A single sand martin was seen over main bay on 2nd March surprising a couple of birders, plus ringed plovers and dunlin moving through signifying the early onset of spring migration and hopefully more species moving through the reserve. Please remember to put sightings in the book at the visitors centre, or if you use twitter post sightings with #fairburnbirds in the text.

Dunlin - Pete M


 A barn owl was seen hunting over the flashes on the 25th February, other raptor sightings have been of a male marsh harrier over new flash on the 8th March, buzzards and red kites have been reported most days. 37 magpies were roosting along lin dike on 25th February and two ravens were seen in the moat field on 5th March.  Avocets have been noted on hicksons flash on a few occasions with up to four being present, the great white egret put in an appearance on spoonbill flash on the 28th February.

Wigeon - Pete M

Up to 33 wigeon, 16 shelduck, 13 goldeneye and 4 pintail have been counted around the flashes, as well as the resident whooper swan and a small number of curlews occurring with a maximum of four being reported.  A welcome sight of two ringed plovers on spoonbill flash on the 3rd March and a grey wagtail was also reported at Bulholme outfall on the same day. A chiffchaff was heard singing along Lin Dike with cetti’s warblers also finding their voice in the Bulholme area and Phalarope Pool, a water rail was also heard squealing along Lin Dike. A kingfisher has been seen on a couple of occasions near the iron bridge.

Curlew - Pete M

Main bay and village bay

Five whooper swans dropped in through the fog on 24th February, other notable visitors being three ringed plover and a dunlin on 1st March.   Five snipe were present on 2nd March with an avocet and two ringed plovers appearing on 4th March, a nice find of a little owl seen from Bob Dickens hide on the 8th March. Up to four goldeneye and two buzzards have also been noted.

Up to 20 snipe have been seen on the spit form Charlies Hide, both willow tit and marsh tit have been seen in the area, the last marsh tit sighting was 26th February.  Birds reported along Cut Lane have been goldcrest, treecreeper, kingfisher, redpoll and a sparrowhawk reported on the 7th March. A cetti’s warbler was seen from the village bay viewpoint on 1st February; ten goosanders were noted on village bay on 8th February. A chiffchaff has been heard along the riverbank trail as well as regular sightings of goldcrests, a yellowhammer was reported on 2nd March towards the red shale lane end.

Dunnock - Keith Boyer

Coal Tips

A bittern has been heard booming regularly with the odd sighting reported, two cetti’s warblers were heard on 4th March and a snipe flew west over big hole on 9th March.


Discovery Trail and visitor centre

Species reported around the discovery trail have been treecreeper, redwing, willow tit, bullfinch, lesser redpoll and an occasional siskin.  A bittern was seen flying over the visitor centre on 25th February, as well as two pied wagtail on the same day. A red kite was also over the visitor centre on 8th March followed by ten fieldfare heading west the following day

Robin, well if the dogs ain't gonna drink it - Pete M

A nuthatch has been visiting the feeders, as well as willow tit and siskin. Raptors noted have been up to eight buzzards over the Newfield area with the odd red kite and regular sightings of the two ravens. A male red crested pochard was seen from the duck feeding platform on 8th March, a cetti’s warbler was heard here as well on the same day. Offsite a little owl was seen along Newton Lane on 24th  February.

Red crested pochard - Pete M

Around 50 golden plovers were noted flying west on 2nd March



Small tortoiseshell, peacock and brimstone have been recorded along Lin Dike, with brimstone being seen on main bay and near the visitor centre as well.