With an extra day at home following my return from Ramsey Island, I went out and did the third of four spring Breeding Bird Surveys at Cheshire Wildlife Trust’s Bagmere Reserve. The reserve has changed hugely since my last visit with the trees now all out in leaf and the willow tree ‘fluff’ floating on the breeze and sticking to my clothes. The warm sun made it feel like summer rather than spring.
The reserve was strangely quiet this morning and I only recorded 17 species, compared to the 28 and 24 species I recorded during the March and April surveys respectively. However, I did record five new species for the site; blackcap, whitethroat, sedge warbler, sky lark and reed bunting.
The whitethroats were particularly excitable and angrily called at me as I strolled past. This summer migrant is amber-listed for conservation but still has over one million breeding territories in the UK.
While the survey is focused on breeding birds, I noted mammals and butterflies as I made my way around the site. Two large brown hares ran past me, momentarily stopping to check me out, and then loped off into the long grass. I also identified large white, small white and painted lady butterflies as well as the small pearl-bordered fritillary butterfly, for which the site is known.