Yet another mixed unsettled week, with the weather reports always needing to be taken with a big pinch of salt here at Burton Mere Wetlands.
When the sun has made an appearance, the usual gorgeous butterflies have been out like painted lady, wall brown, speckled wood and fabulous dragonflies like southern hawker and emperor. The common lizards have also been catching the eye of our more observant young visitors on both sides of the visitor centre.
Photo by Elliot Montieth
We are still getting some wonderful views of migratory birds like green sandpiper, wood sandpiper, common sandpiper, ruff, greenshank, occasional spotted redshank and also ringed plover this week. We have a regular visitor (great egret) on the reception pool most mornings who was released a few months ago. w
As I write this, we only have two Avocets left on the main scrape. All our other avocets have headed off now to their wintering sites after a brilliant breeding season. It always leaves me feeling a bit sad for a few days after they leave and the gloomy weather rolls in. Nevertheless, soon the reserve will be filled with more wonderful autumn and winter wildlife. Wader numbers will also start to build as water levels are looking good.
Photo by Paul Jubb
We have already started to see the lapwing and black-tailed godwit flocks building from the visitor centre, especially as we have had more raptors chasing them around recently like sparrowhawk, a family of five kestrel, marsh harrier and peregrine.
One afternoon we had a fabulous view of a black-tailed godwit being pursued by a peregrine. I only wish I could have filmed the visitors watching as they all knelt to the floor in the visitor centre to try catch the action as the birds went higher and higher to escape the peregrine. One godwit was singled out and we all braced for the expected impact, then there was a huge sigh of relief as the peregrine missed and the godwit re-joined the flock.
Hobby have been a nice later sighting recently. With two birds seen together earlier in the week then the individuals on other days.
It has been a quiet week with staff away and on training courses, but Liz and our brilliant volunteer wardens have still been hard at it. They’ve been cutting back the constant growing vegetation and clearing the edges of the paths so we don’t get stung by nettles and brambles.
Wild Challenge Family trail: Creatures of the Night Thursday from 1 August to Friday 30 August. Click here
Wirral Wader Festival with Binocular and Telescope Open Day on Saturday 31 August and Sunday 1 September. Click here
Heritage Open Day on Thursday 19 September. Click here
Autumn Wildlife Wander on Wednesday 25 September. Click here
Great picture of the godwits.
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