Spring has begun at Lackford Lakes

Early spring at Lackford Lakes

The first of our birds have now returned from Africa and are now singing around the lakes. The first butterflies are flying on a nice day. The leaves are beginning to come out and other insects like bees are now being seen regularly around the reserve. This means that spring has begun at Lackford Lakes.
chiffchaff

chiffchaff

Staring with the birds.  Chiffchaff returned from around the 11th of March and can be heard singing their name (chiff-chaff) all over the reserve now.  In last few days, blackcap have returned and are beginning to tune up in a few locations on the reserve.  More should be with us in the next few weeks.  They join many of our regular birds singing around the reserve as the get ready for the coming breeding season.  Listen out for robin, dunnock, wren, blue tit and great tit when you next wonder around the lakes.  As we move into April, many of the warblers start to return.  Here is expected spring arrival times for our spring birds.

Spring arrivals at Lackford Lakes

spring arrivals at Lackford Lakes

On the lakes, great crested grebes are back with their amazing headgear and shelducks are chasing each other around.  Other waders still around are snipe, oystercatcher and lapwing, but it is worth a closer look around the islands on the slough from the viewpoint next to Paul’s hide as other waders like avocet do pop in at this time of year.  Our duck numbers are beginning to drop off as they leave us to return to northern Europe but we still have plenty of tufted duck and teal around.

great crested grebes

great crested grebes

Our centre feeders are still busy with birds feeding away and a few siskin and redpoll are still here.  These amazing small birds have been a feature of the last few months.  Most will leave us in the next few weeks.

redpoll

redpoll

Another sign of spring, is watching as the trees begin to grow and green leaves slowly emerge.  Our blackthorn is just beginning to come out and some of our willows are nice and yellow with their catkins.  These in turn attract our first butterflies like brimstone and already quite a few insects like bees so when you next stand near ones of these, stop, listen and watch what is feeding on these trees.

leaves coming out at Lackford

Leaves coming out at Lackford

Currently, the reserve is open from 8am to 5pm.  The toilets and takeaway catering is available from 10am to 3:30pm. 

We are hoping that the shop will be able to open from the 12th April but you can buy online and collect from the takeaway hatch.  Hides remain closed for now.  We expect them to open from 17th May, unless government advice changes.