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13 Apr 2018

Wildlife sightings for 13th April 2018

1 Shelduck – wader scrape

2 Pintail – grazing marsh

1 Glaucous Gull – main lake

1 Little Ringed Plover – grazing marsh

4 Redshank – grazing marsh, wader scrape

2 Jack Snipe – wader scrape

3 Snipe – wader scrape

1 Redstart – East bank

1 Yellow Wagtail – grazing marsh

1 Reed Warbler – reedbed

3 Sedge Warbler – reedbed, main lake

5 Willow Warbler – wildside, South route, sheltered lagoon

7 Chiffchaff – wildside, West route, sheltered lagoon

3 Swallow – main lake

Please note: There will be disturbance to the main lake today due to contractors undertaking a full site water vole survey, apologies for any inconvenience this may cause.

 

March/April bird highlights: Common Scoter, Goldeneye, Jack Snipe, Curlew, Dunlin, Black-tailed Godwit, Redshank, Green Sandpiper, Bittern, Caspian Gull, Mediterranean Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Peregrine, Red Kite, Buzzard, Marsh Harrier, Hen Harrier, Short-eared Owl, Stonechat, Water Pipit, Brambling.

Winter bird report: The flooded marsh over the winter attracted Caspian Gull, Iceland Gull, Mediterranean Gull, Water Pipit, Stonechat (4-6), Dunlin, Wigeon (120+), Shoveler (80+), Teal and Gadwall. The marsh was lowered a little at the start of March to expose some muddy areas for waders and dabbling ducks. Snipe responded quickly and could be seen feeding across the field (>20 birds on some days). Other exciting early spring visitors included Spoonbill, Dunlin, Curlew, Black-tailed Godwit and Redshank.

A nationally important count of 5 Jack Snipe was recorded regularly on the wader scrape, coming out to feed on the mats of cut Purple Loosestrife most days. By mid-March Lapwings were displaying across the scrape and marsh, setting up territories and starting to scrape out nest sites.

After the first wintering Bittern was found mid-October, numbers peaked at 4 birds December/January. Birds were feeding all along the main lake reed and sedge-fringed shores.

Other winter birds (November-Feb) included Firecrest, Short-eared Owl, Hawfinch, Great White Egret, Bearded Tit, Ring Ouzel and Green Sandpiper.

Flowering plants: Snowdrop, Cowslip, Dandelion, Marsh Marigold, Blackthorn, Red Dead-nettle, Wild Daffodil.

Amphibians: first Marsh Frogs calling (April 6th) on the entrance lake.

Butterflies: Red Admiral (early Feb), Small Tortoishell and Peacock (March 23rd), Brimstone, Comma and Small White (April 5th).

Other insects: Bee-fly (March 25th), European Orchard Bee (Seen mating April 5th. First record for UK), Early Mining Bee, Clark’s Mining Bee.

Reptiles: 4 Common Lizards by WWF hide (Feb 17th), 5 Slow worms (early March).