Exciting news! I was lucky enough to witness our first avocet egg of the year actually being laid on Saturday afternoon. There are now avocet nests in front of both Sandgrounders and Nel's Hides so why not come to have a look!

Avocet with a newly laid egg by Caroline Clay

We will be attempting to finish off the new Sutton's Marsh electric fence tomorrow (Tuesday 14th April) and this includes working in the area around Sandgrounders hide. We will aim to keep disturbance to a minimum and for as short a period as possible but it is inevitable that there will probably be less to see there than usual. We apologise for any disruption caused but in the long term we are confident that we will see a real improvement in the productivity of our various breeding birds thanks to the new fence.

Instead, why not head down to Nels hide where there are more avocets nesting as well as plentiful wildfowl and ruff, golden plover and black tailed godwit all coming in to breeding plumage.

Following the horrible windy weather last week it has felt almost summery here at Marshside this week! And there can be no doubt that much of our wildlife feels the same way as we have seen a mass of activity of both birds and insects. On recent sunny days you could not fail to notice the stunning small tortoiseshell and peacock butterflies. Here's a fresh small tortoiseshell looking fantastic - but in only a few weeks after flying around plants like this bramble and being attacked by birds it will no doubt have ripped wings and start to look very sorry for itself.

Small tortoiseshell by Caroline Clay.

 

It has been all go on the bird migration front. The bad weather last week held back everything trying to migrate northwards so we saw a real influx of many of our early spring migrants as the weather changed for the better. This is a typical feature of spring migration as birds will wait during periods of rain, poor visibility or strong winds to reduce the risk of getting lost. They can then take advantage of nice weather and a favourable tail wind to continue their journey. Sand martins, swallows and wheatears have been seen regularly and there is currently a little gull at Junction Pool. The first week in April usually sees the bulk of migrant ospreys heading north and a few visitors were lucky enough to see one fly over Marshside on Monday.

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