Beckingham Marshes really looked wonderful yesterday afternoon in the late-February sunshine. As well as high water levels (perfect for this time of year), there were masses of birds using the wet scrapes and grassland on field 9, viewable from the viewing platform at the end of the visitor trail.

It also just so happened to be WeBS count day (Wetland Bird Survey). Here are my results -

150 wigeon - a whopping number and they were certainly tucking into the nice lush grass growing in field 9, helping to get the sward into good condition for breeding lapwing later in the year.

70 lapwing - and speaking of lapwing! This is an excellent number for the site and there was even on bird displaying, showing off it's distinctive rolling display flight and call - spring is definitely in the air.

8 teal

4 mallard

1 shelduck - first one I've seen back on site for the spring

1 shoveler - first one back on site, a very smart looking male

3 mute swan - a site tick for me!

1 little egret

Also on site yesterday were numerous singing skylark, tree sparrow and calling little owl.

Great to see mute swans swimming on the flooded scrapes  at Beckingham. Mike Richards (