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Recent Sightings - 30th March 2020
01 Apr 2020

Recent Sightings - 30th March 2020

In absence of visitors, birds are starting to use the reserve in different ways. Many species are utilising spaces closer to paths and in areas they aren't usually seen; Black-tail Godwits are feeding next to paths and have been seen in the Brickworks. Bl...

Recent Sightings - 23rd March 2020
24 Mar 2020

Recent Sightings - 23rd March 2020

Although Castle Espie is currently closed due to the exceptional circumstances that are affecting us all. Our small team are still providing wonderful care to our captive birds and the reserve team are maintaining the habitats for the vast array of wildli...

Recent Sightings - 16th March 2020
16 Mar 2020

Recent Sightings - 16th March 2020

One of our favourite spring features is the roosting Black-tail Godwits. During high tides, the roost together on our marshes and shingle bank in big flocks together. Our biggest count this week was a mixed flock of c.250 Black-tailed godwit and c.100 Kno...

Recent Sightings - 9th March 2020
09 Mar 2020

Recent Sightings - 9th March 2020

Spring is definitely closing in in! Our Black-headed Gull colony have started to return again. Overnight the Freshwater Lagoon islands were transformed; one morning they were barren and empty and then the next, were bursting with life and noise. Black-hea...

Recent Sightings - 2nd March 2020
02 Mar 2020

Recent Sightings - 2nd March 2020

Yesterday we had a rather exciting visitor on the reserve! A Spoonbill was spotted by one of our visitors feeding on the Peninsula Saltmarsh yesterday afternoon. Just before high tide, the Spoonbill was taking advantage of the marshes pools and gave wonde...

Recent Sightings - 25th February 2020
25 Feb 2020

Recent Sightings - 25th February 2020

Once again, the days are getting longer and the winter is drawing to a close. Very soon lots of the birds that have spent the winter in Strangford Lough will be leaving for their breeding grounds. However over the next couple of weeks, the numbers of thes...

Recent Sightings - 17th February 2020
17 Feb 2020

Recent Sightings - 17th February 2020

The storms and heavy rain over these past two weeks have been perfect timed for our Puddle Jumping competition, which runs over this half term week. All the puddles are great fun for us to splash around in, but they are also great for the wildlife on the ...

Recent Sightings - 10th February 2020
10 Feb 2020

Recent Sightings - 10th February 2020

Storm Ciara is a nightmare if you're a wading bird. Being so small and light, you'll get blown all over the place when you move from your roost to your preferred feeding grounds. However, whenever waders do decide to take to the air, they produce some mag...

Recent Sightings - 3rd February 2020
03 Feb 2020

Recent Sightings - 3rd February 2020

Black-tailed godwits numbers are beginning to build again on the reserve. The sub species of Black-tailed godwits that are seen on Strangford Lough breed in Iceland and spend the winter in the UK and Ireland. They can be seen all through the winter on the...

Recent Sightings - 27th January 2020
27 Jan 2020

Recent Sightings - 27th January 2020

You may be forgiven for thinking it is spring at the reserve in the last week, with the warmer than usual temperatures and the sound of the Song Thrush in the brickworks, Limestone Lake area. One particular bird is in full chorus with its astonishing rep...

Recent Sightings - 20th January 2020
20 Jan 2020

Recent Sightings - 20th January 2020

One of the real joys at Castle Espie is being able to watch the tide come in. Or rather, how the birds behaviour changes with the tide. Wildfowl and waders will use the mudflats and the wee rivers to feed when the tide is out. As the tide comes in, the bi...

Recent Sightings - 13th January 2020
13 Jan 2020

Recent Sightings - 13th January 2020

Another really blustery day here, and lots of small passerines are taking sheltered in the woodland. Small flocks of goldfinch are chittering in the tree-tops and our infrequently visiting flock of Bullfinch have returned to take refuge. Beautiful birds a...

Recent Sightings - 6th January 2020
06 Jan 2020

Recent Sightings - 6th January 2020

An awfully blustery day this morning! The heavy rain and high winds had birds hunkering down on the edge our lakes for shelter and large flocks of Lapwing and Golden Plover were seen struggling to fly overhead; a chaotic aerial display of sorts. In our 25...

Recent Sightings - 30th December 2019
30 Dec 2019

Recent Sightings - 30th December 2019

With the passing of another year, lets take a moment a relive some of the bird highlights at Castle Espie in 2019! It's been quite a year with large flocks of passing migrants, infrequent visitors becoming regular features, remarkable breeding successes a...

Recent Sightings - 23rd December 2019
23 Dec 2019

Recent Sightings - 23rd December 2019

A common winter sight at Castle Epsie is the subtly beautiful Greenshank. Long slender green legs, olive brown wings and bright white belly, make them stand out even at a distance on the mudflats and the Wadermarsh. Their bright bellies and understated co...