Thick fog prevented viewing first thing this morning fortunately it did clear enough to allow bird watching by 0930am but descended once again late afternoon. It was great to see the waders returning after the repeatedly cold, frosty days last week.
At least 200 (approx.) Golden Plover, 735 Dunlin and 2476 (total did not include South Lake) Lapwing were back on the fields and viewable from the hides. One Black-tailed Godwit was seen on South Lake as well as the Little Stint on the Rushy Pen. We also had reports of two Green Sandpiper at the latter site. A few Redshank were about the scrapes. At least 39 Snipe were counted on the Top New Piece (last Thursday A. Jayne counted 101 at this site!). 15 Ruff and 11 Curlew were seen from Kingfisher Hide with 49 Curlew on the Tack Piece at midday.
Again due to the thaw and returning birds we had 434 Pintail, 1608 Wigeon and 1596 Teal counted from the hides. A female Goosander flew over the reserve before heading S along the canal this afternoon.
The E. White-fronted and Pink-footed Goose spent the day mostly hidden behind the hedge in the Stall House, at least 122 Greylag and 232 Canada Geese were also feeding here as well as 36 Bewick’s Swans. Distant glimpses of them in the gaps from either Sloane or Holden Tower was the only chance of seeing them.
At least 9 favouring the Tack Piece or fields adjacent to the North.
Bitterns and more from Kingfisher Hide
c1100hrs- one was watched stalking along the fence line at the Bottom New Piece, a second bird showed in the reeds nearby at the same time. Two Little Grebe were fishing here and a few Gadwall were in the channel to the South. At least two Fieldfare fed on the grass.