Autumn is coming. I know summer has barely started, but the first signs of autumn are appearing, at least as far as the birds are concerned. Teal have started to reappear on the reserve with 8 drakes and a duck appearing this week along with an unseasonably early drake Goldeneye.
More appropriately to the time of year the first orchids are blooming with over 20 Southern Marsh Orchids in flower in the car park field.
Young birds are in evidence with a brood of Shelduck doing well with 7 of the original 9 ducklings still surviving.
A pair of Redshank are rearing a quartet of youngsters, despite the harassment of a non-breeding pair of birds.
A number of Lapwing families are present on the scrape and Gull Island with the first 3 Common Tern chicks hatched on Round Island in the last few days. A solitary young Oystercatcher has been hatched by the only successful pair on the reserve.
Of the 6 Little ringed Plovers resident only one pair seem to have settled down, so fingers crossed for a successful outcome.
Finally the 2nd summer Mediterranean Gull is still sitting on Rotary Island after having presumably paired with a Black-headed Gull. It's impossible to be sure of what is going on due to the vigorous growth of the vegetation on the island, probably guano fuelled. With luck there will be some interesting chicks for people to puzzle over shortly as many of the gull eggs have now hatched.