Dragonflies have provided the main interest recently, with a sighting of a southern migrant hawker near the pond dipping area, a first record for the reserve. Also a report of a red-veined darter, seen by a couple of visitors on the discovery trail. Last but not least, a red-eyed damselfly was seen just off the reserve near Lin Dike car park.

Southern migrant hawker - Pete Carr

Flashes

This is the busiest part of the reserve at the moment, although lacking in variety there have been some regular sightings of good birds so it’s worth spending an hour in Lin Dike hide to see what turns up. Bittern sightings have been short in supply lately but there have been three sightings in the Bulholme area so worth keeping your eyes open if you are walking around that area. Waders have been present most days, particularly on Spoonbill Flash. Species noted have been up to three greenshank, three green sandpiper, four common sandpiper, three little egret, four dunlin, 3 avocet, 3 spoonbill and a single ruff.

Greenshank - Pete M

The cattle egret is still present but can be difficult to locate, it roosts near the heronry on the moat and can be seen from the coal tips, and this is probably the best vantage point for locating it, especially if it’s amongst the cattle in the long grass around the flashes. Raptors noted have been frequent sightings of peregrine and marsh harrier, plus a couple of sightings of a hobby and red kite. Other notable sightings have been of a whinchat, birds noted on the 6th & 14th August. A grasshopper warbler was reported along Lin Dike on the 5th August with two bearded tits flying over Lin Dike hide the same day.

Peregrine - Mark Dillingham

Main bay and village bay

Not much to report from Main Bay lately, notable sightings has been 300 tufted duck on 6th August and ten common tern on 14th August.

A black-necked grebe was seen on Village Bay on 7th August. Not much to report from The Cut area although it is fairly overgrown at the moment, two little egrets being the sole sighting.

Coal Tips

A 3rd calendar year mediterranean gull was seen on Big Hole on 4th and 5th August. Other sightings on Big Hole have been of five common gull, barnacle goose and a wheatear. The lagoons on the Coal Tips have produced two black-necked grebe, greenshank, up to six bearded tits, and a single sighting of a bittern. Four wheatear and a single whinchat were seen around the slopes on 13th August. Raptors noted have been a single sighting of a hobby and numerous common buzzard.

Wheatear - Pete M

Visitor Centre

Willow tits have started to frequent the feeding stations again with birds being seen at the visitor centre and Pick Up hide. A blackcap and great spotted woodpecker have also been seen on the feeders at the visitor centre, why not sit on the balcony and see how many species you can spot using the feeders. A single green sandpiper was seen from Pick Up hide on 16th August.

A notable count over the reserve on 10th August was 400+ swifts.

Butterflies & Dragonflies

Current list of butterflies reported on the reserve are small skipper, meadow brown, common blue, speckled wood, red admiral, green-veined white, painted lady, ringlet, comma, small tortoiseshell, gatekeeper, small white, large white, brown argus, small copper, peacock, brimstone

Gatekeeper - Pete M

Sightings around the reserve of common blue damselfly, azure damselfly, four spotted chaser, banded demoiselle, blue-tailed damselfly, large red damselfly, black-tailed skimmer, ruddy darter, brown hawker, emperor, southern hawker, southern migrant hawker, common darter, emerald damselfly, red-veined darter, emerald damselfly, red-eyed damselfly.

Brown Hawker - Pete M

Other

Bees noted have been large earth bumblebee, tree bumblebee, and common carder bee, stone bumblebee

Wildlife sightings from Pick Up hide have been of roe deer and also a weasel. Two brown hares were seen on Main Bay tip.

For further information check out the sightings book at the visitor centre.

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