As we move further towards autumn, the presence of wading birds on the lagoons and estuary is becoming ever more noticeable with both greater variety and numbers.
Green sandpipers are currently proving to be a highlight with up to four present since 27/7 and showing particularly well in front of the Benarth hide. Other notable waders have included a juvenile little ringed plover on 27/7, greenshank on 22/7 and 29/7, and 9 bar-tailed godwits on 26/7. Whimbrel have often been present among the larger numbers of curlew, while a few black-tailed godwit and dunlin have been regular. Snipe are starting to arrive back and we can expect their numbers to build up into the winter, while at least two common sandpipers, one of our summer migrants remain on the lagoons.
A great white egret has also made reappearances on 22/7 and 23/7 and individual Mediterranean gulls were present on 22/7 and 23/7 among the large flocks of black-headed gulls.
We've also seen a reappearance of water rails after their absence during the breeding season, with individuals often showing well near the reed edges from the Tal-y-Fan hide and boardwalk screen since 19/7. A juvenile redstart on 1/8 was another first autumn sighting. A peregrine was noted on 21/7 and the presence of two shoveler, also on 21/7 was slightly unseasonal. Juvenile grey wagtails have been a regular sight from the Carneddau hide, and a treecreeper on 30/7 was notable as they're rather scarce on the reserve.
Mammal sightings have proved interesting over the past couple of weeks with visitors reporting a polecat on 23/7 and 28/7. This follows confirmed records from our trail camera earlier in the year. A water vole was also seen on 21/7, again following other confirmed sightings from earlier this year which was the first time they were recorded on the reserve. Foxes and stoats have also been seen regularly.
A few days of rain following several weeks of hot and dry weather resulted in amazing numbers of baby common frogs emerging which could be seen for several days all over the car park, many of the trails and around the visitor centre area.
It’s also been a great summer for insects with plenty of five and six-spot burnett moths present, along with many butterflies including ringlets, gatekeepers and commas.
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