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14 Apr 2018

Wildlife sightings for 14th April 2018

2 Pintail – main lake

1 Goldeneye – sheltered lagoon

4 Redshank – wader scrape

1 Jack Snipe – wader scrape

8 Snipe – wader scrape, grazing marsh

1 Lesser Whitethroat – sheltered lagoon between WWF & Peacock hides

1 Sedge Warbler – reedbed, main lake, sheltered lagoon

2 Reed Warbler – wildside, reservoir lagoon

11 Blackcap – sheltered lagoon, wildside

4 Willow Warbler – sheltered lagoon, wildside

5 Chiffchaff – South route, wildside, sheltered lagoon


April bird highlights: Common Scoter, Goldeneye, Jack Snipe, Curlew, Dunlin, Black-tailed Godwit, Redshank, Little Ringed Plover, Green Sandpiper, Bittern, Caspian Gull, Glaucous Gull, Mediterranean Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Peregrine, Red Kite, Buzzard, Marsh Harrier, Hen Harrier, Short-eared Owl, Redstart, Black Redstart, Ring Ouzel, Water Pipit, Yellow Wagtail, Sedge Warbler, Reed Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat.

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).