There's been a noticeable change in our weather this week. Mornings and evenings are a lot cooler and the wind has a small bite in it again. Last week, the school holidays came to an end and we rounded it off with an event about bees and butterflies for the children. We had a great day out on the reserve identifying bees with help from Izzy at the Bumblebee Conservation Trust and our knowledgeable volunteer, Dave. The children grew in confidence about catching bees as the session went on and were taught how to handle them safely. 

This week, we've had a few unusual birds pop in. A wryneck visited us earlier on in the week and caused some excitement. As did a red-backed shrike. We've also got plenty of wading birds to go around with greenshank, ringed plover, common sandpiper, knott, ruff and turnstone to name but a few. 

Wrynecks are a small woodpecker the size of a sparrow. They are given this name as they are able to twist their necks almost 360 degrees and hisses like a snake to deter predators.

Geese are gathering in large numbers to prepare for their long journeys together. We've seen a noticeable increase in noisy greylags!

Marsh frogs are ever present in our ponds and provide a tasty meal for our hungry marsh harriers, herons, bitterns and grass snakes. This was taken in our wildlife garden pond. Marsh frogs have many different colours and patterns and I love the patterns on its legs.

Marsh frog - Dave Clarke

Our bitterns have been seen almost daily from the viewing ramp. If you want a good chance of viewing one you have to be patient. The parent bittern is flying in and out of the reedbed still feeding its chicks (we had 2 juveniles fledge from this nest!) so give yourself at least an hour to have a chance of seeing one fly in.

Bittern - Dave Clarke

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