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.

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Recent Sightings 27th June 2022

We’ve had a few new visitors to Castle Espie this week, along with our usual ducklings, chicks and goslings which are getting bigger by the day! A Gannet was spotted just off the pier which is easily seen from the Limekiln Observatory and from the Brent Hide (with a pair of binoculars). These large white birds feed on fish, and are impressive to watch when feeding – flying high into the air before plunging down straight into the water. They breed around the UK at only a few known locations, so it’s always exciting to see one visiting our shores.

A Skylark (pictured) was also a welcome sight on the Peninsular Field, visible from the Saltmarsh Lookout at the far end of the reserve. Skylarks have been in decline since the late 1970s due to changes in agricultural practices but conservation schemes have seen more wildlife friendly farming taking place to try and help our farmland passerines. They are easily spotted by their tendency to fly straight up from fields, where they nest on the ground and have multiple broods during breeding season.

Estuary - visible from the Brent Hide and the Limekiln Observatory

Oystercatcher 156, Lesser black-backed gull 5, Black-headed gull 13, Rook 9, Curlew 23, Brent goose 1, Cormorant 14, Herring gull 11, Eider 1 (4 ducklings), Gannet 1, Common seal 14

Main lake - visible from Sensory garden and Visitor Centre

Mallard 32, Gadwall 2, Mute swan 2, Cormorant 1, Moorhen 1

Shingle Bank - visible from Sensory garden and Visitor Centre

Mallard 2, Black-tailed godwit 1, Shelduck 2 (7 ducklings), Moorhen 1, Jackdaw 6, Greylag 6, Black-headed gull 300, Oystercatcher 12

Wadermarsh - visible from Wadermarsh lookout and Brent Hide

Black-headed gull 145, Hooded crow 2, Moorhen 1

Freshwater Lagoon - visible from Brent Hide and Crannóg

Sedge warbler, Mallard 8 (6 ducklings), Moorhen 1 (1 chick), Black-headed gull 3, Gadwall 2 (6 ducklings), Mute swan 2, Lesser black-backed gull 2

Saline Lagoon - visible from Limekiln observatory

Black-headed gull 30, Shelduck 2 (3 ducklings)


Swallow 2, Black-headed gull 1, Jackdaw 1, Common tern 1 (flying over)

Limestone Lake

Greylag 13, Black-headed gull 9

Peninsula Saltmarsh

Redshank 1, Lesser black-backed gull 1, Meadow pipit 6, Reed bunting 1, Starling 2, Blackbird

Peninsula Field

Swallow 4, House martin 2, Skylark 1


Woodpigeon, Blackbird, Robin, Great tit, Blue tit, Wren, Coal tit, Rook