Its certainly been an interesting end to the month with a great range of top quality birds using the reserve and today at last the sun is shining! Nice too yesterday to see our familiar little friend the green-winged teal back on his favourite island in front of Ousefleet hide, however it is amazing that with his back turned you wouldn't know he was there!
A few shots of the GW teal - it came about as close as I've seen it.
The Siberian chiffchaff has also been showing around the scrub between Reception and Singleton, listen out for its distinctive peep-peep call which often helps you find it as it feeds among the willows.
The harrier roost has certainly been building with 27 marsh harriers in to roost last night counted by our regular roost watcher Jason, he reported 7 birds coming in from high which is something similar to what I witnessed last year. I now know that this happens when birds are disturbed from roosts elsewhere on the estuary and 7 birds tallies with reports I've had from the Brough area.
Marsh harriers this morning
No sign of the hen harrier though but it can come and go, but merlin present and also the chance of some great views of barn owl. Also plenty of buzzards, kestrels and sparrowhawks about with the sparrowhawks particularly active as they hunt for the migrant thrushes.
Barn owl this morning
Plenty of wildfowl still using the Ousefleet end of the reserve with 500 teal, and then smaller numbers of the usual dabbling ducks and the single goldeneye on Ousefleet. But nice this morning to have 36 redshank and 15 ruff with accompanying lapwings in front of Ousefleet hide.
Mixed waders, ruff, redshank and lapwing
Other waders to look out for include, a few snipe beginning to re-appear, and then regular curlew, and flocks of fly over golden plover. I suspect there's not much food left on the grazing marsh at the moment with all the floods washing out and drowning so many of the worms.
Still a few parties of whooper swans passing through with 11 today and then up to 700 pinkfeet feeding in fields next to Whitgift but not easy to spot as they are nicely tucked out of the way!
For the end of November its been very nice for small birds (see last blog) but the fall of thrushes earlier in the week has seen many of the blackbirds already gone west but then still plenty of fieldfare, redwing and today a few song thrushes about. Also nice to see 3 goldcrest this morning mixing in with the mixed tit flocks, while cettis warblers sang and stonechats started to re-appear in the sunshine.
Stonechat at Ousefleet
Also today there was siskin and redpoll moving south and the usual mix of meadow pipits, pied wagtails, chaffinch, starlings and linnets feeding in the arable field on the way to Ousefleet. Also plenty of reed buntings around, bullfinch, the odd yellowhammer and skylark.
Nice to see the stoat this morning and the Konik ponies were enjoying the drop of the bright stuff using the reed to capture the rays.
Finally a bit of an update on the Road closures, the road from Goole will be open to the reserve via Whitgift and Ousefleet ALL NEXT WEEK, (PLUS ALL ROADS ARE FULLY OPEN AT THE WEEKENDS).
But the week after next week the Road from Goole will be CLOSED and access will be from the Adlingfleet Road side only, those travelling from Goole will have to go via Eastoft. This will be for two weeks and then re-open for Christmas but then be closed again after Christmas for two weeks!
Please Check facebook and Twitter for the latest updates if you are planning to visit.
For the work team its a logistical nightmare!!! Especially on days like today when they suddenly start work on a bit of road they hadn't said they'd do until a week later.
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