The star birds of this year's spring migration were undoubtedly two superb summer plumaged black terns which were present over the lagoons on 8/5 to 9/5 along with hundreds of hirundines when calm, damp and mild conditions were evidently favorable for masses of insects for them to feed on (photo of one of the birds by Marc Hughes).
Osprey sightings continued with reports of birds over the reserve on 9/5, 15/5 and 26/5 while other highlights of spring migration included whinchats on 6/5 and again on 9/5 to 10/5 with up to two females present; little ringed plover on 1/6; steady movements of whimbrel with the last ones seen moving northwards on 28/5; three black tailed-godwits which stayed around over four days from 7/5 to 10/5; and greenshank with two birds on 15/5 and 18/5, and a single bird on 19/5. Wheatear were also seen regularly along the estuary track.
Sandwich terns were also very regular on the estuary throughout May with a peak of 36 on 15/5 when a Mediterranean gull was also present. Two red kites were over the estuary on 7/5.
Many young birds can now be seen around the reserve including little grebe chicks, mallard ducklings and Canada geese with goslings around the lagoons. Elsewhere there are numerous parties of fledgling songbirds in the trees and scrub areas.
Insect highlights over the past month have included brown agus and holly blue butterflies, as well as numerous blue-tailed damselflies. Another noteworthy species has been the goldenrod crab spider with numerous recent sightings on the oxeye dasies and other yellow and white plants on which it has the ability to change colour to camouflage itself. It's distribution is mostly across the southern part of the UK, with Conwy being the most northerly known site at which it is found.
We're also just into the peak time of year to see many of our flowering plants at their best. Many bee orchids are now in flower, some easily found in the wildflower meadow close to the coffee shop, and others further out on the embankment close to the Carneddau hide and along the Ganol trail. Pyramidal orchids can also be found in these areas, while southern marsh orchids favour the areas close to the Ganol trail and the sides of the path to the Vardre viewpoint.
The Big Conwy Bioblitz was held on the weekend of 25/5 to 26/5, close to the official international day for biological diversity on 22/5. The event included a bat walk as well as bird ringing and moth trapping demonstrations, and was attended by many other nature conservation organisations from the local area. Other regular events included the volunteer led Saturday Wildlife Walks, and the Wednesday Summer Evening Strolls, of which the latter will run weekly until the end of June. Muddy Puddles groups for toddlers ran on Wednesdays, Nordic Walking and Tai Chi Workshops on Thursdays, and the monthly Farmers Market was held on 29/5.
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