June can sometimes be seen as the birding doldrums, but the reserve is still filled with life and birdsong. We may be seeing little evidence of migration at present, but autumn will soon be here. Today is the average arrival date for our first Green Sandpipers of the autumn, but no sign so far...
Through June we're on the lookout for ducklings and wader chicks to assess how well the breeding season is going. But the month also sees failed breeders return to our shores, with one of the first to return being Green Sandpiper. As the month progresses and turn to July we'll see the first Black-tailed Godwits return from Iceland, with juveniles following them through August and September.
Whilst June can be quiet for bird migration, the reserve is filled with orchids, butterflies and dragonflies - so there is still plenty to see along with our breeding birds.
South Finger Walkway
Several Blackcap and a Chiffchaff are back in full song this morning, presumably gearing up for second broods of young. A Common Shrew ran across the path near the first dragonfly pond.
A Cuckoo was singing this morning around the trail and towards the Decoy Wood.
Four Roe Deer (one male) were in the Bottom New Piece this morning, with two being mobbed by Lapwing and Redshank as they ventured towards the water's edge at the back of the field. The two adult Cranes were in the long grass close to the hide, and behaving as though the chicks were with them, but with the length of vegetation makes it difficult to see the chicks.
A drake Pochard was again in the Eider Pen this morning, and also noted were a pair Shelduck with seven ducklings, an Oystercatcher and a female Gadwall. In the Spinney at the Zeiss Hide, things are getting quieter with most of the Rooks now fledged. A Treecreeper was singing and a Great Spotted Woodpecker was calling.
A Little Ringed Plover was on one of the islands amongst the nesting Avocets. The Avocet count was 51 birds today, and also seen were an Oystercatcher, 36 Gadwall, two drake Teal, six Redshank, 23 Shelduck plus a brood of five ducklings, a pair Shoveler and three drake Tufted Duck towards the Van de Bovenkamp Hide and a Grey Heron flew over.
There were 43 adult Avocet on the wader scrape this morning with three chicks, and a pair of Little Ringed Plover were calling on the far shoreline. A flock of 100 Black-tailed Godwit were roosting here too, and an adult Oystercatcher with a near fledged chick was near the causeway. Two drake Teal were on the deep lake, four second-calendar year Mediterranean Gulls were on the causeway, and the Crane family were over the back of wader scrape in the long vegetation.
Counts this morning included nine Avocet, five Shelduck, 17 Gadwall, an Oystercatcher and 11 Tufted Duck.
Robbie Garnett Hide
A flock of 26 Barnacle Geese were on the Tack Piece. Other birds of note included eight Avocet, 11 Shelduck, an Oystercatcher and two Tufted Duck.
A mixed flock of around 100 small waders were on the estuary, made up of Dunlin, Ringed Plover and Sanderling.