Latest Sightings

The nice weather over the weekend seems to have coincided with the emergence of lots of our lovely invertebrate species, as the wildflowers continue to bloom. Bees can be heard buzzing round the hawthorn blossom near Harrier Hide, as well as round the reedbed walk, and lots of butterfly species have been spotted: green-veined white, orange tip, peacock and small white to name a few. Red campion numbers have rocketed on the path towards Raines, and on our wildflower meadows in the grounds signs of yellow rattle and different orchid species are springing up.

Summer birds are continuing to make their appearances, with this years first sightings of whimbrel on Sunley's field (seen from Ron Barker) on Saturday, and common terns on Woodend Marsh on Sunday. Mediterranean gulls have also been seen regularly, on the islands with the black-headed gulls, and flying overhead.

There are still a few winter visitors remaining: 4-6 whooper swans have been hanging around the mere, alongside the odd pink-footed goose (best seen on the muddy ground to the right at Raines hide). Pochard numbers are still relatively high, with birds dotted around the captive collection, and several pairs in the main pool in the reedbed.

The reedbed continues to be a hub of warbler activity, with chiffchaff, grasshopper, willow, sedge, and reed warbler calls fast becoming a familiar sound, along with the occasional squeal of a water rail. Reports of a siberian chiffchaff have also been made on Saturday. The great crested grebe pair can be seen here too, normally towards the trees at the back of the Harrier Hide pool.

Avocet number remain high on Woodend Marsh, as they begin to seek areas to breed. There are also plenty of lapwing nests in the field, with the count from the last survey totalling 27 nests.

Also over the weekend a water vole was seen, as you move through the grounds listen out for the 'plop' noise as they land in the water!

(Photo - Mediterranean Gull)

  • Share this article