It’s been a few weeks since I last blogged. I’ve been away on annual leave seeking the northern lights and spotting white tailed sea eagles up the coast of Norway all the way into the arctic circle (which was surprisingly warm). Yes we did manage both!.

It’s was brilliant to come home (I missed the floods on the reserve) to see the sheer numbers of pink footed geese skeins flying over and around the reserve. It should surely be classed as a wonder of the world! On a par with seeing the northern lights – at least for me anyway!

As well as flocks flying over we’ve had tens of thousands roosting on Whitton Island and Reeds Island. Even pink footed geese love Humber mud as the stop off on their migration roots.

As autumn progresses the leave on the trees are starting to change and there is a plethora of berries around with sighting of Fieldfare and Redwing flocks passing through is this the sign of things to come? I’m hoping to spot/snap my first waxwing of the season in the not too distant future.

Other “little brown jobs” are already taking advantage of the bounty of seeds and berries around. Bull finch (male and female) have been regularly spotted and cettis warbler have been very vocal across the reserve. I even managed to see one this morning but sadly flitted away before I could level my camera at it.

Even some of the more common birds like this blue tit have been taking advantage.

Blue tits seem to have done really well at the reserve this year!

There are a lot of wrens about at the moment too. They are such a cute little bird and one of our smallest (that accolade is generally given to Goldcrest but it’s a close call).

Others taking part in the berry and seed feeding fest include Dunnock, robins, blackbirds, tree sparrows, chaffinch great tits, long tailed tits and of course bearded tits. As I walked the reserve earlier a group of 12 beardies flew over head pinging merrily away and reports of mini eruptions have been received all week.

Female bearded tit


It’s brilliant to see the changing of the seasons and equally great to see the water fowl finally coming out of eclipse. It makes it much easier to identify them. Good numbers of teal, mallard, shoveller and widgeon can be seen across the reserve (especially Ousefleet now there is plenty of water in front of the hide). The star this week though as been a solitary juvenile female scaup. Sadly it evaded me and my lens but reliable sources tell me it was seen this very morning at the far right out of Ousefleet hide.

Mallard – I know they are common but their colours are still fantastic.

Shoveller having a stretch.

Shoveller moments later.


Pink footed goose resting amongst the ducks.

There’s still the odd wader about too. Snipe are still pretty frequent and red shank have been seen in the last day or so.

Snipe with roosting teal.

We’re monitoring harrier roosts at the moment on the reserve and Stuart (one of our wardens) reported back this morning. Last nights roost involved up to 15 marsh harriers. He also spotted little owl and barn owl (which nearly flew straight into his binoculars). He also spotted an otter in the middle of Singleton lagoon.

Marsh Harrier roost.

Let’s hope some hen harriers join them soon.

It was only a matter of time and patience before I got what has become my favourite pics this week … weasel. Thanks to the lady from Hull (who’s name escaped me for the spot). It’s amazing how fast you can grab a camera from the other side of reception hide and start snapping!

Weasel checking us out.

Weasel exit stage left.

Keep looking here for updates on what's around but for daily updates check out our twitter feed. 

RSPB Blacktoft Sands and The Humber.