Not sure if it could have got much colder for the time of year with the east wind nithering both the birds and visitors to the reserve, but today the wind has calmed a little and this has resulted in a distinct arrival of a few more migrants! 

This greenland type male wheatear was on Ousefleet feeding around the Konik ponies this morning.I just love the fiery throat of the greenlanders

Our star birds though have been the pair of cranes that arrived on Saturday and although elusive are being seen two to three times a day as they fly low over the reeds, as i said they can be elusive but I worked out yesterday that if you are in Singleton hide between 6pm and 7pm then you have a good chance of seeing them as they fly to roost, often at about 6.25pm exactly. Unfortunately no photo's as yet although I'm sure someone has one or two from Saturday when they flew across the front of the hides?

So back to the migrants with quite a few more sedge warblers singing and for the first time also showing this morning, up to seven yellow wagtails that are mostly feeding in the rape field next to the reserve, also plenty of blackcaps, a couple of chiffchaff this morning, the odd willow warbler and then sand martins, house martins and swallows often feeding around the lagoons. With a bit of warm weather due over the Easter weekend we could see a flood of migrants onto site maybe?

The sedge warblers have only today been showing, its just been too cold!

Good too this morning to see the pair of garganey in front of the hides. One day they will wake up!

With all these easterlies the wader movement has been very depressed although there has been up to seven ruff at times with some of the males showing signs of lekking behaviour. There were also up to 50 avocets this morning, redshank, snipe, curlew, lapwing and a pair of oystercatcher. Maybe with the tides rising and better weather there may be hint of wader passage to come?

Curlew on Ousefleet

 

You don't often see them in the reed edge like this bird

The marsh harriers are very busy at the moment with many pairs nest building across the reserve while late on in the evening at least one barn owl is hunting, daring to run the gauntlet of the hungry marshies. 

This male although distant seems to be carrying rather a lot of nesting material! It looks like a flying branch!

A closer look at a male

Plenty of duck still around including the odd goldeneye but mostly teal, shoveler, shelduck, and then smaller numbers of gadwall, mallard, coot, tufted duck, pochard etc. Also the odd little egret and a few water rails now starting to sharm. 

Gadwall pair 

A little more of a three way Mexican standoff - coot style

The cettis warblers are still showing very well and there are plenty of tree sparrows around the car park and feeders, and lots of resident birds singing at the moment, remember that we have a Who's that singing walk on Saturday 8am - 10am with places still on it, for more details have a look at the events listings on a blog I published earlier in the year. 

And finally the bearded tits are feeding young despite the freezing temperatures, what a tough little bird the beardies are, you can see then whizzing across the tops of the reeds around the back of Singleton, Townend and First hide mostly but look around the edges of the lagoons too where a few pairs are nesting. 

Anonymous
  • superb hour at ousefleet tonight suggesting a bit of wader passage at last, fifteen constantly calling curlew had two whimbrel with them, also 7 black-tailed godwits, 3 oyster catcher, redshank and Dublin. Also two wheatears at ousefleet field gate. photos and video to follow. Cranes still present today but elusive

  • Cranes seen yesterday at about 6.40pm. Also two recent sighting of Bittern at last! Lets hope with a bit of warmth it will start booming.