This weeks blog is being posted on behalf of Emma Drainey.

Recent sightings

The hot weather this week has let the butterflies and dragonflies steal the show, with peacock butterfly, brown hawker dragonfly and a hummingbird hawkmoth.

 Image: Brown hawker by Neil Francis

Luckily the thunderstorms didn’t scare away any of the birds with great white egret juveniles still being seen with the adults. A spotted redshank juvenile was also spotted at Inner Marsh Hide as well as water rail and snipe returning to both the scrape and Marsh Covert Hide. Green and common sandpipers still visit the reception pool most days. The kingfisher is becoming more regularly seen around the garden pools and meres, with the spoonbills being sighted over at Parkgate.

Although other orchids have died down now (the bee and marsh orchids), the broad-leaved helleborine has started to flower. 

Friday saw us have a wonderful BBQ to say thank you to all our wonderful volunteers, so to all those that help out at the visitor centre, wardening team, Point of Ayr or wherever, thank you again, it is your hard work that keeps the reserve running.

Star sighting

Marsh harriers are this week’s star sighting with them visiting the scrape and marshes. We can confirm that the pair at Neston reedbed successful raised three juveniles which are now starting the visit different areas of the reserve.

 Image: Marsh harrier by Andy Davis

Warden wanderings

Though the majority of the wardening staff have been away on a conference for the start of the week, the dedicated volunteers have still continued to maintain the reserve. A new viewing stand has been put up at Burton Point looking over the marshes to replace the old one which had broken.  The reedbeds near Marsh Covet Hide and the reedbed screen have also been cut back so hopefully some of the birds will be easier to see now, including the bearded tits.

     Images: View from Marsh Covert Hide by Emma Drainey

Get involved

The launch of our 40th anniversary badges went off without a hitch and there are still some available in the visitor centre if you haven’t had a chance to get the cattle egret badge yet.

Big Wild Sleepout will be next weekend (2 Friday and 3 Saturday) so hopefully the weather will hold out for some good old family fun times.

Places on the August Badgerwatch have been going fast but there are still limited spaces available, so book now. 

Wild Challenge quiz trail available every day with July's all about our beautiful butterflies.