The main highlights over the past month were a juvenile black tern (photo by Martin Neale) which was present from 22/8 to 23/8, and a wood sandpiper from 31/7 to 1/8, both of which were mostly seen around the deep lagoon. Great white egrets have been seen consistently around the reserve for the last couple of months now, with at least two birds present on most days and up to four seen on several occasions.
Other highlights of the autumn wader passage have so far included spotted redshank on several dates in August, green sandpiper on 7/8, ruff on 22/8 to 23/8, regular greenshank with maximum counts of six on 24/7 and 8/8, bar-tailed godwit on 29/8 and knot on 22/8, 23/8 and 30/8. Small numbers of black-tailed godwit, whimbrel and dunlin have also been seen moving through on most days while at least two common sandpiper remain around the lagoons from the summer, and snipe continue to arrive for the winter season.
An osprey over the reserve on 3/8 was only the second record here this year, while other notable migrants have included regular juvenile redstarts along with several records of whinchat and wheatear.
Kingfisher sightings have occurred almost daily over the past few weeks, often around the bridge pond or in front of Carneddau hide, while water rail has been seen again on several days. Other notable water bird sightings have included a group of 18 goosander on the estuary on 7/8, individual merganser on 2/8 and 16/8, pochard on 22/7 and 29/8, and a juvenile great crested grebe on 30/8. An adult Mediterranean gull was also seen on 21/7, while sandwich terns have occasionally been seen on the estuary with a high count of 17 on 22/8.
Cetti’s warbler has been heard and seen briefly on 24/8 and 29/8 while many of our regular breeding warblers are still present with recent sightings of reed, sedge and garden warbler along with blackcap, chiffchaff and lesser whitethroat.
The sunnier days have produced good numbers of butterflies, particularly gatekeeper, meadow brown, common blue and speckled wood, while comma and brimstone have also been seen occasionally.
Moth trapping took place for the first time this year on the evening of 11/8 with 43 species recorded, and again on 18/8 with 28 species recorded. Three new species for the reserve were found during the first session, including black arches, pebble hook-tip (photo by Jonni Price) and double-striped tabby. During the daytime, six-spot burnet and shaded broad-bar have often been seen flying, along with occasional cinnabar moths.
Dragonfly sightings have included common darter, southern hawker and occasional emperor.
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