Recent Sightings 9th - 15th April

There was plenty of excitement on the reserve this week as we had the arrival of our first-ever black-winged stilt on the Freshwater Lagoon.

The surprisingly short bird, of which 60% of its size is its legs, is a rare migrant to Britain but it has been active since Monday this week exploring the Eastern end of the Freshwater Lagoon. More recently, it's been perusing the banks on the far northern end of the Dafen Scrapes.

This small avocet-like bird is common and widespread across Europe and Asia but it rarely visits the UK, so it is great to see it taking interest in the lagoon that we have put months of effort into curating for waders.

The swallows are now in full swing swooping through the air across the Millennium Wetlands, the collection, and mostly the Saline Lagoon and Dafen Scrapes. They're accompanied by sand martins who are feeding from the surface of the lagoons outside the British Steel Hide after they arrived last week, now there are around 10 in total but this number is likely to climb.

Yesterday in the Southern Loop there was a sedge warbler singing from the reedbed. Although the warbler may have moved on today, it's great to see that the sedge warblers are generally starting to arrive in the area. In a few weeks' time, the sedge warbler's staccato song will be filling the air and it'll be greeted in the summer by the reed warblers, cuckoos, and other spring/summer migrants.

The first ducklings have been following hens across the paths near the Deep Water Lake, blackcaps are frequent in the woodlands, mating and breeding squabbles are taking place all over the Millennium Wetlands and nest building and egg-laying is thoroughly underway.