Mini wader fest

The Top New Piece, viewed from the Zeiss Hide, is the best birding spot today, with a host of waders on offer. New arrivals are two adult Spotted Redshank in breeding plumage, joining the lingering Curlew Sandpiper and a supporting cast of 'regulars'.

Zeiss Hide
A breeding plumage Spotted Redshank was on the Top New Piece this morning, only for a second to be found a few hours later. Both birds joined the lingering Curlew Sandpiper which is also slightly coloured up. The supporting cast this morning included two Dunlin, a Little Ringed Plover 22 Redshank, an impressive 138 Avocet which may included failed or early breeders dropping in from elsewhere, 42 Lapwing, a pair of Oystercatcher, with the non-waders including two Great Egret flushed off the estuary by the rising tide, a Little Egret sat in the hedgerow, two Grey Heron, four Shoveler and a few Teal. Later a pair of Common Tern dropped in on the islands. A newly hatched brood of Gadwall with at least four ducklings were on the water towards the Van de Bovenkamp Hide.

Stephen Kirk Hide
At least four, if not five Avocet are nesting on the newly created island on the Tack Piece. Over the course of the morning at least 76 Barnacle Geese flew in from the north. Most unusual here was a flock of ten Oystercatcher roosting on the shoreline.

Estuary Tower
The Barn Owl was showing well and hunting along the seawall this morning, and was later seen carrying prey back to the box outside the Kingfisher Hide. Two Great Egret were on the estuary but then moved to Top New Piece as the tide came in. Also before the tide started to rise were 42 Curlew. The Crane family with their single chick were on The Dumbles, a brood of three Avocet chicks were on the scrape in front of the hide, and a Marsh Harrier flew over the Tack Piece.

South Lake
Just two adult Avocet remained on the drying scrape this morning. Sadly we don't have enough water to improve the levels here so we await the weekend's rain for a top up. Also on the scrape were 76 Black-tailed Godwit, a total of nine Oystercatcher including three juveniles and five Lapwing, The deep lake held two new broods of Tufted Ducklings, 24 Gadwall, a Great Crested Grebe which was carrying nesting material, 34 Coot and three Teal.