More star turns make a brief appearance on main bay, two juvenile black terns to be precise. They appeared on the morning of the 27th August and stayed until mid-afternoon, a great start to the week for the observers who were lucky enough to see them. The black tern is a scarce spring and autumn migrant to the UK coast and inland waters, they occur in North America and Europe, our visitors are migrating from Europe to the coastline of West Africa and also along the Nile in Egypt and Sudan. They mostly eat insects when breeding; they will take small fish, tadpoles, frogs and snails.
Juvenile black tern - Jon Buxton
Another arrival to the reserve has been the great white egret, which is significant with the cattle egret and spoonbills still being present. If you venture up on to the coal tips and look down over the flashes you may be lucky enough to see all three species in one view, not forgetting the little egrets of course. Who would have thought that possible a few years ago?
A barnacle goose was seen on big hole on the 28th august, with common gulls also being seen amongst the more familiar black-headed gulls. Wheatears have been seen around the trail, with a single on 30th august and two on 1st September. Hobbys have been seen frequently and bearded tits continue to make appearances on the lagoons, adults and juveniles.
Hobby - Pete M
Flashes / Lin Dike
A good variety of birds can be seen around the flashes at the moment, an osprey made a brief visit on 4th September, seen perched in the dead tree on spoonbill flash. The cattle egret is still here on vacation, as well as the wood sandpiper which keeps appearing at different locations. Other sightings have been the resident whooper swan, four green sandpipers, four greenshank, nine snipe, ruff, water rail, nine black-tailed godwits, four dunlin, great white egret and nineteen little egrets on spoonbill flash on 1st September.
Spoonbills can still be seen feeding anywhere around the flashes or can also be seen in flight as they venture further afield for food.
Juvenile spoonbill - Keith Boyer
Garganey and pintail have also been noted, as well as a nice variety of raptors including marsh harrier, peregrine, hobby, sparrowhawk, red kite and buzzard.
A tree pipit passed overhead on 3rd September, also up to ten yellow wagtail and four whinchats around the flashes, spotted flycatcher on 3rd September at spoonbill flash, and a cetti’s warbler seen moving around the phalarope pool.
Wood sandpiper - Pete M
Visitor centre area
A spotted flycatcher gave good views moving between the kingfisher screen and duck feeding platform on the 28th and 29th August. A kingfisher was seen from the duck feeding platform and a cetti’s warbler was seen from pick up hide on 29th august.
Main Bay / Village bay
The most notable visitors to this part of the reserve were the aforementioned juvenile black terns and also an osprey flew overhead on the 3rd September. A juvenile red-crested pochard has been seen from Charlies hide and also occasionally on village bay. Three spotted flycatchers also seen in the cut area and along the riverbank, as well as two lingering whitethroats. Also up to six wigeon, nine common tern and two snipe have been recorded. Two Egyptian geese made a short visit on the 2nd September also.
Spotted flycatcher - Pete M
Newton / Newfield area
Raptors noted over the ridge on single occasions were five red kites, six common buzzards and a single marsh harrier.
Butterflies noted were small white, green-veined white, speckled wood, large white, gatekeeper, comma, meadow brown, brown argus, small copper, holly blue, common blue, red admiral, small tortoiseshell, painted lady.
Dragonflies noted have been brown hawker, southern hawker, migrant hawker, ruddy darter, common darter.
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