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Recent Sightings - 3rd June 2019

Posted on 03 Jun 2019

An absolute MEGA bird turned up this week! Very excited to share that a Lesser Yellowlegs made an appearance at Castle Espie this week. This is a very rare vagrant to to Britain and Ireland, only 5-10 birds are seen every year. It spent a couple of days in the Freshwater lagoon, flying between the islands searching for invertebrates in the mud. By Friday morning it had vanished, leaving as quickly as it had arrived. Credit for the find goes to Fiona and Mike Walton, over on a wildlife holiday from Yorkshire, didn't expect to see something this special round Castle Espie!

This beautiful wader is native to the freshwater lakes of North America. The bird at Castle Espie was probably blown across the Atlantic ocean by a hurricane some years ago, and has settled into life in Europe. It had stopped at Castle Espie to feed whilst on it's migration North. Despite being on the wrong continent the bird as settled into the same migration pattern; flying south for the winter and flying North in the spring to breed. Unfortunately this bird is unlikely to ever breed, the chances of finding a mate in Europe are very slim, but the bird was in great condition showcasing it's beautiful breeding plumage. Hopefully it will return to Castle Espie on passage another day.

Thank you to Jonny Clarke for the lovely photograph.

Count was taken at low tide this morning.

Estuary – visible from the Brent Hide and the Limekiln Observatory

Black-headed Gull 9, Shelduck3

Main lake – visible from Sensory garden and Visitor centre

Mallard 17, Tufted Duck 4, Coot 2, Black-headed Gull c.50, Goldeneye 1, Moorhen 1, Mute swan 1, Lesser Black-back gull 1

Shingle bank – visible from Sensory garden, Wadermarsh and Visitor Centre

Black-head Gull 18, Mallard 13, Shelduck 3, Greylag 3, Moorhen 1

Wadermarsh – visible from Wadermarsh lookout and Brent Hide

Black-headed Gull 8, Shelduck 1, Moorhen 2,

Freshwater Lagoon – visible from Brent Hide and Crannóg

Mallard 1, Tufted Duck 8, Shelduck 1+7 young, Shoveler 1, Black-headed Gull c.400, Moorhen 1, Black-tailed Godwit 2, House Martin 1, Swallow 1

Saline Lagoon – visible from Limekiln observatory

Black-headed Gull c.40, Common Tern 3, Gadwall 2, Shoveler 1

Limestone Lake

Swallow 1, Long-tailed Tit 3

Peninsula Field and Saltmarsh

black-headed Gull 1, Meadow pipit 1


Mallard 3, Jackdaw 1, Goldfinch 3


Blue tit, Great tit, Coal tit, Goldfinch, Blackcap, Wren, Blackbird, Song Thrush, Robin, Dunnock, Wood Pigeon, Jackdaw

Seen in the past week (not on this morning's count)

Curlew, Linnet, Herring Gull, Teal, Chaffinch, Mistle Thrush, Goldcrest, Starling, Bullfinch, Lesser Yellowlegs


Orange-tip, Small White, Speckled wood,