Recent sightings

Yet another fantastic week of wildlife! The wall brown butterfly has been showing well now on the reserve seen typically near the railway end but occasionally near the visitor centre. There have also been some azure and large red damselflies and four spot chaser dragonflies around the boardwalk pools and the garden ponds.

On the main scrape we have had great views of three male garganey, wood sandpiper, little-ringed plover, 10 pairs of Mediterranean gulls on the scrape and the surrounding area. Huge flocks of gorgeous rusty red black-tailed godwits feeding in the same area and on bridge pool.

 Garganey by Lynn Greenstreet

There have been at least two different curlew sandpipers seen this week from Marsh Covert Hide and Inner Marsh Farm Hide. The second bird in more of its summer plumage than the first.

The birds of prey have been a bit quieter but still worth keeping a look out for as hobby are seen more frequently as more dragonflies emerge. A lucky couple of visitors caught the sparrowhawk perched on the fence really close to the visitor centre feeders looking for an easy feed. We are occasionally getting exciting sightings of the peregrine swooping and dropping over the main scrape trying to catch the black-tailed godwits. So far unsuccessfully.

There are now 58 avocet pairs and many adorable fluffy chicks on the main scrape!

Star sighting

Burton Mere Wetlands could now be one of few places where we may have all five heron species nesting in the wood opposite Marsh Covert Hide. Along with the little egret and grey heron pairs, visitors are getting brilliant yet quite comical views of the spoonbills struggling with huge sticks to build their nest. The cattle egret are also nesting just beneath the spoonbills and can be found in the field opposite the Bunker Screen, if not in the trees. They are looking so beautiful now with their brilliant punky orange hairdo and pale orange chests. Just recently we have had two great egrets almost in full breeding plumage behaving like they may want to nest. Fingers crossed for a full house!

  Spoonbill by Lynn Greenstreet

Wardens' wanderings

Out on the reserve there are still plenty of surveys going on. One of the most recent surveys however, took place in Wales at Point of Ayr which involved a general wader and wildfowl count. Behind the reserve on cycle path our residential volunteer Jake was out patrolling the trail keeping up a presence along with answering queries about the wildlife. On Tuesday one of the team was out mowing the path edges, which never seems to stop growing!

Get involved

The May family quiz trail ‘Baby Birds’ is out for all the family to learn and get inspired.

The next guided walk is the Spring Wildlife Wander on Wednesday 29 May for a casual look at anything and everything of interest on the day. For more information click here.

Don’t forget on the Sunday 16 June Dads go Free. For more information click here.

On Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 June, we have an Optics Demo for chance to get expert advice and try a broad range of binoculars and telescopes before ordering from our new shop. For more information click here.

On Friday 2 and Saturday 3 August. Family visitors can start booking on our Big Wild Sleepout. For more information click here.