The most exciting time of the year is upon us and the movement is on.........the departure of our winter visitors is underway and the summer migrants are beginning to appear - along with numerous early flying bees and butterflies. 

Colt's foot is starting to push it's way through bringing a splash of yellow around the reserve and avocet numbers are continuing to increase, with around 50 currently dividing their time between Nel's pool and Rainford's pool.

Colt's foot by Barry Smith

Wigeon numbers have dropped considerably over the last week or two, as have the pink footed geese, they are still around but in noticeably smaller flocks . A chiffchaff has been singing it's summer song and there have been a group of goldcrest moving around the reserve, busily flitting around in the trees by Nel's hide and Sandgrounder's. There have been some really big flocks of golden plover (1000+) and black tailed godwit (1500+) and a tundra bean goose has once again been seen on the outer marshes. A number of stonechat have been seen around the edge of the reserve, I was lucky to catch one while I took a walk to Fairclough's view point last Friday.

Stonechat by Barry Smith

Other notable sightings this week are water pipit, a flock of 20 pied wagtail feeding on Crossens out marsh, ruff, little grebe and snipe along with a vast array of raptors - buzzard, merlin, kestrel, peregrine and sparrowhawk.

Round and about there are plenty of teal, gadwall, tufted duck and a good number of mute swans - What a glorious day it's been today, bright blue skies and a nice bit of spring sunshine......sure beats being in the office.

Springtime from Fairclough's by Barry Smith

Long may it continue!!