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11 Mar 2018

Displaying birds

Another night with heavy rain spells helped to top up levels on the fields, following on from the heavy deluge the night before which saw water levels peak at the highest point this winter period. The wildfowl and waders certainly don’t mind, for them it’s the ideal conditions. With the snow melt from last weekend it has done a good job of preparing the reserve for our breeding birds who prefer the shallow pools to linger into May. In one or two corners of fields we still have the odd snow bank from the recent weather.

A variety of species were busy feeding, even the Shovelers were tempted to wade in the wet grasslands to feed. Although numbers have and still dropping rapidly we still have a great variety of species to enjoy, the birding is brilliant. More showery weather is forecast so it should continue to be a good week for the remaining winter birds with spring migrants also a possibility.

Redshank, Lapwing, Wigeon and Shoveler (pair)

Two Ruff

Pair of dabbling Shoveler

Female Teal

Pair of Wigeon

Highlights today…

Tack Piece

42 Redshank, 3 Ruff, 25 Curlew, 600 Wigeon, 20 Pintail, 120 Teal, 20 Shoveler, 40 Shelduck and 2 Avocet.

Rushy Hide and Peng Observatory

122 Pintail and 50+ Pochard

Holden Tower

Red-breasted Goose with Barnacle Geese, 140 Golden Plover, 10 Dunlin, 80 Lapwing (some displaying), Sparrowhawk and 9 Redshank. Three pairs of Avocet were nest prospecting but flew off to the Top New Piece. The E. White-fronted Geese were in the Goose House Ground first thing but moved, possibly to Tack Piece. Singing Skylarks and Reed Bunting.

Estuary

2cy Glaucous Gull was on the sands again with 79 Shelduck and Peregrine Falcon also seen.

South Lake

Great Crested Grebe, 7 Pochard and 10 Cormorant on the deep lake, 27 Avocet, 2 Oystercatcher, c70 Black-tailed Godwit, Snipe and a Common Gull squabbling with pairs of Black-headed Gull, the latter displaying in pairs.

Zeiss Hide/Top New Piece

93+ Snipe, 13 Avocet, 2 Oystercatcher, 95 Golden Plover, 260 Dunlin, 12 Lapwing (displaying birds) and 70 Wigeon. Singing Cetti’s Warbler.

Car Park

Coal Tit 1, scarce here, probably the first of 2018.

Other sightings

3 L. Redpoll over towards the grounds, 4 Stock Dove N, Red Kite over East, Marsh Harrier female harrying wildfowl flocks over N part of the reserve. Four displaying Meadow Pipits were noted, the first of 2018. At least 20 Fieldfare and 20 Redwing remain on the fields.