Where has the summer gone?

We've seen temperatures drop by over 10oC compared to yesterday, bringing the heatwave to an end. The lower temperatures bring some relief to our wildlife, but what we now need is some rain to help bring water levels back up. Many areas of the reserve are drying out, but the birds are making the most of the wet muddy margins.

A touch of autumn arrived for the birding world yesterday, with our first Green Sandpiper of the season. Today we have at least three birds touring the Tack Piece, Pillbox Pool and Dumbles scrape. Look out for them from the Estuary Tower or Robbie Garnett Hide. More autumn arrivals yesterday came in the form of two stunning Spotted Redshank, still in breeding plumage. Both birds are still present today.

Estuary Tower
The Barn Owl was hunting on the Top New Piece, giving good views from the Estuary Tower. Look south towards the Zeiss Hide as the bird hunts in the long grass. The brilliant photo above is from our volunteer Mike. Out on the estuary this morning were a flock of 366 Rooks, presumably gritting on the mudflats as part of their diet. A few Curlew and Shelduck were also noted.

South Lake
One of the Spotted Redshank moved here from the Zeiss Hide mid-morning and was feeding alongside 108 Black-tailed Godwit. Also on the wader scrape were six Oystercatcher, a Little Ringed Plover, two Avocet and 34 Shelduck. A Great Crested Grebe was on the deep lake with 26 Gadwall.

Rushy Hide
Two Green Sandpiper were on the lower pond this morning, before flitting over the hedge to the Tack Piece. The birds were also seen on the Pillbox Pool, before returning to the Tack Piece. The third bird of the morning was first found on the Dumbles scrape from the Estuary Tower. Also on the Rushy were 13 Tufted Duck, three Avocet, 56 Gadwall, two Oystercatcher, a Little Ringed Plover, three Teal and a family of Shelduck.

Decoy Hide
A Little Grebe was here again, with a roosting Grey Heron and 11 Shelduck.

Zeiss Hide
Two Spotted Redshank were present first thing before one moved to the South Lake. Also counted were 25 Redshank, 37 Lapwing, 119 Avocet, two Oystercatcher and a family of Shelduck. By late morning, as the tide rose, two Spoonbills dropped in.