A male White-spotted Bluethroat held territory and sang on and off during the midsummer period last year, we hoped it would return this year so prepared the Middle Point area with some extra feeding places away from the path and added a number of taller perching (hazel) sticks. The perches were placed to offer the Bluethroat a song perch in the hope that it would be easier for people to see this elusive bird. This morning what has to be the same bird began singing and showed briefly on one of the perches. It was seen and heard at approx 0900am, heard again at 11.15am and seen briefly at 1pm.
This bird is shy, it can disappear for long periods. It will drop into the reeds if it hears voices so best to be quiet.
It is best viewed from the seawall/Shepherds Hut hide as this offer the advantage of height however it is important to stay low, use the hide or use the hide or bank as a backdrop, a silhouette of the human form moving (sky-lining) often cause it to drop into cover.
Patience or luck is needed, you might see or hear it straight away, it can sometimes take hours before it decides to show itself and then it could be a brief view, bird is approx 90m away. We may have to close part of the path to give it a little more room.
*Please bear in mind that farm access is needed adjacent the hide, quad bikes, tractors and 4x4s may need to pass within the roped area.*
Members can access via the Members gate free from 08.15am, the Estuary Walkway and gate at Martin Smith hide closes at 5pm, please have your card ready for inspection. The walk from the car park to Shepherds Hut hide is approx 1km.
Non-members can access via admissions (up the ramp to visitor centre) from 09.30am.
Other sightings today include the following sightings.
Little-ringed Plover, a Green Sandpiper, 6 Avocet, Oystercatcher, 2 Lapwing, flock of moulting Gadwall and assorted wildfowl.
Four Green Sandpiper, 4 Lapwing, 5 drake Teal, 12 Avocet and a Oystercatcher.
A breeding plumage Spotted Redshank, Redshank, 17 Black-tailed Godwit, pair of nesting Little-ringed Plover, 4 Lapwing, 2cy and 3cy Mediterranean Gull, Great Crested and Little Grebes.
Immature Spoonbill, 3 Little Egret, 2 Whimbrel, 25 Curlew, 6 Oystercatcher, Flocks of Shelduck in 9 ducklings, pair of Peregrine on estuary driftwood and Barn Owl hunting grassland and reedbed.
Three Cranes on Dumbles. Seven Grey Heron in flight early afternoon.
Top New Piece
Early morning sightings of a roosting Spoonbill, 56 Avocet included the nesting birds + one chick, 4 Teal, 2 pairs of Shoveler, Gadwall with 4 ducklings, 19 Lapwing, 29 Redshank, a pair of Cranes (one apparently in wing moult) + Shelducks.
Cuckoo singing persistently during the morning from treetop by hide, it found female and they flew off together. Adult and immature Grey Herons, Barn Owl visiting the nest box this morning and Kingfisher present. Out on the field and distant flood- Redshank and Lapwing defending young. Great Egret on Top New Piece floods. Multiple Reed warblers and Reed buntings and a pair of Blackcap.