Summer is usually a quiet affair when talking about the birds. That’s not because there isn’t any, it is just that as the summer progresses the business of rearing the next generation is in full swing. If you are patient and willing to spend time observing the reeds and bushes, you will observe many warblers – such as whitethroats, reed warbler, sedge warbler, blackcap all secretly collecting food for the young. However, the visitor centre provided a brief glimpse in to this secret life over the summer with Blue Tit, Kestrel, Tawny Owl and most recently a Stock Dove all rearing their families in the gaze of our admiring visitors.
The silence is broken as you approached the harbour at Church Norton as the clammer of the seabird colony fills the air, there is no secret where they are nesting. Through the summer the arrival of parents in a constant stream has mesmerised our visitors as the peaceful harbour was set alight with all the activity. Over the last few years this thriving seabird colony has expanded with records set every year in the five. This year was no exception with record number of Sandwich Tern (174 prs), Black Headed Gull (523prs) and Mediterranean Gulls (15prs) the Little and Common terns. As we draw close to the end of the season the harbour fills up with the young, the fruits of all the labour of their parents. Figures are impressive as a minimum of 610 Black Headed Gull, 119 Sandwich Tern, 13 Little Tern, 17 Mediterranean Gull and 12 Common Tern have fledged.
The summer is not known for the more unusual visitors but there is always something of interest, but a singing Quail at Medmerry in June was a nice surprise as it held a territory for a week before going quiet. Did it find a mate, or did it move on?? who knows. The warm weather in June and early July brought a Mediterranean to the reserves and this was matched by some of the birds that came to visit. The stilt pools at medmerry became the favourite place for a spoonbill. By the middle of July 3 Cattle Egret and a Great White Egret was reported from Halsey’s Farm.
As it heads for the end of July the autumn migration will begin and the first returning waders have been reported with Wood Sandpiper, Spotted Redshank and Greenshank present around the reserve.
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