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11 Jun 2018

Business end of the breeding season

The scrapes and pools are busy with young wetland birds. Lots of wader chicks and duck broods are bursting onto the scene. While it’s encouraging to see so many hatching, it’s all about productivity, the number of young fledged (as in can now fly and independent). Things are looking good!

Shelduck- 10+ broods so far including  three broods on the estuary.
Gadwall- five broods so far
Tufted Duck- three broods so far!
Shoveler- four broods so far.

Lapwing- 13-15 fledged young so far.
Avocet- 25-30 young, some have fledged.
Redshank- 4 pairs at least, two with young.
Oystercatcher- eleven chicks so far.

Black-headed Gull- dozens of young on South Lake and Rushy Pen, some are beginning to fledge.
Lesser Black-backed Gull- pair with two young on South Lake.

Crane- three pairs with young.

Great Crested Grebe- three pairs incubating
Little Grebe- 12+ pairs.

Highlights in recent days include…

South Lake

The Crane family are still being seen occasionally (two chicks), a male Little ringed Plover has been present at the south end of the wader scrape for three days. Lapwing are flocking up, 12 seen together today. 101 Black-tailed Godwit prefer the Duck marsh (view from Hogarth Hide).

Zeiss Hide/Top New Piece

The Crane pair can be seen but the two chicks are very well hidden in the tall grass. Large numbers of Teal are returning, mainly drakes with c50 present with 50+ Gadwall and 15+ Shoveler here to moult too. The latter species should appear with ducklings any day now. Two Sedge Warbler and ‘numbers’ of Reed Warbler singing, a Reed Bunting was here too. A single Green Sandpiper flew down to the Bottom New piece. Five Redshank are forming the post breeding moult flock.

Holden Tower

Six Teal and seven Lapwing on the scrape include three juveniles of the latter species.

Pill Box Pool

A drake Garganey, pair of Shoveler, brood of Mute Swans and numbers of Reed Warbler. A Green Sandpiper was also on the edge of the pond.

Tack Piece

The Barnacle Goose and Greylag Goose flock are grazing on the field with loafing Shelduck. Three Avocet juveniles had a few adults on lookout. Four Lapwing juveniles fed on the muddy edge.

The two summering Great White Egret continue to visit various parts of the reserve, this one was in the trees and ditches on the Tack Piece and seen on the estuary off Middle Point yesterday.