A yellow-browed warbler tops the list of recent sightings; a first record of the species for the reserve was seen along the Lin Dike footpath (also known as Arrow Lane) on October 12th. This species is a vagrant from Asia and is more commonly found on the east coast but numbers are increasing and more birds are being located inland at this time of year.

Yellow-browed Warbler - Keith Boyer (Library photo)


An expected decline in waders recently due to the high water levels around the reserve as a result of the recent floods. Notable sightings have seen the return of a great egret joining the resident cattle egret with the odd little egret being recorded. Over 50 snipe were recorded around the flashes on 12th October with up to eight curlew noted as well. Wildfowl numbers have been down as well with the odd good day thrown in, 110 pochard were on Spoonbill Flash on 8th October with 34 pintail seen on 13th October. Other reported sightings have been up to eight wigeon and nine whooper swans visiting New Flash on 12th October.  Raptors noted have been up to six buzzard, hobby, peregrine, three marsh harrier, red kite and kestrel. Four stonechats were reported around Lin Dike on 16th October with over 70 redwings and a blackcap in the same area on 19th October, plus four willow tit and three cetti’s warblers.

Redwing - Pete M

Main bay and village bay

Sightings reported have been up to five goldeneye and five ringed plovers. The gull roost produced a 1st winter caspian gull Caspian gull on 11th October and a yellow-legged gull on 16th October.

Kingfishers have been seen regularly along Cut Lane with over 50 blackbirds and 20 redwings being noted on 11th October.  A brambling was seen near the car park on 19th October. A single goldeneye and goosander were reported on The Cut.

Caspian gull - Keith Boyer (Library photo)

Coal Tips

A greenshank was noted on Big Hole on a couple of occasions with up to three snipe also seen. 90 lapwings were noted over the coal tips on 6th October with seven snipe, 27 meadow pipits and around 100 redwings over on the 7th October. 80 meadow pipits were noted flying over on 8th October with 24 snipe recorded flying over on the following day. There have also been several sightings of swallows, up to three stonechats, blackcap and three siskin around the area. Raptors noted have been of a hobby on 11th October and a marsh harrier on 19th October. The starling roost is increasing steadily and the last count was 1500 on 18th October.

Stonechat - Pete M

Visitor Centre

Species noted around the visitor centre have been blackcap, ten song thrush, willow tit, and tawny owl with regular sightings of kingfishers at the screen. Twenty siskins were seen on the Discovery Trail on 17th October with a single wigeon and shoveler recorded from Pick Up hide on 12th October.

Willow tit - Pete (Library photo)


Numbers of pink-footed geese were 1200 south-east 12th October, 110 west 14th October, 110, 70 & 90 east on 19th October.Ten whooper swans heading east on 13th October. 5150 wood pigeons recorded heading south on 17th October with 3150 also heading south on 18th October.

Butterflies & Dragonflies

Current list of butterflies reported on the reserve are, small copper, red admiral, small white, speckled wood, comma. Sightings around the reserve of migrant hawker, common darter


A mink was seen on spoonbill flash on 8th October, a roe deer was seen around the Big Hole on 17th October. Good specimens of fly agaric were found along the riverbank trail and on the Coal Tips.