After the busy Big Garden Birdwatch weekend, Last week was a good time to enjoy a quieter week on the reserve. It was a week of mixed weather, sunshine and blue skies one way you look and dark, stormy looking clouds the other. That is always a spectacle to see when on the higher ground of the reserve. The opposing skies with a rainbow in the middle will never fail to make you stop and take a moment.

Image credit: Anthony Evans

We had some positive news this weekend on our greenfinch front. After a local ringing group came down for a demonstration, they ringed a total of 37 greenfinches! In even better news, staff and visitors have been spotting many more that haven’t got a ring and so we expect we have around 50 greenfinches thriving. Two great places to see them are by our welcome hut in front of the visitor centre and sitting in the café looking out on the scrape and in the willow trees.

Image credit: Olivia Davies

Image credit: Jeremy White

The quieter week meant staff could give our bird feeders a good clean. This is a regular job and is crucial in order to prevent disease spreading amongst our birds. Greenfinch were a species that were hit massively by a disease spread through contaminated feeders a few years ago so we are all happy to see a strong population here at the wetlands again. Don’t forget to keep your feeders, water trays and tables clean and if you start to see birds with clubbed foot stop feeding immediately and clean everything with disinfectant. More information on this topic can be found on the RSPB website.

Image credit: Josh Sankey

Our otter family are still about, and we had some great sightings of a bittern flying over the reedbeds on the weekend. Are you lucky enough to see either of these species on the reserve? Signs of spring are about with a Canada geese pair spotted on the scrape and our usually lonely collared dove who likes the feeders has found a friend.

Image credit: Jeremy White

Bittern, Blackbird, Black-headed Gull, Black-tailed godwit, Blue Tit, Bullfinch, Canada Goose, Carrion Crow, Cetti's Warbler, Chaffinch, Collared Dove, coot, Cormorant, Curlew, Dunlin, Dunnock, Fieldfare, Gadwall, Goldcrest, Goldfinch, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Great Tit, great white egret, green woodpecker, Greenfinch, Greylag Goose, Herring Gull, House Sparrow, Jay, kingfisher, Lapwing, Lesser Black-backed Gull, linnet, Little Grebe, Long-tailed Tit, Magpie, Mallard, Marsh Harrier, Moorhen, Mute Swan, oystercatcher, Pheasant, Raven, Redwing, Reed Bunting, Robin, rock pipit, Shelduck, siskin, snipe, Song Thrush, sparrowhawk, Starling, stonechat, tawny owl, Tufted Duck, Water Rail, Wigeon, Woodpigeon, Wren, grey squirrel, otter.