The extra long Bank Holiday weekend continues today, with the reserve bathed in glorious sunshine.
At least 63 Avocet were across the Top New Piece, many now nest scraping and getting ready for a second attempt at breeding. Post-breeding flocks of Redshank and Lapwing are now breeding, presumably failed breeders returning from their breeding sites. Nine Redshank and 20 Lapwing were noted this morning. A small flock of 15 non-breeding Black-tailed Godwit were also feeding here. These birds are from the Icelandic breeding population but have remained here for the summer rather than returning to Iceland to breed, with most likely to be young birds not yet mature enough.
A single immature Spoonbill was present, the other two being out on the estuary at low tide. Duck noted included the drake Wigeon, ten Gadwall, a drake teal, several Tufted Duck and a brood of Shelduck with parents.
The Crane family were towards the Hogarth Hide end of the waders scrape in the rushes. With patience you'll be able to see the chicks. Outside the Discovery Hide were three Oystercatcher having a dispute, the pair seeing off another lone bird. The rest of the Black-tailed Godwit flock were here, with at least 11 birds present. Also noted were a pair of Little Ringed Plover on the scrape with a few Avocet including a brood of three chicks. A second-calendar year Mediterranean Gull was on the causeway, and a Great Crested Grebe was on the deep lake.
The other two immature Spoonbill were fishing on the tidal pools south of Middle Point with a Little Egret. Two Grey Heron were further out with a small flock of large gulls. To the north of Middle Point were 27 Curlew, and along the riverbank a Kestrel was hunting around the reedbeds. A pale-morph Buzzard was sat on the gate to the north, and inland from the Shepherd's Hut a Crane was feeding in the Goose Fields.
Four Avocet chicks were on the Dumbles scrape with the adults this morning. More nests are due to hatch here in the coming days. A pair of Oystercatcher were also present. To the south near the cross fence were one of our Crane pairs with their two chicks, whilst a second pair of Cranes were nearer the scrape. The latter pair have a nest on the island here.
A juvenile Little Grebe was on the Pillbox Pool. Look out for it along the reedbed margin, from the Estuary Tower or the Knott Hide.
Just three Avocet remain here this morning. On the lower pond were the new brood of seven Shelducklings with parents, and on the upper pond the pre-moulting flock of Gadwall was 54 birds. A single Little Ringed Plover was here too, and the Crane family were over in the back meadow.
Robbie Garnett Hide
Two Great Egret were stalking the Tack Piece this morning. The four adult Avocet were again on the shoreline, one pair still with their single chick. Several House Martin and a few Swallow were feeding over the water too.
An adult Little Grebe was hunting along the dead branches this morning, and a Grey Heron was roosting on the logs.