Firstly let me offer my apologies. Our warden team have been really busy the last couple of weeks cutting back new growth. So far our attention has been cast towards Xerox and today the team are beavering away at Marshland. We’ve closed the hide for the day so that the work can be completed as quickly as possible minimising disruption to wildlife and visitors alike. The upshot of the work is much improved views – especially around the margins of the lagoons.

Warden team working at Marshland hide.

The amazing bird life around the reserve continues unabated. They’ve generally moved further down the reserve. Marsh Harriers, although less numerous, are still giving great views and there’s still the odd juvenile around.

Juvenile Marsh Harriers having a small altercation.

Photo Credit Mike Noble.

Marsh Harriers haven’t been the only raptors around either. Peregrine Falcons have been busy hunting around the reserve and regularly spotted, Sparrow Hawk have been doing exactly the same.

This Kestrel spent some time moving around between Xerox and Reception hides hunting before stopping to rest on one of the islands. It sat around for 20 minutes or more.

Kestrel resting on Xerox island.

The waders continue to impress both in stature and numbers. Avocet numbers are improving all the time and showing well. There’s even been a ringed bird which we think may have come from Teeside, sadly no pics of it though. In the meantime here’s a couple from this morning.

Photo Credit Mike Noble

 

Although small numbers of Dunlin have been around the reserve for the last week or so this is the first chance I’ve had of capturing one a little closer in.

Two Lapwings supervise a Dunlin feeding.

One of the cutest birds (in my humble opinion), Snipe, are still prevalent around the margins  using it’s amazing beak to forage deep in the Humber mud for worms, insects, crustaceans and molluscs. Their beaks are adapted so that they don’t have to remove it from the mud to eat and then continue hunting. Their markings camouflage them brilliantly against the reed beds.

Other waders frequenting the reserve in the last few days include Knot, Green Shank, Red Shank, Spotted Redshank, Green & Common Sandpiper and Black Tailed Godwit.

Green Shank – Photo Credit Mike Noble.

Black Tailed Godwit feeding at Singleton

Juvenile Ruff at Singleton.

Juvenile Redshank & Adult Ruff

Yesterday it finally happened for the first time in about 6 weeks. We arrived to a distinct lack of spoonbills. So I was thinking like the age old adage says “all good things come to an end”. But low and behold, they are back today. I counted 10 as I arrived at Singleton hide, before they were spooked by a Marsh Harrier (and the myriad of Lapwigs that took to the air). They didn’t go far though – landing at Townend Hide. It probably won’t be too long before they head off to the sunny climes of South Spain or possibly even Africa. Another age old adage should also apply here – make hay while the sun still shines. Loosely translated – get down to the reserve while “the going is good”.

Spoonbills having an afternoon siesta.

Spoonbills feeding at Townend hide.

Keep your eye open for some of the non-bird type things whilst you’re at the reserve. There’s been a lot of dragonflies around like this Ruddy Darter.

Ruddy Darter.

Forest Bug

Forest Bug

And so to the Gratuitous Advertising – which is the same as my last blog. We really need your help and support.

Supported by East Riding Council and A Year Of Green Action campaign we’ve got around 800 plants to errrr plant in Horseshoe Meadow.

We’ve planned a free event – why not drop in and helps us enhance this vital space.

Give us as little or as much time as you want and enjoy a hot drink on us. Saturday 14th September 10am – 1pm. Free entry to the reserve for non members.

(Please bring trowels and gloves if you have them and stout boots/wellingtons are advisable).

For more information contact blacktoft.sands@rspb.org.uk or darren.johnson@rspb.org.uk

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