The reserve is still buzzing with insect life at the moment, with bees, butterflies, dragonflies and damselflies enjoying the benefits of a warmer and drier summer. You can see lots off different species of butterfly around the reserve; just outside our visitor centre we have wildflowers and our wildlife garden, where you could spot red admirals, peacocks, small tortoiseshells and brimstones. If you’re on the Lin Dike trail you’re more likely to see meadow browns or a small copper, whereas on the Riverside trail you can find speckled woods and green-veined whites.
The most common dragonfly about at the moment at Fairburn Ings is the common darter, but you could also see ruddy darters, brown hawkers and migrant hawkers. The damselfly you're most likely to encounter on the reserve is the common blue but you may also spot the odd emerald damselfly. The best places to see these summer insects is around the ponds or alongside the stream so keep an eye out.
You'll definitely spot plenty of bees feeding on our various wildflowers as you walk around the reserve. There are lots of common carder bumblebees about which is the one that is mostly a brown/ginger colour, we also get buff tailed and red tailed bumblebees.
There are plenty of wading birds around on the reserve, with black-tailed godwits and green sandpipers at Pick-up, little ringed plovers on Main Bay and greenshanks on Spoonbill Flash. The bittern continues to be seen flying over the Flashes, and up to 10 garganeys have been spotted on New Flash. Just from our closest hide to the visitor centre, Pick-up, you could watch a variety of wildlife from rabbits and roe deer, to green and great spotted woodpeckers, little egrets and grey herons, to the various finches and tits found on the feeders.
Four crossbills were reportedly seen on Saturday down at Lin Dike, which are a bird from the finch family. They have a large bill which is crossed at the tip, hence the name crossbill, and this allows them to get seeds from conifer cones and other fruits.
It’s your last chance to take part in our summer insect safari on Sunday, leaving the visitor centre at 11am and 2pm. We’ve got expert guides to help you find all the best creepy crawlies on the reserve!
Image of common carder bee on purple loosestrife.