Typically, as soon as the schools broke for Easter, the weather broke after almost a month without rain. But the rather grotty weekend weather didn't deter people from getting out and seeing wildlife.
This was our first week of 'proper' Spring migration, with small groups of sand martins passing through since the first on Sunday evening (20th), swallow on Wednesday (23rd), wheatear on Saturday and Sunday (26th/27th), and a willow warbler reported yesterday (the latter does seem early but the Bardsey Bird & Field Observatory has already recorded a couple). Several chiffchaffs are now singing around the reserve, and house martin seen on Friday and over the weekend is our earliest ever sighting.
A jack snipe has been seen intermittently from the Coffee Shop, among a small group of snipe, while the wintering water pipit remains (to Sunday 27th at least). Waders are starting to pass through, with black-tailed godwit yesterday and a ringed plover on Saturday. A lesser redpoll has been seen throughout the week around the wildlife garden and boardwalk, amazingly 'tame', and a goldcrest has been singing in the same area - last year, one held territory here; will it do the same again?
On the lagoons, shelduck numbers are increasing, a few more shovelers have turned up, and a couple of pochards remain, but the goldeneyes have gone (last on Sunday 20th). A second-summer Mediterranean gull was a good find on Friday (25th). The starlings are still murmurating, but now we're in British Summer Time, they don't start until around 7.15pm. Over the next couple of weeks, we expect numbers to diminish as they head back towards Russia.
Queen bees are the first to venture out, looking for a suitable place to found a colony, and we've seen a couple of buff-tailed this week. Still no butterflies - surely the next sunny day will bring our first. But the ponds have been alive with spawning frogs and toads - the Bridge Pond is the best place to look, but we've seen them in both the main lagoons too, hopefully a sign of good water quality. Thanks to Brian Mottershead for sharing his frog photo on our Flickr page (we think it's doing pull-ups in its own gym).
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