Recent Sightings 13th May 2024

The tide was way out for this mornings count on the reserve, which meant waders including Curlew, Oystercatcher, and Bar-tailed godwit were busy feeding on the exposed mudflats. Light-bellied brent geese grazed alongside Shelduck, and Common terns were flying over Strangford Lough, easily distinguishable from gulls with their elegant, swallow-like shape.

A female Goldeneye (pictured) was on the Main Lake, amongst Tufted ducks, Gadwall, and Mallards. Female Goldeneye have the same distinctive bright yellow eyes of their male counterparts, but are a brown and light grey mix rather than the striking black and white of the male with his iridescent head plumage. They are a diving duck, meaning they will dive under the water to find food, and can stay submerged for up to a minute at a time!

The Great spotted woodpeckers have been seen frequently in the Woodland, and it’s hopeful a pair are nesting in the Upperwood. Even if you don’t catch a glimpse of these shy, elusive birds – you may be able to hear them calling to each-other!

Estuary - visible from the Brent Hide and the Limekiln Observatory

Common tern 2, Mallard 2, Curlew 4, Hooded crow 1, Herring gull 25, Shelduck 2, Oystercatcher 34, Lesser black-backed gull 9, Bar-tailed godwit 22, Little egret 1, Black-headed gull 9, Common gull 2, Light-bellied brent goose 65

Main lake - visible from Sensory garden and Visitor Centre

Tufted duck 2, Gadwall 2, Mallard 4 (13 ducklings), Great spotted woodpecker 1, Moorhen 2, Coot 1, Goldeneye 1, Blackbird, Great tit, Blue tit, Robin, Wood pigeon, Wren

Shingle Bank - visible from Sensory garden and Visitor Centre

Jackdaw 4, Black-headed gull 24

Wadermarsh - visible from Wadermarsh lookout and Brent Hide

Mallard 5, Black-headed gull 12, Moorhen 3, Swallow 3, Snipe 1

Freshwater Lagoon - visible from Brent Hide and Crannóg

Sedge warbler 2, Wood pigeon 1, Jackdaw 2, Black-headed gull 3, Mallard 5, Tufted duck 1, Wren, Hooded crow

Saline Lagoon - visible from Limekiln observatory

Black-headed gull 43, Common tern 2

Peninsula Saltmarsh

Reed bunting, Sedge warbler, Meadow pipit, Great tit, Blackbird, Shelduck 2

Peninsula Field

Hooded crow, Wood pigeon


Mallard 2, Swallow, Jackdaw 1, Blackbird, Robin

Limestone Lake

Grey heron 1, Mute swan 2, Jackdaw 4, Black-headed gull 4, Wood pigeon, Blue tit, Willow warbler, Song thrush, Great tit, Blackcap, Cormorant (flying over), Lesser black-backed gull (flying over)


Wren, Wood pigeon, Chaffinch, Blackbird, Robin, Great spotted woodpecker, Goldcrest, Great tit, Blackcap, Blue tit

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