What a changeable Spring it has been. April as we know, was the driest and coldest on record for quite a few years with a frost nearly every night, and though the days were sunny the air did not warm up. This then has been followed by one of the wettest May's on record for Wales and it has only been in the last week that it feels like Summer might be here.

So how has this affected the birds?

Well to begin with the cold weather and the northerly winds acted as a buffer keeping many species further south so that many birds arrived later than normal, just as they began nesting the wet and still cold weather came in with May. That said we have a good list of birds to see and enthral.

On the wetland areas and pools there are lapwing, redshank, oystercatcher, skylark  with nests and now young. These areas are also great for spotting teal, moorhen, snipe, grasshopper warbler, great white egret, heron, little egret, curlew, goosander and red breasted merganser. 

The woods are full of the sounds and activities of pied flycatcher, willow warbler, chiff-chaff, garden warbler, black cap, redstart, tree pipit, crossbill and goldcrest.  In early Spring lesser spotted woodpecker could also be heard drumming and occasionally  seen in the woods.

Sand martin, house martin, swallow and finally swift have all been seen over the pools and fields or screaming across the sky.

Good sightings of buzzard, raven, red kite and osprey.

The highlight for May was the rare second only record for the county of a Squacco heron which was here for a few days before disappearing off. Spotted by one of the wardens Tom Kistruck who managed to swiftly catch it on camera.

Our volunteers have been busy checking the nest boxes on the reserve to monitor in particular pied flycatcher numbers, more of that later in the season.

Anonymous