British Steel Hide
A few notable sightings on both the saline lagoons and the NRA scrapes from the over the weekend include a juvenile Little Stint and the first Curlew Sandpiper of the autumn. Other notable birds included a Common Tern, an Avocet, two remaining Spoonbills, a Spotted Redshank, the first two returning Pintail (2nd) of the autumn, two juvenile female Ruff and an increasing number of Wigeon (now up to 12). On the estuary, times of high tide have brought up five Gannets and three Sandwich Terns to feed, as well large numbers of Gulls, Oystercatchers and Curlews and an Osprey (2nd).
Wader numbers of the saline lagoons have peaked at: 865 – Black-tailed Godwit; 63 – Greenshank; 39 – Knot; 19 – Lapwing; 129 – Redshank; 40 – Dunlin; 12 – Ringed Plover, 8 – Snipe and 15 – Curlew.
Other Birds seen from the hide include:
Little Egret, Grey Heron, Swallow, Sand Martin, Pied Wagtail, Gadwall, Teal, Mallard, Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Sparrowhawk, Great Crested Grebe, Common Gull, Cetti’s Warbler, Linnet and Kingfisher.
The wildfowl around the deep water lake have been steadily increasing, with seemingly increasing numbers of Gadwall, Mallard, Shoveler, Coot and Tufted Duck around the lake. A drake Pochard has also been seen on the lake, as well as a 20+ Lapwing, 8 Teal and 3 Little Grebes. A Grey Wagtail has been seen flying around, and a Marsh Harrier was seen hunting from the Peter Scott hide. There have still been good numbers of Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs around the scrubbier areas of the reserve. Kingfisher sightings have been a regular occurrence, but can require patience (and a bit of luck!). Cetti’s Warblers continue to sing from around the reedbeds and Water Rails can be heard calling from around the Welsh Water Hide. There have been quite a few sightings of Sparrowhawks and fairly regular Raven sightings towards to eastern end of the reserve.
Birds to (possibly) look out for in the coming weeks:
There are a run of high tides coming up in the mornings of next week and it will be a good time to head down to the British Steel Hide to look for the large flocks of waders that have been pushed up onto the lagoons with the rising water. Expect to see numbers of Black-tailed Godwits, Greenshank, Redshank, Knot, Dunlin, Lapwing and possibly an unexpected rarity! Wildfowl numbers should increase further with more Pintail, Wigeon and Teal arriving onto the reserve, look out for these ducks, especially on higher tides.