Latest Sightings

Despite the stormy weather, spring is in full swing on the reserve, with blooms of wildflowers such as green alkanet, herb robert, lesser celadine, red campion, colts foot and cowslip lining the paths around the nature trail. Lots of birds have also began to hatch their young, with broods of moorhen, coot and mallard dotted around the grounds and reserve, with one mallard having a whopping 20 ducklings!

Our numbers of black tailed godwit have also climbed, with around 150 being counted outside discovery hide this morning. In terms of other waders, avocets have become a regular sight, and over the past week there have been occasional sightings of redshank, greenshank, and common sandpiper. We have also begun surveying the lapwing nests in the fields, and found some of the first chicks of the season!

Its been a busy week for passerines, as reed warblers and grasshopper warblers have been heard calling, in the reedbed and by Hale hide respectively. A singing whitethroat was also heard on Thursday, as well as a cuckoo calling near the sewage works around 10am yesterday. The feeders at Janet Kear are still being used by the usual favourites, with blue tits, great tits, and goldfinches being seen regularly, alongside the odd reed bunting.

Excitingly, there have been multiple sightings this week of a short-eared owl! It was seen on Thursday and Friday after 4:30pm, from both Ron Barker hide and United Utilities hide. These birds tend to hunt during the daytime, flying low over open ground in search of small birds and mammals.

The gull roost is busy, with med gulls, greater and lesser black-backed gulls joining the black-headed gulls.

In other bird news, 2 great crested grebes have turned up in the pool by Harrier Hide, and the great white egrets have been showing well by Woodend Marsh. Grey partridge have also been seen for the first time this year.

(Photo: Flying avocets)

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