Amazing!, You really need your wits about you on the reserve at the moment as there are now three species of harrier , marsh, Montagu's and now hen harrier! There can't be too many places around the country that can give you the chance of all three species in one day, so if you see a ringtail harrier make sure you take a few notes, or pictures and just make sure you have identified your bird correctly! 

I always like observing behaviour with this bird taking a very through shower the other day during heavy rain. (I have a better video if it will publish)

And to follow the fantastic three there has also been the appearance of that lovely little reedbed skulker the spotted crake on Singleton lagoon. First spotted on Monday during the heavy rain it then dissapeared, only to re-appear today on a small area of mud opposite Singleton hide today and be a little bit more co-operative. Also amazing to watch for the crake and see just how many water rails are actually also on site, loads of them in fact!

Picture by Ryan McClarence who found the bird on Monday. Just reward for birding on a rainy day!

And my poor effort from this morning. Scope views were pretty good though

The last few days really have seen some entertaining birding with migration in full swing particularly wildfowl wise with shelduck and wigeon passing west and a very notable count for this time of year of 1170 teal on the lagoons along with 110 wigeon, 150+ mallard and 9 pintail as well as shoveler, gadwall and a few young remaining tufted duck. Most of these duck seem to have been attracted by the shallow flooded Ousefleet flash which they are feeding on overnight. Down at Reads Island today it was also amazing to see that there were at least 900 pink-footed geese on the sands in the river along with a lone common seal. It seems that the early arrival is linked to the early onset of winter in Iceland that is forcing the pinkfeet south. 

Shelduck passing west - its been the best passage I've seen in many years, they will be returning from their moulting grounds.

Some of the 1000 teal this morning on Marshland - sort through them to see if you can find the garganey!

Great to see the wigeon and pintail roosting on Ousefleet lagoon that was de-silted last year. There's also a few ruff in shot

Common seal near Reads Island

Waders have been very nice with a good showing of species including a few more dunlin, ringed plover and on Monday a lone curlew sandpiper, Ruff and black-tailed godwits are in good supply and there is often a few spotted redshank, single greenshank and green sandpiper. Redshank and lapwing numbers are good, with a few snipe, the odd curlew, fly over whimbrel and bar-tailed godwit, 2 knot again this morning and also a few oystercatchers. 

Curlew sandpiper

Ringed plover

Also on the gloriously rainy Monday there was also spoonbill that arrived on Singleton, then moving to Townend, and still a few little egrets about plus plenty of herons. 

Spoonbill

Notable small birds include the re-appearance of the three stonechats at Ousefleet, the odd bearded tit at the sides of the lagoons, chiffchaffs, a late family party of reed warblers, whitethroat, cettis warbler, and a few yellow hammers around the lagoons. Still a few tardy yellow wagtails about and over 100 meadow pipits at Ousefleet yesterdayand off course our regular tree sparrows

Stonechat

 

Yellowhammers at Townend this morning

And lastly thanks to whoever handed my telescope in at reception the other day, very much appreciated. I'd had to go and help out one of the cows who was having trouble birthing her calf and by the time me and the graziers daughter had pulled the calf out backwards I'd completely forgotten about my telescope and only remembered I'd left it somewhere at 6pm after an all day meeting! Unfortunately not a happy ending as the calf was already dead.  

I'll leave on a brighter note - a couple of signs of Autumn colours

Haw berries - ready for the hungry northern thrushes

Elder berries

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