Still plenty to look out for about the reserve as we slip into winter.Estuary TowerA Goshawk was hunting Rabbits along the seawall, two Brent Geese, presumably the Dark-bellied Geese that were seen in the Bottom New Piece yesterday were among the Canada and Barnacle Geese though distant, the Ross'Goose is still present. Out on the Severn small parties of Pintail totalled 12 birds, the Peregrine was on posts watching a flock of c80 Wigeon.Rushy HideAt least 48 Bewick's Swan included a new family with two cygnets, the drake Mandarin was still on the lake with 1000+ duck including our best gatherings of Shelduck, Pintail, Pochard and Tufted Duck. A flock Lapwing roosted with a few Dunlin.Tack PieceFlocks of Wigeon and Teal enjoying the ice free scrape, at least 23 Shoveler and 10 Pintail are with them.Top New PieceA Little Stint flew in, around and went back out towards the Tack Piece, it was frozen here this morning with one open area of water holding Teal but the Goshawk cleared them off. The Spoonbill roosted on one of the islands but flew out to the Severn to feed. A Kestrel flew past.Spinney Wood near Zeiss HideTreecreeper, Goldcrests, Chiffchaff, Redwings and Long-tailed Tits as well as a flock of Chaffinch.Late news for yesterdayA Bittern was reported from the Pill Box Pool area.
Some wet and windy weather is forecast for the weekend, but we're bathed in sunshine today
Further arrivals overnightThe Bottom New Piece held all the 'White-fronts' early this morning before they started to visit the Dumbles, a count of 76 Russian 'White-front's' was made with the three Greenland 'White-front's' with them for good measure. Other sightings in this area included nine Gadwall (rather scarce here this month) and the hedges held a number of Redwing, a flock of c30 Chaffinch and a few Siskins in the Alders.Zeiss Hide/Top New PieceMarsh Harrier seen here today as well as other parts of the reserve, 250 Dunlin, c350 Teal. South Lake32 Shelduck, 73 Shoveler, 70 Tufted Duck, 2 Pochard, Great Cretsed Grebe, 340 Dunlin (500 reported later), 95 Teal, 90 Lapwing, 8 Black-tailed Godwit. Estuary TowerRinged Plover on the foreshore (late record), 47 Great Black-backed Gull in the roost, Ross's Goose with Barnacle Geese, the Todd's Canada Goose was reported on the Dumbles. Three male Bullfinch in the hedge below the hide and a Chiffchaff.Rushy Hide42 Bewick's Swans at dawn (possibly 44 later), Avocet, 5 Dunlin, 2 Snipe, drake Mandarin, 117 Shelduck, 50 Pintail, 45 Lapwing, 67M 7F l Pochard, 200+ Tufted Duck, Todd's roosted with 360 Canada Geese but they have now dispersed to the fields.
A cold clear night with a Northerly airflow led to a frosty morning, many shallow water areas were frozen over first thing. it also meant that conditions were good for migration, we were greeted by singing Bewick's Swans at first light on the Rushy today. We now have five families, this now includes a pair with five young! Groups of Russian White-fronted Geese also arrived through the morning taking the 'White-front' total to 57. One pair even had eight goslings with them! We hope that this indicates a very good breeding season in the Russian Arctic. Ten of these new arrivals were also logged at Aust near the Severn Bridges at 08:30am heading our way.Other sightings and highlights included the following.Tack PieceStill very busy with Wigeon, Teal, Shoveler and Pintail, hundreds of Dunlin, Golden Plover and Lapwing had a few Black-tailed Godwit and Ruff with them. At least ten Redshank were along the scrape edge.Top New Piece from Zeiss HideA Merlin dashed through to the Dumbles, a few Wigeon, Teal, Pochard on the unfrozen fleet, the flood is covered with ice. The Bittern was seen again around midday, it ate a large fish in view of the hide. Estuary TowerChiffchaff and Great White Egret on the Long Ground Pool. Many of the Canada Geese moved here from the Tack Piece, the Ross's Goose was with the Barnacle Goose flock.Highlights for yesterday (unable to update yesterday due to web issues)South Lake11 Knot on the wader scrape islands this afternoon with 408 Black-tailed Godwit (48 early morning) and 93 Shoveler + the two female Goldeneye still with the diving ducks on deep lakeTack PieceHunting Goshawk created some mayhem as it passed low and slow over the scrape towards the Rushy,440 Wigeon, 320 Teal, 2 Spotted Redshank, 21 Redshank, a few Ruff and Black-tailed Godwit with the Lapwing, 1 Crane.Estuary Tower29 Great Black Backed Gull, 57 Curlew in the high tide roost, 7 Skylark, Peregrine. 10 Gadwall on the Long Ground Pool. Top New PieceGreat White Egret, 20 Dunlin, 5 Black-tailed Godwit, c300 Teal + Sparrowhawk through.Kingfisher Hide410 Lapwing, 420 Golden Plover, 120 Dunlin, 6 Ruff, 2 Gadwall + Chiffchaff. Van de Bovenkamp Hide- 2 Little Stint circled low over TNP flood and flew toward estuary
A Merlin blasted through the Tack Piece and Rushy at lunchtime before being seen over the Top New Piece later
Our winter waders were putting on a great show this morning in the sunshine
Two Bitterns back on view today
Arrival of Bewick's SwansBewick's Swans have increased to 16 birds on site this morning, we were anticipating an arrival thanks to a favourable weather forecast and it duly delivered two families, Maisie and Maifeld with three cygnets and Hoorn and Laren with two. The new arrivals have been seen on the Rushy and Tack Piece with regular flights across the reserve.Other sightings included the following.Tack PieceNow 14 Russian White-fronted Geese as well as the three Greenland White-fronted Geese, the Canada Goose flock was much reduced with 200-300 viewable from the hides, the putative Todd's Canada is still present but was impossible to pick out due to distance, part of the flocks fed in the Fifty Acre (a few field N of Tack Piece). We've increased the water level to create a flood in the middle of the field, this has been attracting lots of birds, at least 440 Golden Plover (660 counted on the estuary later in the day), 11 Ruff, c70 Black-tailed Godwit, c30 Dunlin, 360 Wigeon, 260 Teal, a few Pintail and Canada/Greylag Geese. A Cetti's Warbler was calling by the hides.Estuary TowerThe Spoonbill and a Great White Egret were feeding on the mudflats at low tide. A singiong Chiffchaff pluis Fieldfares and Redwings were in the hedge as well ass two Reed Bunting. A Short-eared Owl was hunting along the seawall (North of Goose House).Top New PieceFour Little Stint were among 250 Dunlin, 44 Pintail and 15 Snipe were also counted. Water Rail was squealing below the hide.GroundsAt least 5 Lesser Redpoll flying about with a few Chiffchaff, additional Chiffchaff at South Finger and South Lake.South Lake175 Shoveler were counted with Great Crested Grebe, c140 Teal, 5 Cormorant and 120 Black-tailed Godwit.
Two of the new arrival Bewick's Swans flew off on Sunday morning and have been relocated South of Bristol at Chew Valley Lake. Three still remain on the Rushy.Other highlights from today included the followingTop New PieceGreat White Egret, Little Stint, 310 Dunlin, 24 Pintail, 12 Shoveler, 410 Teal + Water Rail, Cetti's Warbler and Chiffchaff in the reedbed, Treecreeper and Goldcrest with the tit flock in the Spinney Wood.South Lake162 Dunlin, 69 Herring, 2 Great Black-backed, 2 Lesser Black-backed and c90 Black-headed Gull, 2 Great Crested Grebe, 212 Black-tailed Godwit, 9 Ruff, 117 Shoveler, 4 Wigeon,250 Teal, 165 Lapwing, + Cormorants, Mallard, Tufted Duck, Pochard, Greylags, Cetti's Warbler.Estuary TowerTwo Reed Bunting, Blackbird and Chiffchaff in the hedge, on the Dumbles 6 Cranes, Ross's Goose with the Greylag/Canada/Barnacle Goose flock, the oddities include a Snow x Bar-headed and a Canada x farmyard 'thing'?, a single Ruff was with the Lapwing, 10 Russian White-fronted Geese were on the Severn sandbanks.Tack PieceTwo Redshank, 552 Golden Plover, 3 adult Greenland White-fronted Geese with the Canada/Greylag flock, c300 Wigeon, c220 Teal, c20 Dunlin.Rushy Hide/Peng ObservatorySingle Avocet, c 30 Lapwing, 70 Pochard, 60 Pintail, Mandarin, Chile Wigeon hybrid drake, 3 Bewick's Swans.
Totals for the whole reserve were as followsCormorant 16Little Egret 10Great White Egret 2 (3 today 8 November)Grey Heron 12Bittern 1Crane 6Mute Swan 161Bewick's Swan 5Black Swan 1Russian White-fronted Geese 10Greenland White-fronted Geese 3Greylag 461Canada Goose 555Barnacle Goose 231Ross's Goose 1Snow x Bar-headed Goose 1Barnacle x Greylag 1Canada x Greylag 1 possibly 2unknown hybrid white/grey thing 1Spoonbill 1Dark-bellied Brent 1Mnadarin 1Shelduck 281Wigeon 370Gadwall 6Teal 1118Mallard 619Pintail 84Shoveler 154Pochard 78Garganey 1Tufted Duck 321Water Rail 8Moorhen 66Coot 100Avocet 1Golden Plover 204Grey Plover 10Lapwing 504Curlew 186Black-tailed Godwit 75Ruff 4Dunlin 228 (although 400+ in the area this week)Little Stint 4Spotted Redshank 2Redshank 4Snipe 6Little Grebe 5Great Crested Grebe 2
This morning we watched three White-fronted Geese arrive on the Tack Piece, but all was not as we thought...
It has been a cold start on the reserve for the last couple of days with frost on the ground and temperatures dipping down to freezing
A couple of Garganey were associating with the Teal on the Top New Piece flood, not too surprising seeing as the autumn temperatures are so mild and the recent rains have flooded our wetlands creating brilliant feeding conditions. Over 1000+ Teal had assembled this morning but were moving to the flood in the Bottom New Piece. Also noted in this area were calling Cetti's Warbler, 2 Little Grebe on the fleet, 44 Pintail, 80+ Wigeon and 16 Shoveler were among the anatidae. One of the Bitterns was seen near Van de Bovenkamp hide.The Bottom New Piece held five Russian White-fronted Geese although they may have also visited the estuary. The Ross's Goose was among the Barnacle/Greylag/Canada Goose gathering. A Kingfisher fished near to the Kingfisher Hide.South Lake held c30 Red Knot but most were hidden among the 87 Black-tailed Godwit, a Great Crested Grebe, c50 Shoveler, c60 Tufted Duck, 6 Cormorant, a Grey Heron and c30 Teal were also noted with a Greenshank in the afternoon Cetti's Warbler and two Chiffchaff were calling were on the far side on the lake. A Siskin came down to drink on the beach with the Goldfinch flock.The Estuary Tower was busy, half an hour saw a Brambling, a few Siskin, 60+ Chaffinch in four flocks S, 7 Skylark, 8 Raven NW, 6 Cormorant down and 3 upriver, Reed Buntings, a few Linnet, 120 Golden Plover lingering over Dumbles/Tack Piece + Canada, Greylag and Barnacle Geese on the Dumbles.A cheerful singing Chiffchaff was near the Knott Hide + another at the canoe trail, one in the Matrix (grounds) and one in the Duck Decoy + a Little Grebe here.The Rushy Hide had 'Allington' the Bewick's Swan, 33 Pochard, c30 Pintail, Avocet, Redshank, Spotted Redshank (flew off to Tack Piece), c40 Lapwing. The Tack Piece was busy with Teal and Wigeon + an additional Spotted Redshank, 6 Redshank, 14 Curlew, c70 Lapwing on the field and scrape
Meet Allington, a three year old male who arrived on Saturday 30th October
The Hogarth Hide is perhaps one of our least visited hides, but this morning it was very busy with birds