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Vote to ban lead ammunition shot down again as dirty tricks prevail

Vote to ban lead ammunition shot down again as dirty tricks prevail

Lead ban on hold yet again as last minute objection derails plans.

Today's Sightings

Today's Sightings

Bewick’s swan Mute swan Whooper swan Canada goose Greylag goose White-fronted goose Gadwall Goldeneye Mallard Pintail Pochard Teal Tufted duck Shelduck Shoveler Wigeon Cattle egret Crane Great egret Little egret Cormorant Coot Moorhen Black-tailed godwit Dunlin Snipe Goldfinch Great tit House sparrow Meadow pipit Skylark Stonechat Tree sparrow Pheasant Stock dove Black-headed gull Common gull Great black-backed gull Kestrel Marsh harrier Barn owl Cetti's warbler Little owl Water pipit Lapwing Golden plover Roe deer Stoat

Wildlife sightings 16/01/19

Wildlife sightings 16/01/19

a.m. mid/high tide Wader Lake Grey heron 3 Shoveler 4 male, 1 female Mute swan 2 Shelduck 9 Tufted duck Water rail (heard at Prince's Trust hide) Teal 15 Saline lagoon Teal 3 Hawthorn Wood Lesser redpoll 4 Mealy redpoll Brambling 10 Nuthatch Treecreeper Great spotted woodpecker (pair) greenfinch 5 bullfinch 8 goldfinch 3 reed bunting 2 male, 1 female Long tailed tit 3 Siskin Other birds Grey heron - river Shelduck 2 - river Tufted duck 37 - reservoir Grey heron - forgotten meadow Kestrel (pair) - Wader lake kestrel nestbox Bullfinch 5 - Wader Lake path  

Chiffchaff overwintering in Wildside

Chiffchaff overwintering in Wildside

1 Bittern - main lake 4 Pintail - main lake, reservoir lagoon 1 Water Pipit - grazing marsh 1 Shelduck - main lake 4 Snipe - wader scrape 1 Chiffchaff - Wildside   January bird highlights: Shelduck, Goldeneye, Bittern, Snipe, Black-tailed Godwit, Jack Snipe, Little Owl, Peregrine, Red Kite, Kestrel, Caspian Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Water Pipit, Kingfisher, Siskin. Bitterns (up to 4 birds so far) can be found mostly on the main lake shores, particularly the north shore. The flooded wader scrape and marsh have plenty of feeding winter duck including Pintail, Shoveler, Wigeon and Teal, as well as Jack Snipe, Snipe and Water Pipit. Also on the main lake there’s been occasional Yellow-legged Gull, hunting Peregrine, Water Rail, Snipe and Lapwing. Gadwall and Goldeneye can be found on the reservoir lagoon. Cetti’s Warbler, Water Rail and Reed Bunting can be seen and heard in any of the reedbed areas, particularly on the wildside west route.

Great Whites

Great Whites

Martin Smith Hide Chiffchaff calling from the nearby trees, two birds have been seen here lately and are probably roosting in the ivy. The Jack Snipe made another appearance along with 5 Common Snipe, if you don't see it first time it's well worth returning to the hide later to try again. Tack Piece 440 Wigeon grazing here first thing this morning (1557 counted from the hides in total). Ruff have been feeding here daily, again a party of 8/9 were on the scrape edge with c15 Redshank. 18 Shoveler, 31 Pintail and a few Shelduck among the flocks. Three pairs of Pochard were on the scrape. Rushy Hide 90+ Bewick's Swans at dawn. Two Great White Egrets were seen circling before heading off toward the South Lake mid morning. South Lake Only six Black-tailed Godwit among the Lapwing, a few Snipe and Dunlin at the Hogarth Hide end. 30+ Shoveler, 70 Teal and 34 Shelduck also on the wader scrape with a few Herring and 140 Black-headed Gull. Deep lake held two drake Pochard, c30 Tufted Duck and the Great Crested Grebe. Kingfisher Hide 143 Eurasian White-fronted Geese with c12 Greylag and two Bewick' Swans on the winter wheat field S of the hide. Gathering flocks of Dunlin, Golden Plover and Lapwing on the Bottom New Piece. Zeiss Hide 10 Snipe hidden among the rushes, flocks of Lapwing with a few Golden Plover among them. 850 Wigeon, 210 Teal, 220 Lapwing, 10 Shoveler and 4 Pochard.    

Today's Sightings

Today's Sightings

Bewick’s swan Whooper swan Mute swan Greylag Canada goose Tundra bean goose (x3) Shelduck Shoveler Mallard Pintail Gadwall Wigeon Teal Ringed teal (escapee) Pochard Tufted duck Moorhen Crane x 4 (Friends hide) Great egret Cattle egret (following sheep on bank) Little egret Black-tailed godwit Redshank Snipe Common sandpiper Lapwing Golden plover Starling Meadow pipit Tree sparrow House sparrow Goldfinch Great tit Stonechat Carrion crow Sparrowhawk Kestrel Marsh harrier x 3 Buzzard Barn owl x 3 Short-eared owl (Friends hide)

Wader Lake essential works - Jan 2019

Wader Lake essential works - Jan 2019

 WWT Washington's reserve team will be carrying out some essential maintenance on Wader Lake this week (Wednesday 16 and Thursday 17 January 2019).  The dedicated team of staff and volunteers at WWT Washington will be renewing and enhancing the existing shingle islands for the benefit of the breeding birds they attract each spring. This process involves tonnes of gravel being brought onto the lake to re-line the surface of the islands and help make this an attractive habitat for nesting birds. John Gowland, Reserve Manager at Washington commented: “The team will be enhancing the shingle islands this week to rebuild and create the ideal substrate for returning avocet, common tern and little-ringed plover that breed here at WWT Washington each spring. “We have a limited window of time to make these improvements as grey heron numbers are already starting to rise on site and along the river. At their peak, they form one of the best nesting colonies in the UK and it’s vital that we don’t risk disturbing them during this crucial period. "Disturbance on the lake and the lowering of water levels will be unavoidable for these couple of days but will hopefully see improved numbers of breeding birds this year. We thank all our visitors for their understanding as we get stuck into our task."

Wildlife sightings - 15/01/19

Wildlife sightings - 15/01/19

a.m. Tide Level: High Wader Lake Lapwing 36 Curlew 19 Canada goose 10 Shelduck 21 Shoveller 4 Black-headed gull 5 Grey heron 6 Redshank 1 Teal 15 Saline Lagoon Curlew 19 Carrier crow 1 Hawthorn Wood Bullfinch 18 Blue tit 8 Goldfinch 9 Redpoll 6 Dunnock 1 Great tit 6 Chaffinch 11 Brambling 10 Long-tailed tits 2 Willow tit 1 Nuthatch 1 Reed bunting 1 Other birds Goldeneye - 1 - River Wear Wren - 1 - Wader Lake footpath Blackbird - 3 - Wader Lake footpath Coal tit - 2 - Saline Meadow path Wood pigeon - 7 - Saline Lagoon / Lagoon view hide path Tufted duck - 53 - Reservoir

Siskin along the South route

Siskin along the South route

2 Bittern - main lake (North shore & close to Headley hide) 6 Pintail - main lake 1 Water Pipit - grazing marsh 3 Siskin - South route 1 Peregrine - hunting over the main lake 1 Kestrel - South route January bird highlights: Shelduck, Goldeneye, Bittern, Snipe, Black-tailed Godwit, Jack Snipe, Little Owl, Peregrine, Red Kite, Kestrel, Caspian Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Water Pipit, Kingfisher, Siskin. Bitterns (up to 4 birds so far) can be found mostly on the main lake shores, particularly the north shore. The flooded wader scrape and marsh have plenty of feeding winter duck including Pintail, Shoveler, Wigeon and Teal, as well as Jack Snipe, Snipe and Water Pipit. Also on the main lake there’s been occasional Yellow-legged Gull, hunting Peregrine, Water Rail, Snipe and Lapwing. Gadwall and Goldeneye can be found on the reservoir lagoon. Cetti’s Warbler, Water Rail and Reed Bunting can be seen and heard in any of the reedbed areas, particularly on the wildside west route.

White-fronts in the Four Score again

White-fronts in the Four Score again

Rushy Hide Good roost of Bewick's Swans with 110 birds on site. One of the satellite transmitter birds (Catalana) visited Gwent (Llandegfedd/Usk) over the weekend. Martin Smith Hide No reports of the Jack Snipe today but Common Snipe, Chiffchaff and Cetti's Warbler. Tack Piece Dawn counts of 9 Ruff, 16 Redshank, 1 Curlew, 700 Wigeon and 5 Greylag but many more birds during the day. Holden Tower The Peregrine Falcon pair and at least three Cranes were viewable. A variety of duck on the Long Ground Pool with 21 male and 9 female Pochard present. South Lake Three Black-tailed Godwit, 7 Snipe, c40 Dunlin among the Lapwing flock. 40+ Shoveler and now 7 Wigeon on the wader scrape/duck marsh. Two Little Egret roosted in the trees on the deep lake, good to hear of them using branches we pruned as suitable perches in an attempt to attract them and Kingfishers. Kingfisher Hide 5+ Ruff, 180 Dunlin and 80+ Golden Plover among the Lapwing on the Bottom New Piece. 143 E. White-fronted Geese on the Four Score field ( S of hide) with 4 Bewick's Swans. Two Reed Bunting in the reeds Zeiss Hide 700+ Wigeon, 240 Teal and a few Pochard on the deeper fleet and floods. Snipe roosting among the loafing Teal on the rush islands. An adult Caspian Gull was reported here today. South Finger Filtration beds viewing Screen Snipe, 4 Shoveler and 15 Tufted Duck on the pond.    

Wigeon grazing thanks to summer sheep

Wigeon grazing thanks to summer sheep

Male wigeon On Sunday afternoon I counted 11 wigeon across from the Ramsar hide. Four were up on the cut, grazing on the fresh grass. Droppings from the Jacob’s sheep we had grazing this wet meadow last summer have added nutrients to the soil bringing up more grass to feed grazing ducks and geese. It’s great to see more grass growth adding to the sedge and reeds in the area.  The increase in the number of wigeon and the fact they are grazing indicates our habitat management is working. We will be trialling cattle grazing on the wet meadow this summer.  The cattle should be able to eat some of the tougher plants the sheep were avoiding.   Recent sightings by WWT wardens. Tues Jan 8 Arun Riverlife Lagoon: 6 pochard, 2 tufted ducks, grey heron, 1 kingfisher, 11 teal. Scrape hide: 16 teal, 1 little grebe, 2 gadwall, 7 shoveler, 2 shelducks, water rail. Sand Martin hide: 15 shelducks, 5 lapwings, 1 grey heron, 5 shoveler, 4 teal, 5 gadwall, 5 wigeon, 3 pochard, 1 little grebe, 1 tufted duck. Ramsar hide: 5 cormorants, 3 teal, 3 lapwing, and 14 snipe. Wed 9 Jan Sand Martin /Ramsar hides: 3 cormorants, 3 lapwing, 15 teal, 1 grey heron, 3 gadwall, 1 little egeret, 3 kingfisher, 16 shelduck, 6 shoveler, 1 snipe. Scrape hide: 13 teal, 12 shoveler. 2 shelduck, 2 gadwall, 1 little grebe, 1 kingfisher. Offham hangaer: 3 buzzards. Reedbed hide: bullfinches. Woodland Lodge hide: water rail. Arun Riverlife lagoon: 5 tufted duck, 6 pochard, 2 teal. Thurs 10 Jan Arun Riverlife lagoon: 5 pochard, 2 tufted ducks, 1 cormorant, 2 gadwall. Scrape hide: 21 teal, 10 shoveler, 2 shelduck. Sand Martin hide: 4 gadwall, 18 teal, 3 mandarin, 6 lapwing, 21 shelduck, and kingfisher. Ramsar hide: grey heron, little egret, 1 cormorant, 12 teal, 2 lapwing, 7 snipe. Fri 11 Jan Ramsar /Sand Martin hides: 4 wigeoon, 10 snipe, 3 cormorants, 2 grey herons, 12 teal, 4 pochard, 16 shelducks, 1 pintail, 4 tufted ducks, 2 lapwing, 1 little grebe. 1 little egret, 4 tufted ducks. Lapwing hide: 1 shoveler. Scrape hide: 1 water rail, 23 teal, 1 little grebe, 4 snipe, 6 shoveler, 1 shelduck. Arun Roverlife lagoon: 10 tufted ducks, 11 pochard, 6 teal. Sat 12 Jan Arun Riverlife lagoon: 16 pochards, 2 gadwall, 12 tufted ducks Reedswamp area: 1 water rail. Scrape hide: 1 water rail, 8 shoveler, 18 teal, 5 gadwal. 2 shelduck. Sand Martin hide: 16 shelduck, 7 gadwall, 1 grey heron, 3 shoveler, 1 lapwing, 1 kingfisher. Ramsar hide: 4 cormorants, 1 tufted duck, 10 snipe. Offham hangar: 1 buzzard. Lapwing hide: 1 teal, 1 cormorant. Sun 13 Jan Ramsar hide: 11 wigeon, 4 lapwing, 17 snipe, 4 pochard. Lapwing hide: 5 bullfinches, 7 siskin. Scrape hide: 27 teal, 10 shoveler, 6 snipe. Arun Riverlife: 11 pochard.      

Raptor-fest

Raptor-fest

Continuing this winters run of good raptor days with at least 4 Marsh Harrier, Peregrine, 3+ Buzzard, 3 Kestrel, 2 Sparrowhawk and Merlin over the weekend. At least 3 Barn Owl (two showing well from the Ron Barker Hide) and 2 Tawny Owl today again. Fifteen species of swan, geese and duck present with upwards of 10,000 birds visiting the reserve; Mute Swan, Whooper Swan(700+), Pink-footed Geese, Greylag, Canada, Shelduck, Mallard, Teal(1000+), Wigeon(800+), Gadwall(2), Pintail (200+), Shoveler(~10), Pochard(50+), Tufted(50+) and Goldeneye(3). Brief light shower on Monday. The weather looks set to turn colder from Wednesday onward, we love a frosty reserve! A few more waders turning up with 4 Redshank, Oystercatcher, 800+ Lapwing, 60+ Ruff, 10+ Black-tailed Godwit, Dunlin and Snipe(s). Some small flocks of Fieldfare seen over the weekend. Mistle Thrushes are regularly on the over flow car park and in trees near the in focus shop. two or three pairs of Stonechat out on the reserve. Treecreeper from the Janet Kear Hide and Kingfisher from the United Utilities Hide today. At the feeding stations along nature trail you can expect Tree Sparrow, Reed Bunting, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Chaffinch, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Coal Tit, Long-tailed Tit, Great-spotted Woodpecker and the possibility of Siskin, Redpoll and Brambling. Goldcrest are present sometimes following the Long-tailed Tit flock. Check out a few days of the previous sighting to get a fuller picture as to what can be seen on the reserve. It should be possible to see over 60 species in a full days bird watching at Martin Mere. If you would like to know the best spots, up to date info or to report any sightings then please call in at the in focus shop next to the Discovery Hide.  

Recent Sightings - 14th January 2019

Recent Sightings - 14th January 2019

Count taken at low tide this morning. A really nice treat this morning was to get close views of Curlew from the Brent hide, both on the estuary and on our wadermarsh. At low tide curlews use their curved beaks to dig into the mud looking for deep lying worms and other invertebrates. Wintering curlews are extremely common sight on Strangford Lough, sometimes seem in very large numbers, but it was really lovely to see one on the wadermarsh this morning. They are only infrequent visitors onto our wadermarsh. This could be an indicator that it's getting better for the invertebrates in the mud, seeing a curlew forage here. Hopefully it returns to give delightfully close views in the future. Despite being a common sight on the lough throughout the year, there are one of the most threatened birds in the British isles, as their breeding population has crashed by half in the last 20 years. In fact it's doing even worse as a breeding bird in Ireland, we lost "96 per cent since the 1980s". To learn more about the Curlew's plight, what WWT are doing to combat their decline and to learn about our Curlew appeal, find more information through the following link: https://www.wwt.org.uk/news/all-news/2018/10/wwt-news/wwt-news-conservation/curlews-in-crisis/     Curlew, note the long curved bill. Estuary – visible from the Brent Hide and the Limekiln Observatory Brent Goose 68, Shelduck 151, Oystercatcher 5, Redshank 25, Black-headed Gull 27, Little Egret 1, Curlew 11, Black-tailed Godwit 1 Main lake – visible from Sensory garden and Visitor centre Mallard 232, Tufted Duck 31, Shoveler 8, Gadwall 2, Teal 33, Moorhen 3, Coot 4 Shingle bank – visible from Sensory garden, Wadermarsh and Visitor Centre Mallard 23, Teal 22, Cormorant 2, Moorhen 3, Gadwall 5, Tufted Duck 1, Black-headed gull 14 Wadermarsh – visible from Wadermarsh lookout and Brent Hide Moorhen 12, Oystercatcher 2, Curlew 1 Freshwater Lagoon – visible from Brent Hide and Crannóg Mallard 17, Moorhen 2, Coot 2, Tufted Duck 1 Saline Lagoon – visible from Limekiln observatory Little Grebe 3, Little Egret 1 Limestone Lake Mallard 5, Tufted Duck 2 Peninsula Field and Saltmarsh Jackdaw Brickworks Jackdaw 2 Woodland Blackbird, Wren, Dunnock, Wood pigeon, Jay, Robin, Blue tit, Great tit, Coal tit, Long-tailed Tit, Chaffinch, Bullfinch, Goldfinch, Goldcrest,

Wildlife sightings - 14/01/19

Wildlife sightings - 14/01/19

a.m. Tide Level: High  Wader Lake Grey heron 4 Redshank 2 Shoveler 2 Cormorant 1 Snipe 1 Shelduck 2 Teal 2 Herring gull 1 Black-headed gull 1 Lapwing 48 Stock dove 46 Saline Lagoon Curlew 1 Shelduck 2 Hawthorn Wood Mealy redpoll 1 Greenfinch 2 Bullfinch 9 Coal tit 4 Chaffinch 19 Lesser redpoll 6 Great-spotted woodpecker 3 Nuthatch 2 Reed bunting 1 Other birds Sparrowhawk - 1 - Play area Long-tailed tit - 6 - Gully Tree sparrow - 6 - Centre feeders Brambling - 1 - Centre Feeders Stock dove - 1 - East Downs Great spotted woodpecker - 1 - East Downs Jay - 2 - Wader Lake footpath Goldeneye - 1 - River Wear

Today's Sightings

Today's Sightings

Whooper swans Mute swans White fronted geese x8 Pink footed geese x 80 Tundra bean geese x 3 Ring necked duck Cattle egret x 2 Barn owl Short eared owl x 2 Great white egret x 2 Little egret Marsh harrier Sparrowhawk Kestrel Buzzard Shelduck Shoveler Pintail Tufted duck Wigeon Teal Goldeneye Gadwall Redshank Common snipe Golden plover Lapwing Dunlin Black-tailed godwit Cormorant Curlew Moorhen Coot Fieldfare Stonechat Tree sparrow Reed bunting