After days of little change, today we finally saw some movement. Here is today’s summary of sightings…

Several groups of pink-footed geese through the valley today and the arrival of an oystercatcher on the Wader Scrape (to join yesterday’s green sandpiper) meant that spring seemed that bit nearer.

Also today, a marsh harrier paid a couple of visits across the reedbeds at the back of the Mere. The first was around 10am, the second nearer 2pm. Each time the bird flew high over the reserve, not actively hunting but rather checking out the site.

The two o’clock harrier

Meanwhile, three Cetti’s warblers were heard calling in the reedbeds and – once again – there were terrific views of bearded tit. In fact, if you listened carefully out that way this afternoon, you might have heard the sounds of visitors’ jaws dropping at just how incredible those views were!

Everyone present on the Reedbed Trail this afternoon said the same thing no matter how much experience of watching they possessed – that nowhere had they seen bearded tits for so long and so close!

Today we seemed to have one group of four birds (one male and three female) and another pair.

What I noticed this afternoon was how often the beardies are drinking at the moment. Reed seed must be fairly dry by this point in the year and so, every ten minutes of so, the birds drop to the base of the reeds for a drink. With feet still clinging to the reed stems, the bird dips down two or three times before shuffling back up to the reed heads. And all this in plain view!

And a buzzard

As well as goosander and goldeneye, an adult Caspian gull joined the birds on the Mere later this afternoon. And, to cap it all off, a small starling murmuration of around 3000 birds took place just before five o’clock.

So, all things considered, not a bad day at all.

Until next time.

  • Great to see the oystercatcher back.
    The views from the Reedbed Hide were beautiful today - so peaceful and still with the moon reflecting in the water. The heads of tufties were gleaming green in the lovely cross light.