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Recent Sightings 23rd October 2023

The Estuary was full of life on this beautiful, crisp morning as the tide went out and exposed the mudflats of Strangford Lough. Waterfowl and waders alike gathered to feed - with large numbers of Light-bellied brent geese grazing on Eelgrass, rafts of Eider ducks out on the water and wheeling flocks of Wigeon (pictured) coming in to join the throng. Wigeon are winter visitors, and big groups of them gliding through a cold blue sky is a sure sign of the colder months rolling in.

Grey plover and Dunlin were scuttling around between the larger birds, probing the mud for small prey. In winter plumage, Dunlin are grey and white and don’t look dissimilar to Sanderlings, however they are smaller and have a slightly down-curved bill. Grey plover were busy investigating the shoreline whilst their Golden counterparts where flying high above the Shingle Bank.

Estuary - visible from the Brent Hide and the Limekiln Observatory

Black-tailed godwit 157, Little egret 15, Wigeon 381, Shelduck 10, Herring gull 14, Common gull 16, Lesser black-backed gull 2, Greater black-backed gull 1, Black-headed gull 53, Light-bellied brent goose 1032, Oystercatcher 24, Redshank 34, Turnstone 2, Eider 49, Curlew 19, Grey plover 5, Dunlin 7, Rook 3, Jackdaw 12, Hooded crow 3

Main lake - visible from Sensory garden and Visitor Centre

Little grebe 1, Cormorant 1, Jackdaw 5, Mallard 47, Teal 5, Tufted duck 3, Gadwall 4, Coot 1, Coal tit, Blue tit, Wren, Chaffinch, Blackbird

Shingle Bank - visible from Sensory garden and Visitor Centre

Mallard 34, Moorhen 2, Teal 4, Greylag goose 23, Golden plover ~70 (flying over)

Wadermarsh - visible from Wadermarsh lookout and Brent Hide

Teal 186, Kingfisher 1, Little egret 1, Black-tailed godwit 1, Black-headed gull 2

Freshwater Lagoon - visible from Brent Hide and Crannóg

Moorhen 5, Mallard 3, Gadwall 2

Saline Lagoon - visible from Limekiln observatory

Little grebe 5, Little egret 1, Mallard 1


Jackdaw 4


Goldcrest, Wood pigeon, Robin, Blackbird

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