In the first week of May we had a mixed bag of weather. The wind is still cold but we have had some welcomed rain showers after a very dry April. Our common terns and hobbies have now arrived at our shores. The terns are displaying well over the islands on Burrowes Pit, so we hope we are in for another great breeding season.

Common tern - Dave Clarke

Up to five hobbies at one time have been seen on the reserve, so it's nice they are building up in numbers. There aren't many dragonflies about, which are the hobbies main source of food, so sadly we might lose more of our hirundine (swift, swallow, martin) population to predation from the hobbies due to this. However, it looks like warmer weather is coming, which should urge more insects out of their winter beds, creating fabulous displays for us, as well as much needed food for other wildlife up the food chain. 

Hobby - Dave Clarke

With southerly winds from next week, we should see a small increase in our temperatures and an increase in migrating birds being guided by these winds to the UK. Keep an eye out for a possible rarity if you visit the reserve, unusual birds do pop up now and again!

Yesterday, we had a sighting of a spoonbill at Denge Marsh. These lovely birds do turn up here on the odd occasion and they are very hard to miss. Large, white stork like birds, with an unmistakable black spoon-shaped beak, these birds feed in water on invertebrates and small fish. They are fairly uncommon in the UK, with less than 100 wintering birds and only 3-4 breeding pairs. 

Spoonbills - Graham Parry

Other birds of note seen on the reserve over this week have been a spotted flycatcher, whimbrel, yellow wagtail, ringed plover, bearded tit, lesser whitethroat and glossy ibis.