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06 Mar 2017

Golden plover migration spectacle

Numbers of golden plover have been increasing over the last couple of weeks to make an impressive flock of over 5,000 strong.  They are using our wetlands as feeding grounds, for drinking water, a safe place to roost and to keep themselves in good condition by preening and washing their feathers.  As you can see from the footage our media volunteers have collected, the plovers are constantly on the lookout for birds of prey and soon take to the skies if they spot a marsh harrier, peregrine, merlin or buzzard on the approach.

The golden plover flock are often accompanied by several hundred lapwing and black-tailed godwit.  We still have plenty of our winter visitors on site, although many thousands swans have begun their spring migrations now.  We bid farewell to Daisy Clarke, the Bewick’s swan, two and a half weeks ago, but the other GPS tagged Bewick’s swan, Leho, is still here feeding up for her migration.  From the hides you can still watch the colourful array of winter ducks including wigeon, teal, shoveler, gadwall, pochard, tufted duck and goldeneye.  Some of our first summer birds have arrived back in the form of avocets, these will shortly be followed by little ringed plover, house martins and garganey.

Fooatge by: Bob Ellis