Despite many May and early June days being breezy and often with chilly nights, there were a lot of successes form the birds on the reserve. Of the 5 nest boxes, one was not used, the great tit failed but 2 families of blue tit fledged while the pied flycatcher also fledged with 7 young. Other family parties on the reserve included a luckier great tit pair, blue and coal tits, nuthatch, wren, dunnock, robin, blackbird, redstart, bullfinch, crow and jackdaw, the latter with up to 200 birds on the sheep field next to the reserve on June 24th. I am now waiting to see how the blackcaps, garden warbler, willow warbler, spotted flycatcher, treecreeper, song thrush, chaffinch and chiffchaff fare, the latter are taking food to a nest in the undergrowth so should be fledging in early July.
Other bird highlights were of 4 goosander on May 5th, 1 or 2 curlews feeding in the sheep field from June 2nd to 6th, 3 sand martins on June 6th and a marsh tit on June 24th.
Peacock butterfly caterpillars now adorn some of the nettles and with increasing warmer days flowers such as rosebay willowherb, hypericum and several different vetches (which the bees love) bring some colour to the reserve and in turn they attract a host of other insect life so its a great place to be for anyone interested in photography. You can view a species list for the reserve by checking out the reserves website and going to the 'What to look out for' page and scrolling to the bottom where you can download a list species identified as of 2018.