It has been a great week with the cattle egret returning after going missing for a week and the same with the bittern down at Parkgate which was seen again Wednesday. Parkgate can be a great spot at this time of year. If you head down late afternoon you may be lucky enough to spot the bittern coming into roost in the reedbed, along with short-eared owl, hen harrier and marsh harrier.
Speaking of egrets, most days we have a great egret that likes to spend time in the field next to the barn, so you can get a pretty good view of it from the Visitor Centre or from the gate past the Bunker Hide.
The pink-footed geese are not disappointing us especially late afternoon when thousands of them can be seen overhead from the visitor centre heading out to the saltmarsh. The mini starling murmuration has been a bit on and off at the moment, some days showing incredibly well and others we are having small flocks dropping into the reedbed at Burton Mere Wetlands There was a sparrowhawk in the week chasing the flock but was unsuccessful.
Fantastic amount of ducks around at the moment. You don't have to go far to see them, from the main scrape we are seeing really good numbers for teal, few wigeon, gadwall, shelduck, shoveler and even the odd pintail. The Bridge Pool was great a few days a go with hundreds of wigeon showing really well.
As well as linnet, siskin, stonechat, Cettis warbler we are getting more sighting now of both redwing and fieldfare from the railway line. Where there was also a green woodpecker spotted earlier in the week.
The bearded tits were seen again this week in the Burton Mere Wetlands reedbed on a pretty miserable morning, so it just goes to show you just got to keep trying if you have not yet seen them.
Male bearded tit: Paul Jubb
Golden plover have still been seen at Inner Marsh Farm Hide this recently up around forty then at the same time we had about fifty birds flying up from the wet grassland area seen from the visitor centre. The odd sightings still of ruff and snipe are all over the site you just have to spend a bit of time scanning the muddy edges to find them.
Plenty of raptors showing from the visitor centre like peregrine, sparrowhawk, kestrel, merlin and two beautiful marsh harrier bonding and practising their food passing mid-air.
Marsh harrier: Paul Jubb
This week star sighting for us is the pink-footed geese every morning coming in and feeding on the fields near the barn then the mass gathering they do in the afternoon and heading out to the marsh. Even in the dull weather you have to go outside to hear their wonderful wink-wink calls as the head across to roost.
Our brilliant assistant warden Liz and her amazing team have had a muddy and wet week. Tuesday they were in the runoff ditch at Inner Marsh Farm Hide digging it out so that we can keep maintaining the water levels down that end. Due to the persistent rainy weather they have had to jump into action with some flood prevention work and path clearing, yet another wet and mucky job.
Work from last week: Liz Boone
Our new November family quiz trail is out “Treemendous Trees”, celebrating all things trees. It wont be long now and all the trees will be bare, so even in the wet weather make an effort and pop down to the reserve to see the gorgeous autumnal colours as the leaves fall.
Sunday 10 at Parkgate Raptorwatch. Come down and joins us to see if you can spot the short-eared owls and the bittern! The hen harriers and marsh harriers are around too.
Little Explorers events running Monday 18 November, 2 December and 16 December. 10-11.30am meet at the visitor centre and come see what stories and activities we have planned. Price: £5 per child (£4 RSPB Wildlife Explorer members); accompanying siblings half-price.
Little Explorers creations from last weeks event. Jenny Holmes
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