August flyers

Migrant hawker in flight.

The summer heat wave has been briefly interrupted by some spectacular and much needed rain and lightning storms of late. However, the hot weather is set to return for the end of the week. This month we have some fantastic news with the return of our much missed kingfishers. They are having a late brood and this week the adults were spotted taking food into the nest bank at Hawker pool. This is not the only place they have been seen, they have been regular visitors to Bernard’s and Paul’s hide too.

Also seen at across the Slough from these hides are various waders, from time to time, such as redshank, common sandpiper’s and lapwings to name a few. The ducks are rather quiet as they are going through a moult at the moment and also, at the last count, we had 78 mute swans on the Sailing lake also moulting. Green woodpeckers look to be having a good year and can quite often be seen or heard around the reserve. The unusual weather as also brought along some unusual activity from the jays, which have been seen stashing acorns already. Nothing like being prepared early.

As you can imagine, this hot spell has been very good for a variety of insects, especially butterflies and dragonflies. Butterfly numbers are up to 26 species now with purple hairstreak, grayling, painted lady, common blue, speckled wood, brown argus and silver-washed fritillary. On the dragonfly front, there are plenty on the wing at the moment with migrant hawker, southern hawker, brown hawker, ruddy and common chaser everywhere.

Don't forget, we will be showing you some of our night time visitors too on Saturday 11th August at 1pm with moths from our moth trap. Be sure to turn up at our visitor centre at the appointed time and be prepared to be wowed!