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Recent Sightings - 19th August 2019

Posted on 19 Aug 2019

We are starting to see the first signs of summer coming to a close. Our breeding birds are just about all finishing up. The Swallows have fledged another brood of young from their nest in the roundhouse, there are only a few ducklings on the reserve with any downy feathers left and the moorhens have new chicks appearing from what's probably their last brood of the season.

The big success story from the breeding season is our Common Tern chick! It fledged last week and has since disappeared off into the lough with it's parents. This was the first successful pair of breeding terns in Castle Espie's recent history. Ten years ago we had our first Black-headed Gull pair breeding and now we have a colony 800 pairs strong! Hopefully this could be the start of a small colony of Terns breeding here too! ( You could even say, lets hope for another "Long-Tern" success.)

However with the breeding season coming to a close, with Swallows beginning to gather and wintering birds returning to the Lough; Redshank, Greenshank, Lapwing and Curlew are all being frequently spotted again, all the signs are pointing towards the changing of the seasons. But for now, summer clings on! There has been a large emergence of Peacock butterflies this week. You can see these beautiful butterflies fluttering from flower to flower out in the Brickworks or in the Secret Swamp areas. (Peacock butterfly pictured)

Count was taken at Low tide this morning.

Estuary - visible from the Brent Hide and the Limekiln Observatory

Oystercatcher 3, Curlew 2, Black-headed gull 17, Little egret 5, Lapwing 12, Rook 3, Jackdaw 2

Main lake - visible from Sensory garden and Visitor centre

Mallard 17, Tufted 6, Little grebe 1, Gadwall 4, Lesser black-backed gull 1, Little egret 7, Heron 5

Shingle Bank - visible from Sensory garden and Visitor centre

Mallard 72, Black-headed gull 2, Greylag goose 2, Gadwall 3, Moorhen 1, Jackdaw 8

Wadermarsh - visible from Wadermarsh lookout and Brent Hide

Jackdaw 2, Moorhen 3, Black-headed gull 2, Coot 2

Freshwater Lagoon - visible from Brent Hide and Crannog

Tufted 1+2 ducklings, Mallard 19, Moor hen 3 + 2 chicks, Coot 2, Swallow 17,

Saline Lagoon - visible from Limekiln observatory

Little grebe 2,


Goldfinch 4

Limestone Lake

Little Grebe 1

Peninsula field and Saltmarsh

Starling 22, Meadow pipit 5


Blackbird, Wren, Dunnock, Magpie, Robin, Blue tit, Great tit, Coal tit, Chaffinch, Wood pigeon, Buzzard


Painted Lady, Peacock, Red admiral, Common Blue, Small Copper, Meadow Brown, Speckled Wood, Green-veined White, Small White