June can sometimes be seen as the birding doldrums, but the reserve is still filled with life and birdsong.
Spikes and pink and purple are now popping up all over the reserve, and through the grounds - but how many species can you find?
A mid year Osprey passed over the reserve at 12.30-12.35pm, most likely to be wandering young bird with no particular rush to get North or South. It was very successful in creating a commotion on South Lake with Oystercatchers pursuing it for a time.Kingfisher HideThe Barn Owl was again hunting over Top and Bottom New Piece and visiting the nest box. a Kingfisher also seen with Reed and Sedge Warbler and Reed Bunting singing.Middle Point/Severn at low tideThree Spoonbill, Curlew Sandpiper, 126 Ringed Plover, 2 Whimbrel, 3 Grey Plover, 49 Sanderling, 15 Avocet, 27 Curlew, 95+ Dunlin, male Yellow Wagtail with a beak full of flies and 2 females on the Dumbles side of point, Little Egret and 2 Kestrel hunting the foreshore/seawall.South LakeTwo Ringed Plover and 2 Dunlin early morning, 2-3 Little-ringed Plover, 105 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Common Tern, a drake Goldeneye (perhaps our latest Spring record ever), 3 Redshank,two drake and female Teal, 25 Gadwall, 23 Avocet (4 juvs) and Great Crested and Little Grebes.Duck DecoyFeeding party of 120 Swift over the site, a Cormorant 'drying' on the log. Rushy Hide2cy Mediterranean Gull, pair of Little-ringed Plover, brood of Tufted Duck, brood of Shelduck, Redshank, 44 Gadwall, 11 Shelduck and a pair of Crane with a chick.Top New PieceA Cattle Egret flew off towards the road field (looks like it ended up with the Longhorn herd), 4 Oystercatcher, 3 male and 1 female Teal, 5 Lapwing, 3 Redshank, 28 Avocet, a few Sand Martins, pair of Cranes. Bottom New PieceRedshank and Lapwing defending young. Estuary TowerA Little-ringed Plover over to Tack Piece, a pair of Redshank were alarm calling appear to have chicks near the shore.Tin Shed GroundTwo Cattle Egret in the field with the Longhorn Cattle, look E from the Van de Bovenkamp Hide
The tail end of Spring passage continues, an increase in Black-tailed Godwit (pictured) numbers to 105 and another great flurry of Arctic bound waders on the Severn today.Kingfisher HideThe Barn Owl pair which took up residence in the nest box have been actively hunting mice and voles during the daytime today, one of the adults was seen entering the nest box with prey on two occasions and have ranged to the Top New Piece and Dumbles to hunt. It's still a great place to see and hear wtland passerines such as Reed and Sedge Warbler and Reed Bunting.Top New PieceTwo breeding plumage Cattle Egret were roosting on the most southern of the four islands to 09:30am, a Hobby buzzed 4 Sand Martin and dozen Swallow before heading off NE, 3 drake and one female Shoveler, 35 Avocet of which many were nest building, a pair of Redshank, 4 Lapwing, 6 Black-tailed Godwit, a pair of Crane (chicks hidden in the tall grass) + loafing Shelducks and Gadwall, a brood of the former.Middle Point/SevernIn the tidal creeks and pools and muddy spots this morning were a smart breeding plumage Curlew Sandpiper, 97 Ringed Plover, 3 Whimbrel, 34 Curlew, 64 Dunlin, 3 Grey Plover, broods of 2, 7 and 9 Shelduck, 3 immature Spoonbill, 2 Oystercatcher, a Redshank defending young along the shore, 2 Avocet + 40 small waders distant to North. As the tide dropped a count of 48 Sanderling was made from the Estuary Tower.South LakeA second calendar year Mediterranean Gull, pair of Cranes (couldn't see the young), 99 Black-tailed Godwits, 3 Lapwing, Avocets, Gadwall, a pair of Great Crested and Little Grebes and a pair of Little-ringed Plover being highlights.Duck DecoyA Spotted Flycatcher was mobile about the pond, favouring the lee of the tallest trees.
The extra long Bank Holiday weekend continues today, with the reserve bathed in glorious sunshine
A male Cuckoo was busy singing and patrolling the South Finger Reedbed this morning, whilst a female was around the settling pond on the look out for nests and giving her own bubbling call
With two chicks now hatched from the nest on the South Lake, we now have eight Crane chicks across the reserve!
As we reach the end of May the migration has slowed but certainly isn't over as proven today. The estuary provided the most interest for species that stop off to rest and feed before moving on. The wader scrapes are dominated by Avocets, the breeding waders are experiencing high levels of predation, just about everything that is able is trying to eat them! Highlights from this morning's hide round were as follows with additional reports.Top New PieceA breeding plumage Curlew Sandpiper was feeding on the islands over the high tide, it was mobile and not seen at 1035am, liekly to have gone out to the Severn to feed but it may return on tommorow's tide. The three immature Spoonbills, Great Egret and G. Heron were in the shallows, 10 Swift feeding over, drake Wigeon, 35 drake and 3 female Gadwall, a pr of Teal, 5 drake Shoveler and 20 Avocets.Middle Point over high tideThe shelf on the edge of the Dumbles hosted c6 Sanderling, c 35 Dunlin, c10 Ringed Plover, 3 Whimbrel, 27 Curlew, 6 Grey Plover (inc breeding plumage), 2 Oystercatcher, 78 Shelduck, 35 GBB Gull and 2 Barnacle Geese. Tack Piece24 Barnacle Geese, 6 Lapwing, 5 Avocet, 2 drake Gadwall Estuary TowerCrane pair with two chicks (Oakie/Sherbert) who bred on the Top New Piece and Evie and Monty feeding independently during the morning, we are usnure if they are still incubating, 12 Avocet on the scrape with broods of 4, 1 and 1. Long Ground PoolA Great Crested Grebe, 17 drake Gadwall and Grey Heron. Rushy Hide/Peng ObservatoryA pair of Little-ringed Plover, Oystercatcher, 41 Avocet, drake Shoveler, 26 drake Gadwall, 11 drake and 4 female Tufted Duck.South LakeAt least one 2nd calendar year Mediterranean Gull among the Black-headed Gulls early morning at least, 39 Avocets-broods of 1,1 and 2 with three on nests, Lapwing, Oystercatcher, 16 drake and 1 female Gadwall, 37 Black-tailed Godwit, 3 drake and one duck Teal, 10 drake and 3 duck Tufted Duck. Spinney Wood/Entrance to South Finger2 Treecreeper in the oaks and hawthorns.
Perhaps six or more Red Kites were noted over the site today.
The mud on the Severn is still providing feeding opportunities for many species of wading birds, modest numbers can be seen on the mudflats throughout the day, they can come and go, a passing raptor or desire to feed over the mud shelf for awhile can meant they are out of view or flighty. The breeding plumage Curlew Sandpiper, at least 21 Sanderling,62 Dunlin, 82 Ringed Plover, 3 Whimbrel, 6 Avocet, 2 Grey Plover, 4 Oystercatcher and 14 Curlew were present at 0830am, two Spoonbill were seen in flight a couple of times off Saul Warth and later came down to Middle Point.South LakeUp to five Mediterannean Gulls, the 2cy Little Gull, 72 Black-tailed Godwit, Black-headed Gulls on the causeway and colony, 3 Teal, 2 Oystercatcher plus broods, nesting Avocets plus chicks, Great Crested and Little Grebes, Gadwall, Shelduck and Cormorants.Top New PieceDrake Garganey, 3:2 Shoveler (one brood), drake Wigeon, two 2cy Mediterranean Gulls + Lapwing, 2 pairs of Redshank, Mallard, Gadwall, Shelduck, Grey Heron + 2 Little Egrets. Bottom New Piece- Cuckoo singing, Crane family and 8 Redshank.Estuary TowerMale and female Curlew feeding on the Dumbles + a Whimbrel, a few Lapwing and pairs of Oystercatcher, Avocets and nesting Cranes on the scrape. Tack PieceEgyptian Goose with the Greylag flock, 7 Avocet, Lapwing, Gadwall and a few Reed Warblers.
Another 'pulse' of waders on the Severn today included a fine breeding plumage Curlew Sandpiper. Middle PointTwo Spoonbill, 2 Little Egret, 2 Avocet, breeding plumage Turnstone, 95 Ringed Plover, 29 Sanderling, Curlew Sandpiper, 63 Dunlin, 3 Whimbrel, Oystercatcher and 8 Curlew on the Severn mud just to North, two hunting/scrapping Kestrel, Reed Bunting and Reed Warblers in the reeds. The Little Gull was feeding onthe mud at midday.Top New PieceFemale Shoveler with 10 ducklings, drake Garganey, drake Wigeon, Oystercatcher, a few Lapwing and Redshank on the flood with Avocets, pairs or bachelor groups of Mallard and Gadwall, pairs of Tufted Duck and Shelduck, singing Reed Warbler.South LakeCommon Tern, 2 Redshank, nesting Crane, Little-ringed Plover, two pairs of Oystercatcher with young, 22 Avocet + chicks, 68 Black-tailed Godwit. 3 Teal + Cormorant, Shelduck, Tufted Duck and Mallards. Three Common Tern flew over the grounds heading for here mid-morning.Tack PieceEleven Avocet, pair of Gadwall plus 2 drakes, 12 Shelduck, Barnacle Goose, Egyptian Goose, pair of Tufted Duck, Mallard with 2 fledged young. Duck DecoyA pair of Little Grebe, drake Shoveler and Gadwall, Gulls are fly-catching again.Rushy Hide/Peng ObservatoryThree adult Little-ringed Plover (pair with chick and visiting male), pair of Cranes with 2 chicks), 55 Avocet (10 nests), Little Gull briefly, 26 drake Gadwall, m Shoveler, Chiloe Wigeon hybrid with female Wigeon.
Double figures of Painted Lady Butterflies on the Wild Safaris today.
Today's high tide is around 12noon, with a good variety of waders and other species on offer as the waters' rose.
Monty & Evie have a new egg on the Dumbles scrape, viewed from the Estuary Tower, and become our sixth nesting pair of Cranes this season
After Kia & Chocolo successfully hatched two chicks on the Rushy in the last few days, we now have six Crane chicks across the reserve