It’s amazing the difference a little time makes. A couple of weeks ago we had the hottest day of the year and the reserve felt more like the Borneo jungle than a prime Humber nature reserve. Yesterday we had near tropical storm rain proportions and today we have the winds to match.

There’s still tons of wildlife around though. The wader count has been fantastic, going some way to proving our recent predictions. Yesterday saw around 60+ black tailed godwits taking refuge with plenty still around this morning.

Here’s just a few at Singleton hide mixed in with Ruff, Red Shank and the odd Spotted Redshank.

Other waders this week (and still making an appearance) include Wood Sandpiper, Green Sandpiper, Green Shank, Snipe, Avocet and the odd Common sandpiper as well. The Humber mud is a great source of food for our wet footed friends and I feel sure numbers and species will only rise.

It’s been a week of returns after a short absence. As Pete mentioned in his recent blog Mrs Monty the Montagu Harrier came back from her mystery sojourn. Thanks to those members that grabbed a shot or two.  Right on cue for our Birding For Beginners Guided Walk Bittern re-appeared giving great views (let’s hope for more of these), and the somewhat elusive bearded tits gave a brilliant show so all those involved had great big smiles when they returned to reception.

The Spoonbills are still with us. Although not quite the numbers from earlier in the week (highest count 24) they are still entertaining. These 4 were happy sheltering from the wind before another one joined them bringing the total to 5.

They been with us everyday for almost a month now and I never get bored of seeing them. They might even over take my obsession for marsh harriers soon as well.

Speaking of Marsh Harriers, they don’t seem to mind the windy weather – using the gusts to soar over the lagoons searching for a snack, usually spooking the multitudinous lapwings into flight.

These lapwings were quite happy to let the furore carry on around them.

One of our members reported an unusual confrontation this morning involving lapwing, peregrine falcon and a marsh harrier. The peregrine (using the wind to gather its impressive speed) spooked a flock of lapwings into the air as a Marsh Harrier floated across the scene. In the confusion the peregrine (while trying to snag a lapwing) came face to face with the Marsh Harrier. The Marshy flashed its claws at the peregrine which, expediently, beat a hasty retreat.

Other raptors seen this week include fantastic views of Kestrel and Sparrow Hawk. The later chasing after flocks of Goldfinch as they roam the reserve looking for fresh ripe teasels to raid. Of course I didn’t have my camera around (don’t be ridiculous hehe). Barn Owls are ever present later in the day.

Not to be outdone this week (especially the last few days) the smaller birds at the reserve haven’t been shy. At the toilet block area we had a beautiful song thrush serenade us. Tree Sparrow are still zipping around gathering food, sometimes with 3rd brood young pestering the adults to be fed.

Tree Sparrow gathering moths.

Young Blue Tits raiding seeds.

Wren perched in front of Reception.

Reed Warbler in the sun.

Ragged looking Whitethroat in the wind.

It’s customary now to throw in some gratuitous advertising (sorry not sorry):-

Saturday 14th September 10am til 1pm – help us rejuvenate and enhance Horseshoe Meadow. This Drop-in Free event is open to all. We’ve got over 800 plants that need planting, helping keep the meadow in tip top shape ready for next year and we need your help!!

We’ve got a limited supply of equipment e.g. gloves and trowels etc but please feel free to bring your own.

Find out how and why we (with your support) created Horseshoe Meadow and what we do to make sure it remains a focal point for wild flowers, pollinators and invertebrates and how they support our birdlife.

See you all at the reserve!