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Wild Rye: Discover Our Wetland Wildlife

Black-tailed Skimmer dragonfly

Recent Sightings

August 2011

As might be expected, with passage movement building towards the autumn peak, a good selection of species were present on the reserve during August. In the case of waders, the largest numbers were provided by Lapwing, with 500 on the 26th, and Curlew, which peaked at 175 on the 23rd, while, at least 71 Golden Plover were present early on the in the month and 60+ Ringed Plover were regularly recorded on Flat Beach or the shore. Other notable sightings included up to 16 Little Ringed Plover at Castle Water, a record count for the reserve, 13 Ruff, eight Black-tailed Godwit, and a couple of Little Stint. However, the highlights during August were two Wood Sandpiper at Castle Water on the 29th and best of all a Temminck’s Stint (below) briefly on Harbour Farm on the 23rd. A good range of birds offshore included up to 600 Gannet, 65 Kittiwake, nine Arctic Skua and a couple of Great Skua, while small numbers of Black Tern were also present

throughout. Best of the bunch were three Balearic Shearwater on the 6th, only the fourth reserve record. Not much in the way of raptors this month, with the occasional Marsh Harrier and Hobby the only birds of note, while waterfowl included up to 85 Little Egret leaving the Castle Water roost on the 18th, and occasional Garganey, with four here on the 8th. Plenty of hirundines passing through during August, including up to 65 House Martin early in the month and up to 300 Sand Martin and 100 Swallow in the last week. The bulk of the rest was made up of good numbers of Yellow Wagtail, with around 300 on the Beach Reserve and Harbour Farm on the 20th, and Meadow Pipit, with up to 60 here on the 6th. A steady flow of Wheatear throughout included up to 12 on the 24th, while other passage passerines during August included small numbers of Spotted Flycatcher, Redstart, Tree Pipit, Stonechat, Whinchat and various warblers. Notable residents included regular Bearded Tit at Castle Water, with 12 on the 5th, and a Turtle Dove here on the 12th. Overall, the most exciting record was a Wood Warbler at Castle Water on the 18th, the first record here for almost 10 years.

Highlights in the Lime Kiln moth trap during August included Bordered Ermel, Starry Pearl (above) and Pigmy Footman, while Rosy-striped Knot-horn, Long-legged Tabby and Bulrush Veneer were also of note. Dragonflies on the wing included Brown Hawker, Ruddy and Common Darter, Migrant Hawker and Emperor, while the best of the butterflies were Brown Argus and one or two Painted Lady early on in the month. Other notable invertebrates recorded during August included Great Silver Water Beetle, Bombardier Beetle and several Wasp Spider at Lime Kiln Cottage. Plants in flower this month included Red Hemp-nettle, Least Lettuce, Blue Fleabane and Purple Loosestrife.