It has been quite some time since I last wrote a blog, this is because I have been busy helping with surveys around the site.

This week has been a bumper week in terms of monitoring with lots of exciting animals being seen around the reserve, especially chicks!

On Saturday the Tees Ringing Group were in checking nest boxes around the reserve. They found tiny tree sparrow chicks and well grown blue tit chicks which were close to fledging age (as of Sunday the blue tits did fledge!!). I also headed out to Dormans Pool where butterflies had been abundant recently, including dingy skipper, however I only came across common blue and large skipper on this occasion.


 Blue tit chicks by Tom Allen 

 On Sunday the wardening team headed out to undertake the monthly Wetland Bird Survey (WeBS Count), there was already a noticeable increase in gadwall which have occurred in nationally significant numbers during the summer months in recent years.

On Monday we surveyed The Tanks and Haverton Pools. So far we have recorded broods from mallard, coot, mute swan, shoveler, great crested grebe and pochard to name a few. We also ventured out to the wet grassland to monitor lapwing productivity. Whilst searching for lapwing chicks we spotted some exciting birds including curlew sandpiper, wood sandpiper and yellow wagtail.


 Lapwing chick by Dean Heward

 Tuesday saw the team head out to the farmland to record breeding birds, this survey was an exciting one for me as I got to see a very striking bird – the yellow wagtail. We recorded several pairs as well as a continental yellow wagtail with a pale blue head.


Channel yellow wagtail a cross between blue-headed and yellow wagtail by Tom Allen.

So now it’s time to put the feet up and enjoy the weather and get ready for more surveys in the next few days.