It’s been a couple of weeks since my last blog and there has been all kinds going on.......the breeding season is now in full swing. Lapwing have been nesting around the reserve, they have been quite early this year so keep your eyes peeled for their downy chicks wandering around the marshes pecking at everything they come across. Avocet have also taken up residence outside of Sandgrounder’s hide, giving possibly the best views around (in my unbiased opinion).
Avocet from Sandgrounder’s by Barry Smith
There was a brief visit by a spoonbill, the cattle egrets have been taking a look at the new influx of cows out on the marsh and last week I was driving home along Marshside Road and spotted a hooded crow sitting on a fence post preening itself, these birds seldom move more than a few kilometres and generally breed in North-west Scotland and Ireland......there have been a number of sightings logged around the reserve so I definitely wasn’t seeing things.
Elsewhere we’ve been treated to plenty of warbler song – whitethroat, cetti’s warbler, blackcap, reed warbler and grasshopper warbler have all been belting out their favourite tunes. It also looks like the cuckoo has arrived back, a few sightings have been reported around the sand plant area.
There have been the usual residents along the golf course by Fairclough’s viewpoint – great tit and blue tit have been busy nesting but we’ve also had redpoll, pied flycatcher and a tree pipit.
Great Tit by Barry Smith
Rimmer’s Marsh has been busy, common sandpiper, ruff (spotted lekking at the weekend) ringed plover, little grebe and a number of pairs of gadwall. Sutton’s marsh is a noisy place with huge numbers of black-headed gulls nesting, we’ve still got a few Mediterranean gulls and a common gull has also been sighted.
The cold weather has been keeping the butterflies at bay but I did see a couple out in the warm sunshine this morning, peacock, small tortoiseshell and speckled wood.
Speckled wood by Barry Smith
Unfortunately my internship has come to an end and future recent sightings blogs will be provided by our next batch of interns. Marshside has been an amazing place to work and six months has flown by......it all started with thousands of whistling wigeon on a cold November and has finished with thousands of screaming black headed gulls on a warm sunny April afternoon.......with plenty of brilliant experiences in between. I hope you’ve found this blog useful and please continue to enjoy the wildlife spectacle that is Marshside.