Here’s a quick update on what’s been seen around the reserve so far in July;
Regular Osprey sightings have continued into July, with a maximum count of 4 on the mud at the same time on the 1st. There were also 3 seen on the 12th and 2 on the 3rd, 7th and 13th. There have been almost daily sightings of Great Spotted Woodpeckers at the visitor centre feeders, with an adult male and 2 juveniles regularly feeding on the peanuts.
An adult Water Rail with 2 chicks has been seen on several occasions, including the 11th, at the Lurgies, with a separate adult and 2 chicks also been seen in front of the visitor centre on the 10th. Marsh Harriers have also continued to be seen at the Western side of the reserve, with the latest sighting being on the 7th.
Mute Swans have been increasing in number, as more arrive to moult out of the past year’s feathers. 177 were counted on the 7th and this number is likely to rise to near 300 by the end of the month.
The last few weeks have also seen the return of the first waders from their breeding grounds further upland, with many species being seen on the reserve for the first time this summer. 12 Common Sandpiper were seen at the Lurgies on the 7th and 8 on the 12th. A Green Sandpiper and 5 Greenshank were also seen at the Lurgies on the 12th. On the 13th there were recordings of 2 Black-Tailed Godwits, 2 Dunlins and 1 Knot, all in summer plumage. There have also been increased sightings of Redshank, Curlew and Lapwing.
Visitor Centre Assistant Manager.