader numbers continue to build all around the Humber including Blacktoft.

Flocks of greylags are gathering together and moving around the reserve and arable fields beyond. This “white” greylag stood out in a crowd.

As well as snipe lots of other waders have dropped in.

Black tailed godwits.

30+ black tailed godwits on marshland.

Spotted Redshank (Pic: Pete Short)

Marshland seems the favoured spot for waders including this spotted redshank although Xerox has also been popular.

Other waders seen at the reserve including redshank, green shank, green sandpiper, common sandpiper, snipe, curlew, dunlin and ruff.

Whilst out completing WeBS surveys Pete even spotted a little stint on Blacktoft apex (not visible from the reserve).

Spoonbills continue to fly through heading east towards Alkborough, occasionally dropping in to feed.

Spoonbill (Pic:Pete Short)

Although the young barn owls have now left the box it’s still possible to catch a glimpse of them as they shelter from the inclement weather (both wet and warm).

Barn owl sheltering in box.

Mediterranean gulls seen on Whitton Island.

I’ve seen plenty of grey partridge on my drive to work but Pete caught this brood as he made his way to the reserve. Local arable land still holds a good population of this species.

Grey partridge (Pic: Pete Short)

Pete also spotted this yellow wagtail. They love to hang around the grazing marsh and koniks ponies which provide a midden full of insects to feed on.

And finally!

They are big boots to fill but Pete has passed the mantle of blogging to me for the time being. I will of course be constantly pressing him for the latest news from around the reserve (and picking his brain too!) I’m sure there’ll be occasions when he pops up but for the moment the demands on his time means my small feet will be trying to fill his big shoes.

In other reserve news here’s a reminder of facilities open at the reserve. You’ll be pleased to know we are able to offer limited refreshments e.g. hot and cold drinks and snacks.

  All hides, toilets, car park, refreshments, trails, outdoor meet & greet.

 Reception Hide.