The garganeys continue to be seen on New Flash with up to 7 being seen at once. The garganey is a small, secretive duck so we’re lucky to be getting such great views; the male has a distinct white stripe over the eye. Also in this area, there have been little egrets, black-tailed godwits and greenshanks. Over the road at Spoonbill Flash, there have been snipes, a dunlin and a juvenile little ringed plover.
The bittern has been seen most days in the past week, often flying over from the Lin Dike area. Three green woodpeckers were spotted today on the Link Dike trail and one was also seen down the Cut.
At Pick-up hide, there have been lots of grey heron sightings, along with redshanks, a green sandpiper, a water rail, two ruffs and common sandpipers. The grey herons that are about are likely to be some of the grown up chicks from our heronry, that hatched in April/May time this year. On the feeders at Pick-up, we’ve had great spotted woodpeckers, a willow tit, long-tailed tits and greenfinches.
A spoonbill was spotted at Village Bay and seven common terns were seen on Main Bay. We’ve had a fair few birds of prey in the last week, including a couple of hobbies flying over the visitor centre, a buzzard over Newfield Plantation, and a marsh harrier, a kestrel and a sparrowhawk have been spotted down at Lin Dike.
Just walking along our boardwalk you could see a wonderful variety of butterflies such as brimstones, commas, peacocks, small tortoiseshells and gatekeepers. The number of peacocks is amazing and it's great to see so many after butterflies suffered a bad summer last year.
We're happy to be able to say that we've had two sightings of bearded tits in our reedbeds, they have kept themselves hidden over Spring so it's great news to finally know they're still about!
We had our Moth Night last Friday in celebration of the Big Wild Sleep Out, and it was a great evening. Plenty of interesting moths in the traps and visitors had to be careful to avoid lots of little frogs, toads and newts as they were making their way around the reserve. There were lots of pipistrelle bats flying amongst the trees and one visitor picked up a noctule bat on her bat detector which makes a 'chip chop' sound.
Bearded Tit image from Andy Hay - RSPB images