A variety of interesting species have been seen on the reserve over the past month including a Lapland bunting which was present from 17/10 to 22/10 around the southern end of the estuary track (photo by Zak Spaull). This was only the second record of this species here, following a bird that was only seen briefly flying over in October last year. A cattle egret on 19/10 was also only the second reserve record following a bird seen earlier this autumn on 26/9, while a red-throated diver on the estuary on 10/11 was only the fourth seen here, with previous records in 2016, 2009 and 2003.
Waders of interest have included a curlew sandpiper on 18/10, up to two spotted redshank seen on 10 dates, regular greenshank with maximum counts of eight birds on 2/11 and 14/11, three knot on 17/10 and a further individual on 28/10, and two bar-tailed godwit on 29/10 with individual birds also present on 30/10 and 12/11. 82 black-tailed godwit on 29/10 was a record count for the reserve, while a common sandpiper on 4/11 was unseasonal with most birds moving south by this time of year to spend the winter in Africa.
Wildfowl have continued to increase in number and variety with up to two female goldeneye present between 31/10 and 6/11 being a particular highlight, following an unusual previous winter with no records of this species. Meanwhile it’s certainly been a good autumn for garganey with further sightings of an individual bird on seven dates from 21/10 to 1/11. Other notable species have included two whooper swans seen flying over on 27/10, and pochard which have begun to build up in number recently with a maximum so far of five individuals on 18/11 and 19/11. Around 15 shoveler have also been present in recent weeks, along with small numbers of merganser with a peak of 12 on 2/11, and up to four goosander.
Great white egret sightings have been very regular with birds seen almost every day over the past month, with a maximum of six on 18/10. Kingfisher sightings have also been a lot more frequent than usual with sightings on 24 dates including a great record of four different individuals on 21/10 which is the highest reserve count.
Passerine highlights have included a yellow wagtail on 18/10, regular siskin including another reserve record count of 80 over on 3/11, and a single crossbill over on 14/11. A nice variety of other species have also been present around the reserve including regular Cetti’s warbler, stonechat, reed bunting and redwing, as well as rock pipit along the saltmarsh, and chough often seen flying overhead.
With the summer season now well behind us, the last dragonflies recorded this year included two pairs of migrant hawker on 18/10, and a pair of common darter on 3/11 (male pictured).
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