Our summer visitors are continuing to return in large numbers to Marshside - the last week has seen wheatear, sand martin, house martin and swallow making a comeback along with a few of our favorite warblers......chiffchaff, blackcap and willow warbler have all been seen (or heard) around the reserve.

It was a slightly overcast day when I found the time to see what's been about, once again there were plenty of pink footed geese feeding in flocks around the reserve. Pretty soon they will have moved on northwards to their breeding grounds so enjoy them while you can!!

Pink footed geese in flight by Barry Smith

There are still plenty of wading birds to enjoy, from Sandgrounder’s hide you can expect to see oystercatcher, black-tailed godwit, redshank and lot’s of lapwing. There have been a number of ruff seen around the reserve so keep your eye out for ‘lekking’ males – April is the time for this impressive sight and you may be lucky, Britain is just on the edge of it’s breeding range.

A little ringed plover has been seen at the sand plant, and behind in the outer marshes there have been marsh harrier, merlin and peregrine – further out still we have had a few eider ducks bobbing along the edge of high tide.

Fairclough’s Pool by Barry Smith

Little grebe have been busy around Nel's pool with large numbers of tufted duck and shelduck while out towards the golf course we have seen sparrowhawk, great spotted woodpecker and jay preparing for the breeding season.

And finally this week I'm giving special mention to the collared dove - for no other reason than the fact that it let me get so close to it and I got a great picture....

Collared dove by Barry Smith