The play area (climbing frame area, not the woods or swamp) will be temporarily closed for a short period as we are installing a new Play Tower- we apologise for any inconvenience.
Between the rain and shine today there was a lot to be seen at the reserve on a receding tide this morning. From an unusual appearance by a non-native Black swan on the Main Lake, to the huge variety of chicks, ducklings and goslings wandering around the paths – there is certainly a lot of life here at the moment!
Linnet have been spotted around the Peninsular Saltmarsh and Brickworks area. These are small finches that feed on insects and seeds. They are widespread and can be found on farmland and open fields, however numbers have unfortunately dropped in recent decades due to loss of hedgerow and scrub habitats and other reasons. So always nice to see them at Castle Espie!
The Terns have also started coming into the reserve more frequently and are often seen over the Saline Lagoon and out fishing on the Estuary. Sandwich terns have been flying over and Common terns (pictured) are showing lots of interest in the tern raft at Saline – hopefully looking to nest. A couple of Common seals were also spotted sunning themselves out on the lough – I know they’re not birds, but still a nice addition to the morning count!
Estuary - visible from the Brent Hide and the Limekiln Observatory
Mute swan 3, Cormorant 3, Curlew 3, Greater black-backed gull 2, Lesser black-backed gull 4, Little egret 1, Black-headed gull 20, Light-bellied brent goose 36, Oystercatcher 161, Mallard 3, Eider 3, Goldeneye 1, Herring gull 17, Gadwall 2, Great crested grebe 3, Common seal 4
Main lake - visible from Sensory garden and Visitor Centre
Black swan 1, Kingfisher 1, Mute swan 1, Mallard 6, Black-headed gull 14, Tufted duck 1, Moorhen 1
Shingle Bank - visible from Sensory garden and Visitor Centre
Oystercatcher 594, Mallard 15, Black-headed gull 18, Greylag goose 2 (8 goslings)
Wadermarsh - visible from Wadermarsh lookout and Brent Hide
Coot 2, Mallard 3, Shelduck 2, Black-headed gull 11
Freshwater Lagoon - visible from Brent Hide and Crannóg
Tufted duck 1, Gadwall 5, Mallard 9 (with ducklings), Black-tailed godwit 1, Coot 2, Black-headed gull 112, Moorhen 4 (with chicks), Mediterranean gull 2 (flying), Sedge warbler
Saline Lagoon - visible from Limekiln observatory
Gadwall 1, Black-tailed godwit 2, Black-headed gull 51, Redshank 50, Wood pigeon 1, Common tern 1 (flying)
Jackdaw 3, Linnet 2, Blue tit
Black-headed gull 16, Mallard 1
Shelduck 1, Lesser black-backed gull 1, Hooded crow 1
Magpie, Robin, Blue tit, Great tit, Coal tit, Blackbird, Wood pigeon, Chaffinch, Blackcap, Goldcrest