As a bit of advance warning, at some point in July we’ll be starting to use the PaybyPhone system in our car park. We currently rely on a payment post, which has worked well, but the fact it keeps getting broken into, means that using the phone system will be a big improvement. It will also take cash handling out of the equation and will allow us to see who has paid. As before RSPB members, volunteers and Blue Badge holders will park for free, and for now at least, the charge is staying the same, £1 for up to 2 hours and £2 for anything more. The system will allow you to pay over the phone or by using the PaybyPhone app, full information will be displayed in the car park. Who knows, with these technological advancements maybe the next step will be to have a fleet of robots giving you guided tours of the reserve! All money from the car park feeds directly into the reserve budget, which is very helpful.

Things are going well at Langford, the wildflowers are looking wonderous, the common terns seem to be very happy with their new raft and almost every swan in the country seems to floating around on the crystal-clear waters. In terms of birdlife, this time of year is always a bit quieter with them skulking around in the undergrowth, feeding their young or trying to recover from the labours of parenthood. There is still lots about though and with the water levels dropping away revealing shallow muddy areas, there’ll be plenty of feeding opportunities for herons and wading birds. Good numbers of black-tailed godwits have been on site recently and a great white egret is being seen on a semi-regular basis.

Photo below is of the common terns on the raft, adults as well as some chicks. The terns mainly eat small fish and it's always impressive seeing them diving gannet-style into the water to catch them. Photo taken by Stuart Carlton. The raft was funded by Notts Birders and is close to the 360 viewing area.

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