The wet and cold weather of late will have undoubtedly slowed down some aspects of spring, however we appear to be underway with our breeding wader season over at Beckingham, as we were delighted to discover during the first survey of the year yesterday.

Lapwings are always the most numerous of our waders with an estimated 14 pairs on site from yesterday’s count. This number could go up over the next few weeks, so is by no means our final total, however this already equals the highest number of pairs we have ever had on site and is certainly the highest number so early in the season.

3 pairs of redshank appear to be holding territory and displaying on site. Another species that has already equalled the highest number of pairs ever recorded on site. Redshank first bred successfully at Beckingham in 2016, then again last year, so fingers crossed for them again in 2018.

A curlew was also present yesterday and after their failed attempt for the first time last year, let’s hope 2018 brings them more success.

Other birds present on site yesterday include oystercatcher, shelduck, still 100 wigeon and 30 teal, mute swan, singing skylark and meadow pipits performing their characteristic parachute song flight and a beautiful breeding plumaged black-tailed godwit. This bird is on passage, but what a stunner in their bright orange attire. Recent sightings include a merlin, peregrine, ruff, an impressive 60+ snipe and 100 flyover whooper swans.

How will our lapwings do this year?