The sun has been shining on Caerlaverock this week and the butterflies are out and about everywhere enjoying the good weather.
…You’re sure of a big surprise. You might come across some lesser spotted wardens, or something else…
The reserve is starting to look and feel different with the signs of spring becoming more and more noticeable. The long belts of golden daffodils can still be seen but starting to be replaced with cheerful primroses, lesser celandines, and ramsons. The hedgerows are bursting with clusters of tiny white flowers from the spiny blackthorn, wood from this shrub has been used to make walking and riding sticks. Our winter migrants may be on the move, but the staff has started to see and hear some of our summer migrants. The melodic rippling song of the willow warbler was heard from the willow thickets, this tiny bird feeds on insects and can be seen fluttering at the end of branches searching the undersides of leaves for aphids. Our reserves and centre manager had one of his online meetings livened up with the presence of 120 redshanks on the Folly Pond. Other members of the reserve team while out on the merse doing a recce for the spring and summer surveys got several sightings of the highly camouflaged snipe, and were charmed with the rich song of the male skylark as they soared upwards, hovered effortlessly, and then parachuted back down to the ground. Red kite sightings are increasing on the reserve, the four ruffs are still hanging around and can be seen from Avenue tower. Daytime whooper swan numbers may be declining but a pair of goosanders are now taking ownership of the Whooper Pond getting up close to the Peter Scott observatory. The two mute swan nests on the flood ground are growing daily, nest building can take up to two weeks, and staff is excited to see how many eggs will be laid. We still have good numbers of shovelers on the Folly Pond, the barnacle geese are still around and have been taking a preference to the Folly field in the past few days. This week the sparrowhawk has been spotted over the paddock, Folly field, and along the Saltcot Loaning. The swan feeds may have finished but the webcam is still on the Whooper Pond during the day and still swapping to the badger feeding station after 16:30 to catch those badger antics. Click on the link below.https://www.wwt.org.uk/wetland-centres/caerlaveroc.Tide Times:Fri 08/04 17:38 7.3mSat 09/04 18:45 6.8mSun 10/04 07:29 & 20:20 6.8/6.6mMon 11/04 08:57 & 22:46 7.3/7.5mTue 12/04 10:12 7.3mWed 13/04 11:03 7.9mThu 14/04 11:43 8.5mFri 15/04 12:20 8.9mPhoto credit: Faith HillierBirdsMammalsMute SwanHareGreylag geeseRoe DeerCanada GeeseWeaselShelduckStoatMallardFoxGadwallOtterShovelerBadgerTealWater voleMoorhenBank voleCormorantLittle EgretGrey HeronBuzzardKestrelPeregrine FalconMerlinSparrowhawkGolden PloverOystercatcherLapwingCommon SandpiperRedshankBlack-tailed GodwitCurlewSnipeBlack-headed GullCommon GullHerring GullGreat Black Backed GullWood PigeonCollared DoveGreat Spotted WoodpeckerSkylarkYellowhammerRedwingFieldfareMeadow PipitPied WagtailDunnockChiffchaffSong ThrushBlackbirdGreenfinchGoldfinchWrenGreat TitCoal TitBlue TitLong-tailed TitTreecreeperJackdawRookCarrion CrowRavenStarlingHouse SparrowTree SparrowChaffinchLinnetTwite
Walking with the wigeon, but definitely not a duck. Mingling amongst the red shank, but look closer...
If you want to catch the whoopers before they go, now is the time! With all this beautiful weather many have decided to start setting off for Iceland and we now only have about 12 of our lovely whoopers left.
A male hen harrier was seen yesterday from the Peter Scott Observatory, and one seen out on the saltmarsh today, dipping in and out of creeks and flying low over the gorse. We have also had several sightings of two red kites this week.
The past few days have been busy on the site, with an abundance of wildlife. The star of the show is undoubtedly the otter, but we've also had sightings of Hen harrier, Oystercatcher, Curlew and fantastic numbers of Barnacle geese and Pink footed geese.
Despite several stormy days this last week there has been plenty to see on the reserve.
Wind and rain have ran wild on the reserve over the past few days but that hasn't stopped plenty of wildlife being present at Caerlaverock. With Long-eared owl, Goosander, Hen harrier, Great white egret, Golden plover and Grey wagtail all being spotted
Spring is starting to come to life at the reserve with the hedges full of Bullfinch, Yellowhammer, Chaffinch and Greenfinch just name a few! A Long -Eared Owl was also spotted, as well as a Hen Harrier and plenty of waders.
It is very lively here at the reserve with great numbers of waders and waterfowl, lots of raptor activity and even an otter visit!
A bit of excitement this week with a green-winged teal on the folly pond, which is a rare sighting. It has been spotted most days this week. And two water rails on the peter scott trail were seen yesterday near the end of the day.
It has been a cracking start to the year with so much to see on the reserve! We have had flocks of dunlin, golden plover, oystercatchers and lapwings, and two hen harriers.
Water rail on the trail
While out on the merse this morning, the reserve team counted 9 little egrets out on the saltmarsh.