Its been a while since we put a posting on here, and in turn, a lot of changes have happened on the reserve!
Exciting recent highlights include a Red back shrike, present on the 7th in Julys meadow and giving great views at times and a Great white egret, seen on the 30th and 31st July. Bitterns are being seen regularly from the 2 reedbed screens, spend a bit of time here and you should be rewarded and a fantastic count of 12 Redstarts in Long meadow offers a nice splash of colour to the Blackthorn bushes.
The waders have now finished breeding and the youngsters have grown up and now departed but you can still see Snipe occasionally out in the fields but mainly on the mud in front of the first screen where there have been up to 15 birds so far with hopefully more to come. There are Green, Common and some Wood sandpipers using the reedbed mud and the scrapes in the fields and there have been Black-tailed godwits, Ruff, Dunlin and Little ringed plover also.
An autumnal feel has sprung up recently and there are many birds that seem to think the same. Wheatears, Whinchats and Yellow wagtails are using many of the fields in good numbers as they start to build up for their journeys South. The same can be said for the hirundines. This is a group of birds that includes Swallows and House and Sand martins and many of these have been seen feeding over the water as they build up their numbers preparing for their journey. Many of the warblers are still around and you may get lucky with Lesser whitethroat, Whitethroat, Chiffchaff and Willow warbler amongst others if you watch the hedgreows. Other summer migrants that can still be seen on site include Hobbies and the occasional Turtle dove.
As always, its not just the birds that are entertaining. Brown hairstreaks are nearing the end of their flight period, check out the track to the feeders or up the Roman Road and you may get lucky with a late individual. Other butterflies include Common blues, Clouded yellows and Painted ladies. Have a look in the ditches and pools around the sight as there are some lovely vibrant Migrant hawker dragonflies and look out on a warm day around the path edges, there have been quite a few recent reports of Grassnakes and Lizards, always nice to see!
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