Easter well and truly lived up to its reputation of being a busy time of year and we aren’t just talking about the visitors. Our Easter trail and children’s activities were a real success and it was lovely to see families getting out and exploring nature. We have had some much-needed relief in the wet, cold and windy weather allowing the migrant birds, butterflies and wildflowers to really come into their element.

The once quiet office now has a noisy reed warbler, a chiffchaff giving it some welly and a pair of Canada geese nesting with some near misses from time to time as they try to land. Other migrants filling the reedbeds with sound are sedge warblers, common whitethroats, grasshopper warblers and willow warblers and blackcap. We are still waiting the return of the iconic cuckoo. In previous years we are delighted with the sound of this bird as well as sightings. We are keeping our fingers crossed and any day now we hope to hear the infamous sound.

Image credit: Kirsty Lindsay

The warmer weather and wildflowers have brought out numerous species of butterfly. Brimstone being the first one seen and now we are seeing orange tip, peacock, small and large white and small tortoiseshell. The first dragonfly of the year was spotted on the 24th. Some very exciting news this month is our first Shrill carder bee has been spotted. This is the UK’s rarest bumblebee.

Image credit: Rhiannon Munro

Marsh harriers have seen frequently and often a pair have been seen displaying in the sky. The bittern is a little quieter but a sighting on the 24th gave some relief that it’s still around. One species that seems to be thriving is the bearded reedling. Sightings mostly by one of our staff members who seems to always get their lunch break at the right time! A nice addition to the sightings this week was a redstart amongst the shrubbery. 

image credit: Kirsty Lindsay

One of our volunteers who is excellent at bird song and calls identified a yellow wagtail flying overhead on the weekend as well as the lesser whitethroat hiding in the hedgerows. Swallows have been spotted flying over the visitor centre and grass snakes who were basking on the paths a few weeks ago are now swimming in the lagoons!

As the nights get warmer our moth trap reveals are becoming more and more exciting. Our recent trap had 38 moths of 8 species including 17 brindled beauty’s, 2 early tooth striped and 2 streamer. Keep an eye on our social media as we gear up for international moth weekend. Come along on the 21st May where we will do a reveal from two traps and a guided walk for daytime flying moths.  

Image credit: Kevin Hewitt

Bearded reedling, Bittern, Blackbird, Blackcap, Black-tailed godwit, Blue tit, Brambling, Bullfinch, Buzzard, Canada goose, Carrion crow, Cetti's warbler, Chaffinch, Chiffchaff, Collared dove, Common Whitethroat, Coot, Cormorant, Curlew, Dunlin, Dunnock, Gadwall, Goldcrest, Goldfinch, grasshopper warbler, Great spotted woodpecker, Great tit, Green woodpecker, Greenfinch, Grey heron, Grey wagtail, Greylag goose, Herring gull, House sparrow, Jay, Kestrel, Kingfisher, Lesser black-backed gull, Linnet, Little egret, Little grebe, Long-tailed tit, Magpie, Mallard, Marsh harrier, Meadow pipit, Moorhen, Mute swan, Oystercatcher, Peregrine falcon, Pheasant, Pied wagtail, Pochard, Raven, Red kite, Redshank, redstart, Reed bunting, Reed warbler, Robin, sedge warbler, Shelduck, Skylark, Snipe, Song thrush, Sparrowhawk, Spotted redshank, Starling, Stonechat, Swallow, Tufted duck, Water rail, Wheatear, whimbrel, Wigeon, willow warbler, Woodpigeon, Wren, yellow wagtail, brown-banded carder bee, Tawny mining bee, Buff-tailed bumblebee, red-tailed bumblebee, shrill carder bee, Brimstone butterfly, Green-veined white butterfly, holly blue butterfly, large white butterfly, orange tip butterfly, Peacock butterfly, Small Copper butterfly, Small tortoiseshell butterfly, small white butterfly, speckled wood butterfly, bank vole, Fox, Grey squirrel, Otter, Rabbit, Stoat, Water vole, Weasel, Grass snake.