As spring turns into summer and the spring calls of our migrants begin to quieten down on the reserve, many more things begin to emerge. Dragonflies and damselflies are filling the air wherever you walk with brown hawker, emperor dragonfly, southern hawker and black-tailed skimmers to be seen. Red-eyed, common, azure and blue-tailed damselflies are also abundant. Banded demoiselle can also be seen around the bridge leading to Bess’ hide.
Butterflies are getting busy too with green hairstreak, common blue, brown argus, painted lady and small heath all being spotted. The path by the breckland field is a good place to spot many of these butterflies.
Cuckoos can still be heard calling from various parts of the lakes and reed and sedge warblers can be heard from the viewing platform. Whitethroat can regularly be spotted from the new bench by the ringer’s hut and linnet have been seen on the road towards the sailing lake. Also over the sailing lake, common terns pop in occasionally. Great crested grebes have chicks down at Bess’ and two families, one of nuthatches and one of treecreepers are known to be in and around Ash carr. Swifts are common around the visitor centre now with 3 pairs using the boxes on the side of the building. Great-spotted woodpecker is a regular visitor to the feeders outside the centre feeding its young and great tits and blue tits can also be seen feeding their many young on the feeding tree outside. We also have hobbyflying around catching dragonflies over The Slough and Long reach. Around Bess’ hide, you may be lucky enough to see the grey wagtails feeding their young too.
Orchids are beginning to emerge as well with southern marsh orchids at Hawker pool and in front of the new bench near the ringer’s hut.