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.
It’s been nice to have some different visitors to Castle Espie recently. There’s been a Goldeneye on the Main Lake for the last couple of days, easily spotted from the Collection area or even the Kingfisher café with a pair of binoculars. They are diving ducks, so you’ll see them popping up some distance from where they went underwater, and both male and female have the characteristic, striking yellow eyes.
The Shingle Bank is a great area to watch from the Brent Hide, with large numbers of Black-tailed godwits roosting there among the Black-headed gulls. Small flocks of Knot can usually be seen with the godwit on the Shingle Bank. They are still donning their winter plumage, and are therefore grey with a plain white underbelly. Their short, black, sturdy beaks are specialized for probing in the sand for small crustaceans, molluscs and invertebrates.
And finally, in the Woodland, a Jay (pictured) was spotted amongst the budding trees. This is a colourful member of the crow family, dusty-pink on the body with bright blue patches on the wings. Jays are known for collecting and storing acorns, but they are surprisingly shy, so if you’re up for a challenge – see if you can spot it!
Estuary - visible from the Brent Hide and the Limekiln Observatory
Light-bellied brent goose 16, Black-headed gull 62, Common gull 1, Hooded crow 1, Redshank 3, Curlew 3, Lesser black-backed gull 2, Herring gull 1, Greater black-backed gull 1
Main lake - visible from Sensory garden and Visitor Centre
Tufted duck 4, Goldeneye 1, Teal 16, Mallard 11, Black-headed gull 17, Moorhen 1, Black-tailed godwit 12
Shingle Bank - visible from Sensory garden and Visitor Centre
Black-tailed godwit 390, Knot 40, Black-headed gull 128
Wadermarsh - visible from Wadermarsh lookout and Brent Hide
Black-headed gull 28, Black-tailed godwit 7, Redshank 5, Teal 8, Moorhen 1
Freshwater Lagoon - visible from Brent Hide and Crannóg
Gadwall 8, Moorhen 2, Black-tailed godwit 4, Redshank 1, Mallard 4, Teal 2, Coot 2, Black-headed gull 205
Saline Lagoon - visible from Limekiln observatory
Black-tailed godwit 1, Redshank 2, Little grebe 1, Mallard 1, Black-headed gull 49
Mallard 4, Little grebe 2, Black-headed gull 5
Black-headed gull 4
Hooded crow 1
Wood pigeon, Blackbird, Magpie, Great tit, Blue tit, Chaffinch, Robin, Wren, Goldcrest, Goldfinch, Jay