Despite the wet cool weather recently, a cuckoo was heard calling from the Wet Woodland area on Friday 15 June and later spotted in Hollowood. Is this a sign that summer’s not far away?
The shelduck on Wader Lake have produced three broods of duckling but one of them has switched broods. He stands out from the rest as the ducklings he has joined are at least a week younger. See if you can spot him!
The oystercatcher pair that nested on Tern Island has hatched two chicks and moved them onto East Island.
The meadows are looking fantastic at the moment with bee orchid, yellow rattle and meadow cranesbill in bloom.
Saline lagoon update
Allowing the saline lagoon to establish with as little disturbance as possible is really paying off. In recent days we have had a small flock of curlew and shelduck roosting there and as I undertook a late evening survey of the area I watched a pair of common tern taking great interest in one of the islands.
As well as the regular otter tracks, deer tracks have now also been noted on the mud edges of the lagoon and in Hawthorn Wood. It is really exciting to see what has and may yet be attracted to this new habitat.
The ground at the back of the lagoon trail is being prepared for what will hopefully be a fruit orchard and drainage work is also continuing along the lagoon path.
Reserve habitat management
With the avocets due to hatch, we have been very vigilant monitoring the weather conditions, as well as managing the sluice gate at Wader Lake to avoid the avocet and tern nests flooding.
The volunteers have been very busy this week clearing vegetation from the fence line, as well as managing North Wood Glade by removing dominant grasses and weeds and allowing the desirable woodland flora to flourish.
The North Wood sculpture seating area has been cut and enhanced with extra ferns and looks fantastic. Path edges from the otter enclosure to the River Wear have also been cut and tidied.