HIGH temperatures have brought a flurry of birds to Chard Reservoir as they take a break from long migrations or have a dip to cool down.

The reservoir's water level has been shrinking in recent weeks - but this is only partly because of the heat.

Several species of wader have been spotted at the nature reserve while temperatures have soared, including greenshank and sandpipers, while over 1,500 herring gulls (seagulls) have been counted at the reserve. 

In a Facebook post, a Chard Reservoir Local Nature Reserve (LNR) spokesperson said: “For those of your visiting the reservoir from time to time recently, you may have noticed the change in water levels.

“Whilst most of this is controlled, some of this has been due to the heat we have been experiencing.

“With this change, however, has come an array of bird life, either landing at the reservoir for a break whilst on their migratory routes or perhaps even too cool off from the high temperatures.

“Greenshank as well common and green sandpipers are waders that have been spotted, as well as a huge count of over 1,500 herring gulls and nine little egret, all taking advantage of the expanding shoreline and mudflats.

“And at least three kingfishers have been seen using perches around the bird hide and skimming their way across the water.”

While the reservoir has proved popular among winged creatures, its water quality is not high enough for people to swim in it safely.

Visitors have also been urged not to light barbecues or other open flames at the reserve due to the fire risk.

Locals and tourists can make use of new resting benches and vibrant new signs made and installed by volunteers.

Some reservoirs across the UK have seen their water levels more seriously affected by the recent heat, including Llandegfedd in Wales. 

The remains of a village flooded to create the Thruscross Reservoir in Yorkshire have been revealed as its water level has reduced by as much as 20 per cent. 

Read more: PICTURES: Creepy Crawly crafting session at Chard Reservoir