Recent sightings – June to mid-July 2019

Our new bug viewers have been especially popular with our visitors, providing a glimpse into the normally hidden lives of a range of insects. One new resident is the leafcutter bee, which as its name suggests, cuts away sections of leaf from a plant, and then uses them to line its nest, typically in pre-existing cavities as we have here, or in rotting wood which they can burrow into themselves. The overlapping leaf sections form a cylindrical cell, in which is placed a single egg and a supply of pollen for the larvae to eat once it hatches. The cell is sealed with a single section of leaf. Once fully grown, the larvae will spin a cocoon and pupate, overwintering in the cell and emerging in the spring.


A female leafcutter bee constructing a cell from leaf sections.

We also have mason bee larvae in the bug viewer, which as their name suggest, use various bits of masonry and stone to make a mud cap for their nests.

Both the leafcutter and mason bee are solitary bees – all females are fertile and there is no queen nor worker bees in the nest – there is no sharing of the work as the female does everything herself once she has mated with the male, constructing the nest and collecting pollen. Solitary bees also do not make honey or wax. Solitary bees are important pollinators, and many are polylectic, meaning they collect pollen from a wide variety of species. Leafcutter and mason bees have specialised hairs on the underside of the abdomen to collect pollen.

We are delighted that we’ve had two pairs of spotted flycatchers breeding on the reserve this spring, and we know that one pair fledged four youngsters. This is the first breeding record we have for spotted flycatchers for several years, and given the fact that their numbers plummeted by a startling 89% between 1967 and 2010, we are thrilled to see them successfully rearing young here at Lochwinnoch. These summer migrants are some of the latest to arrive to the UK, normally arriving around late April or early May and you should be able to see them around the reserve until September. Listen out for their characteristic “tseeep” call, and then see if you can spot them perching upright on a branch as they keep an eye out for flying insects to eat. They will often fly after an insect and then return to the same perch, a practice known as ‘flycatching’!



Spotted flycatchers, photos by David Wilkie.

Recent sightings – June 2019

Osprey: seen on 13th, 14th, 19th, 21st and 28th June

Peregrine falcon: seen on 21st June

Mandarin duck: seen on 11th, 14th, 15th and 20th June

Great crested grebe: 10 on 15th June, 7 on 16th June, 8 on 30th June

Greylag goose: 41 on 16th June

Canada goose: 22 on 11th June, 26 on 16th June, 30 on 24th June

Shoveler: seen on 1st, 3rd, 23rd June

Tufted duck: 15 on 15th June, 16 on 16th June, 9 on 22nd June

Water rail: seen on 3rd, 4th, 7th and 8th June

Oystercatcher: 2 seen on 21st June

Lapwing: 20 seen on 28th June

Snipe: 2 seen on 6th June

Whimbrel: seen on 1st June

Common sandpiper: seen on 21st June

Kingfisher: seen on 22nd and 24th June

Swift: 54 seen on 13th June, 32 on 20th June

Sand martin: 3 on 3rd June, 2 on 21st June

Swallow: 17 seen on 18th June

House martin: 8 seen on 5th June, 6 on 18th June

Stonechat: seen on 4th and 8th June

Grasshopper warbler: seen on 3rd June

Sedge warbler: 5 seen on 4th June, 3 on 20th June

Garden warbler: 1 or 2 seen a handful of times throughout the month

Chiffchaff: 2 seen on 4th June

Willow warbler: 6 seen on 4th June, 3 on 22nd June

Blackcap: 9 seen on 4th June, 2 on 22nd June

Spotted flycatcher: seen on 4th June

Treecreeper: 5 seen on 23rd June

Lesser redpoll: 3 seen on 19th June

Bullfinch: 4 seen on 18th June

Reed bunting: 3 seen on 14th June

Raven: 3 seen on 21st June


Recent sightings – July 2019

Osprey: seen on 8th and 16th July

Hen harrier seen on 14th and 15th July

Peregrine falcon: 18th July

Sparrowhawk: seen on 12th July

Buzzard: 3 seen on 3rd July

Little grebe: seen on 14th July

Great crested grebe: 10 seen on 5th July,11 on 14th July

Greylag goose: 29 on 14th July

Canada goose: 43 on 3rd July

Gadwall: seen on 6th July

Teal: 2 seen on 14th July

Tufted duck: 200 seen on 12th July, 108 on 14th July

Water rail: 4 seen on 7th July

Oystercatcher: 4 on 7th July

Lapwing: 32 seen on 8th July, 28 seen 14th July

Snipe: 3 on 9th July, 4 on 14th July

Redshank: 2 on 16th July

Common sandpiper: 1 on 6th July, 2 on 12th July

Kingfisher: seen on 6th July

Swift: 32 seen on 1st July

Sand martin: 4 seen on 9th July

Swallow: 10 seen on 4th July

House martin: 2 seen on 8th July

Grasshopper warbler: seen on 9th and 10th July

Sedge warbler: 2 seen on 5th July

Chiffchaff: 1 on 1st July, 3 on 6th July

Willow warbler: 5 seen on 5th July

Blackcap: 3 seen on 4th July

Goldcrest: seen on 4th July

Spotted flycatcher: seen regularly throughout the month

Nuthatch: seen on 3rd, 6th, 10th and 13th July

Treecreeper: seen on 2nd July

Lesser redpoll: 4 seen on 5th July

Bullfinch: 2 seen on 9 July

Linnet: seen on 6th July

Siskin: 10 seen on 5th July

Reed bunting: 2 seen on 5th July


Notable mammals
Otter (5 July)
Roe deer (17 July)


Moths caught in the moth trap on 19 July:
Six-striped rustic
Haworth’s minor
Bright-line brown-eye
Elephant hawkmoth
Poplar hawkmoth
Burnished brass
Magpie moth
Double square spot
Dotted clay