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Recent Sightings - 4th November 2019
04 Nov 2019

Recent Sightings - 4th November 2019

Wintering wildfowl numbers continue to build out on the Estuary. The Brent geese have peaked, but we are starting to see large flocks of Shelduck and Wigeon beginning to gather in front of the Brent hide. Wigeon are scarce as a breeding bird in the UK and...

Recent Sightings - 28th October 2019
30 Oct 2019

Recent Sightings - 28th October 2019

The following sightings were recorded today from the reserve at Castle Espie at Mid-Tide. The last few weeks have seen the number of Shelducks on the estuary increasing. Shelducks breeding in Ireland undergo a moult migration east to the Helgoland Bight...

Recent Sightings - 23rd October 2019
23 Oct 2019

Recent Sightings - 23rd October 2019

Over the past few weeks, we've been visited by a bird species that has not been recorded here for over a decade! A small flock of Skylarks has been seeing foraging in the Peninsula field and flying over our other habitats. Skylarks are a demure ground nes...

Recent Sightings - 14th October 2019
14 Oct 2019

Recent Sightings - 14th October 2019

Wintering wildfowl numbers continue to build here at Castle Espie; including one of the UK's smallest ducks, Eurasian Teal. Locally known as Teal, the males are very striking and easy to distinguish from other UK species: chestnut coloured head, with a br...

Recent Sightings - 7th October 2019
07 Oct 2019

Recent Sightings - 7th October 2019

The weather this morning was absolutely abysmal; heavy drizzle and high winds. However this is actually a great time to see birds at Castle Espie because lots of birds will shelter along the shoreline and on the edge of our wetland habitats; this morning ...

Recent sightings - 30th Septmeber
30 Sep 2019

Recent sightings - 30th Septmeber

Castle Espie is a great site for wintering ducks. In the winter, ducks will leave their breeding grounds and migrate locally to congregate around lakes and other wetlands. The Freshwater lakes here host almost all the Irish (freshwater) duck species at so...

Recent Sightings - 23rd September 2019
23 Sep 2019

Recent Sightings - 23rd September 2019

Across the crisp, clear autumn air the mournful cry of a Buzzard is frequently heard. Having recovered from a significant decline in the last 100 years in the UK & Ireland, the Buzzard is thriving again and it's distinctive call is part of the living land...

Recent Sightings - 16th September 2019
16 Sep 2019

Recent Sightings - 16th September 2019

Brent numbers are building rapidly out on the Lough! There's so many that even at low tide, you can still hear in the distance, the mass of geese making their distinctive gronking calls. Yesterday, during our monthly wetland bird survey, c.2500 Brent gees...

Recent Sightings - 9th September 2019
09 Sep 2019

Recent Sightings - 9th September 2019

The Brent are back! Strangford Lough's iconic species the Light-bellied Brent goose has once again returned after their long migration. Around 50 birds were first spotted on Wednesday last week, and since then there numbers have been growing. A couple hun...

Recent Sightings - 2nd September  2019
02 Sep 2019

Recent Sightings - 2nd September 2019

Into September now and more wintering birds are beginning to arrive in the Lough; Greenshank, Redshank, Curlew and Lapwing can all be seen on a daily basis! However this is also a good time of year to spot "Passage Migrants". This is a colloquial term for...

Recent Sightings - 26th August 2019
26 Aug 2019

Recent Sightings - 26th August 2019

Now that we are coming to the end of August many of the wildflowers in the Brickworks are going to seed. Once flowers are pollinated their beautiful petals fade, fall off and seeds begin to form. This is vital for the return of the flowers in the spring o...

Recent Sightings - 19th August 2019
19 Aug 2019

Recent Sightings - 19th August 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 ...

Recent Sightings - 12th August 2019
12 Aug 2019

Recent Sightings - 12th August 2019

The following sightings were recorded today from the reserve at Castle Espie at Mid Tide. The Tern on the raft at the Saline Lagoon is still tenaciously defending its young and saw off a Peregrine falcon on the hunt this morning...

Recent Sightings - 5th August 2019
05 Aug 2019

Recent Sightings - 5th August 2019

The following sightings were recorded today from the reserve at Castle Espie at LowTide. There is a nice mix of summer and autumn activity on the reserve with the birds like the tern and swallow still active on the nest while at the same time we are see...

Recent Sightings - 29th July 2019
29 Jul 2019

Recent Sightings - 29th July 2019

Out and about in the woodlands at the minute there is is lots of activity in the undergrowth and small shrubs. One of our smallest, but nosiest residents has had a very successful breeding year, the Wren! There are lots of Wrens frantically gathering food...