It very much seems that this current mild and soggy winter is suiting many of the reserves wetland birds with some nice numbers of ducks and now a few more waders about site.
Xerox lagoon this morning - full of wigeon and teal
Certainly this morning the 7 marsh harriers were 'beating' up the wildfowl with 340 wigeon, 460 teal and a great supporting cast of shoveler, gadwall, mallard, tufted duck, shelduck, little grebes and the first goldeneye for a while. Also nice to see that the Whooper swans managed to stay around for the National Swan Survey, but I suspect that there is also another pair knocking about that don't roost on the reserve.
Whoopers at Marshland
In terms of geese there are still a few pink-footed geese around with 450 on Friday while it was also nice to have 5 white-fronted geese fly over us in the reedbed as we worked. Check out any of the geese as there is always a chance of the white-fronts mixing with the greylags and maybe a chance of something else such as a bean goose or two.
A little bit of a wader revival too with up to 26 black-tailed godwits on Ousefleet and a roost of 21 redshank the other day, while the 100+ curlew seem to be enjoying Ousefleet grazing marsh. The lapwings have been very nice too especially on Friday when they were bathed in moonlight from the full 'Wolf' moon. Also a few snipe around, and fly over golden plovers but it seems most of the Golden plovers are down at our Reads Island reserve with an estimated 25,000 on Monday apparently!
Lapwings bathed in the moon - yes it was in the night light
Black-tailed godwits - from their colour on the breast I get the feeling that they are just starting to wear into there summer plumage
Golden plover and lapwings at at Reads Island - they have been at times spectacular
And this is why golden plover are called golden plover!
The spotted redshank seem to have preferred Alkborough and Whitton Island this year (the lagoon we created on Whitton should be full of food now), but this single bird has wintered down at our Reads Island reserve. Hopefully they'll return for the spring!
Birds of prey continue to entertain with regular hen harrier into roost, plenty of marsh harriers even during the day, our magnificent tame buzzard, kestrels, sparrowhawks and then off course our lovely barn owl.
Barn owl by Paul Coombes - with thanks
Marsh harrier sitting by the side of Ousefleet
Still a semi-decent collection of passerines too with stonechats, a couple of water pipits at Ousefleet, a few fieldfare, Cettis warblers, some charming goldcrests and our usual tree sparrows.
Only a short blog today as pretty busy with the reed cutting at the moment and a thousand other jobs. But I'll finish with a nice bit of fungi that's coming up in Horseshoe meadow at the moment.
Hopefully i'll get time to do a blog tomorrow, but all the team are currently full on busy with the annual reedcut, and being 3 staff down that also includes me!
Just to clarify that this week access to the reserve is from the Goole road via Whitgift and Ousefleet, the Adlingfleet side is closed 8am - 3pm every day.
No Sorry, the road from Adlingfleet is closed all this week we have just been informed - Access is via Whitgift, Ousefleet from the Goole end
Hi Pete, are the roads to Blacktoft back to normal
Jan - thanks for the kind comments very much appreciated. My main tips are patience and also not to ignore the common which often make great photo's and add to the days birding. Also take your time around the hides, I see so many people rush around, sometimes a pool may be quiet but then you'll get things fly past or suddenly appear, ask people too if they've seen anything of interest. Xerox to Ousefleet is good general birding at the moment but then Singleton is good for birds of prey. Singleton hide can get full towards dusk as people go to see the roost, try upstairs in First hide if Singleton is too crowded, or do like me and go to Marshland or Ousefleet to enjoy the curlew, barn owls and sound of the wildfowl!
Hope you have a great day!
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