An early return of the cattle egret this year, making an appearance on New Flash on 13th June and it is still present on the reserve. It's a splendid looking bird in summer plumage with it's rich buff crown and chest with the dagger like yellow bill. As the name suggests the egret likes to follow cattle to pick up insects disturbed by their movement. They will also take frogs and you may see them landing in water with a frog giving it a good wash before swallowing it whole.
Cattle egret - Pete M
Up to 12 spoonbills have been seen on the moat, this figure appears to be the actual number of spoonbills on site now with two nesting sites. Waders recorded recently have been up to six black-tailed godwits, two redshanks, ringed plover, six avocet and six little egrets. A greenshank has been on Spoonbill Flash on three occasions on 3rd, 14th, 15th June, along with a dunlin and oystercatcher on 5th June and a green sandpiper on 7th June with two visiting on 7th June. Up to five teal have been seen on Spoonbill Flash with a single wigeon also being noted. Raptors noted have been two peregrines, and a hobby and barn owl both seen on 12th June with a marsh harrier making an appearance on 15th June.
Grey heron - Keith Boyer
An unseasonal bean goose was seen amongst the greylag geese on 2nd June, with a female ruddy shelduck seen on three occasions and a black-necked grebe first seen on 7th June on Village Bay through to the 15th June on Main Bay. Up to 15 avocets have been recorded with seven young, also two oystercatchers with two young. Up to three dunlin have been seen along with two ringed plover and two little ringed plover. There are now 12 common terns on the islands, hopefully some may breed and produce a few chicks. A goldcrest was seen along Cut Lane on 7th June along with a sparrowhawk over Village Bay.
Black-necked grebe - Pete M
A bittern has been seen frequently in flight in around the tips, along with two cuckoos being regularly reported and bearded tits with a maximum of four recorded. Sightings at Big Hole on 3rd June were of a single little ringed plover, wheatear and a hobby. A peregrine has been seen regularly along with red kite and buzzard with the odd common tern also noted.
Two cetti’s warblers can be heard in the vicinity of the car park with one making regular trips around the visitor centre. Two garden warblers can also be heard around the car park area with good sightings of the birds when they sing from perches at the rear of the children’s play area seen from the car park. A barn owl was seen in the vicinity of the visitor centre near dusk on 6th June, and there are occasional sightings of kingfishers at the kingfisher screen. It’s worth checking out Pick Up hide as spoonbills sometimes feed in this area giving great close views.
Garden warbler - Pete M
Butterflies & Dragonflies
Current list of butterflies reported on the reserve are large skipper, dingy skipper, large skipper, small copper, common blue, meadow brown, small white, brimstone, painted lady
Large skipper - Pete M
Sightings around the reserve of common blue damselfly, azure damselfly, four spotted chaser, banded demoiselle, blue-tailed damselfly.
Bees noted have been large earth bumblebee, common carder bee and tree bumblebee
A mink was seen under the feeders at the visitor centre on 2nd June. A fox was seen on the coal tips on 5th June with a roe deer being sighted from Pick Up hide on 7th June.
Bee orchid, northern marsh orchid, common spotted orchid have also been seen around the reserve.
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