Posted on behalf of Katie Ellis:
A slightly milder week of weather has welcomed back lots of wildlife to the scrape. We’ve seen plenty of our regulars including black-tailed godwits, redshanks, dunlin and good numbers of curlew. Also, seven spotted redshank appeared on Friday afternoon. Around reception pool and on the scrape there’s been lots of ducks including shoveler, shelduck, wigeon, teal and a few gadwall. A stoat had been keeping us entertained around reception hide, bounding past on Thursday morning and photographed on a few other occasions.
Curlew by John Hewitt
There’s been lots of action from our raptors with frequent sightings of marsh harrier. Peregrines have been seen passing along the back of the reserve and merlin have also been noted, with many people having a closer to look to distinguish them from our regular kestrel visits.
Further out on the reserve there have been some good sightings again of the bearded tits with a count of up to five this week, along with water rail and cettis warbler. Linnet, fieldfare and redwing are still in good numbers on the crop fields, siskin near the boardwalks and great egret have been dropping into the reserve, visible from reception hide and inner marsh farm.
With spring just around the corner, we’re starting to see lapwings being territorial and awaiting the arrival of the first avocet, fingers crossed they’ll arrive in the next couple of weeks!
Lapwing by Elizabeth Maddock
Barn owls have been keeping us entertained with sightings later on in the day over the wet grassland at the back of the scrape.
The warden team managed to get out for a count and had 12 marsh harrier on the estuary. Some exciting essential work had to be done Thursday morning with a tree that had to be taken out.
Don’t forget our Raptor Watch this Sunday 10 February 1pm until dusk at Parkgate Old Baths. It’s a great chance to interact with our experienced guides and see some amazing wildlife! We frequently see short eared owls, barn owls, hen harrier and marsh harrier, maybe even bittern.
There’s also some fantastic high tides coming up soon and we’ll be running our Tidewatch at Parkgate Old Baths to make the most of the spectacle. See the tide flooding the salt marsh, potentially reaching the sea wall and drawing in lots of wildlife! There’ll hopefully be lots of drama with our raptors coming in close to take advantage of the mice and voles that are flushed out, including marsh harrier, hen harrier and short eared owl.
High tide times: Wednesday 20 at 11.35am; Thursday 21 at 12.20pm; Friday 22 at 1.04pm
Parkgate events can be found at rspb.org.uk/parkgate,
Full details for more events and guided walks can be found at rspb.org.uk/burtonmerewetlands with bookings made via Eventbrite.
We spend 90% of net income on conservation, public education and advocacy
The RSPB is a member of BirdLife International. Find out more about the partnership
© The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) is a registered charity: England and Wales no. 207076, Scotland no. SC037654