This week, we've had some nice dry weather on the reserve, although windy and a little colder at times. It's brought out a lot of insect species, with sightings of emperor dragonflies and a range of butterflies, from common blue, to small coppers to peacock, red admiral and painted ladies.

Small copper butterfly - Dave Clarke

Recent bumblebee surveys showed good numbers of brown banded carder bees, buff tailed queens and red tailed cuckoo bees. The mild, wet summer has prolonged the flowering period for many of the wildflowers on our reserve, which is providing a lovely burst of colour in late summer. Our seasonal wildflower meadow walk is still open, so please do take advantage of this on your visit.

Brown-banded carder bee - Dave Clarke

This week, we've had an osprey on the reserve! First sighted here Tuesday afternoon, it's been around until today, seen at both Lade and at Denge Marsh. Ospreys are a migratory bird, coming here in the spring to breed from Western Africa. This one is probably on its flight back home and is taking a few days off to feast on the abundance of large fish in our lakes.

Osprey - Graham Parry

We also have high sand martin numbers at the moment, these beautiful birds are making the most of the thousands of insects on the reserve, a much needed feast to fuel the start of their journey back to Africa too. 

Whitethroats and lesser whitethroats are still around and the odd sedge warbler and reed warbler can be heard. Juvenile cuckoos are still around, but it won't be long before they follow their parents south. A wheatear was seen on the reserve last week, again, making its passage south. It's still a bit early for passage waders to come in, but these numbers should build up a bit more in the next month or so (providing our water levels drop a bit for them - fingers crossed!)

Male wheatear - Graham Parry

The glossy ibis has still been seen on site fairly regularly. It's been a resident at Dungeness for a whole year now!