Recent sightings from 07 to 13 December 2020

Wading birds put on a really good show this week, both in terms of quantity of species and individuals. Over a thousand dunlins were joined by at least two hundred black-tailed godwits and curlews. Redshanks and grey plovers were around in good numbers and knots, lapwings and a few oystercatchers joined the party. Especially when spooked by the incoming tide or by a predator you could see them swirling around in mixed flocks. You could still find snipes on the edge of the reedbeds and on Friday six of them were seen sitting together. Shelduck, wigeon, teal and shoveler were seen along the coast with chaffinches and linnets being regulars in the trees lining the coast path and over the salt marshes. Little grebes and gadwalls were sharing the lagoons whilst water rails were squealing from the reedbeds in which reed bunting, stonechat and Cetti’s warbler were very active as well. A bittern was seen in flight - just as the week before - on Wednesday morning and a kingfisher was spotted on Friday.

Photo credit: Mixed flock of waders with lots of black-tailed godwits by Jeff Hall

The starlings remained active in good numbers of around 50,000 and did treat us to spectacular murmurations most afternoons. Three peregrines and two marsh harriers were flying over the visitor centre on Friday afternoon. The songbirds were definitely thankful for a helping hand and blue tits and great tits visited the feeders frequently as did flocks of long-tailed tits which once again brightened up the one or the other dark day. Goldcrests could be found jumping around in the hedges, whilst dunnocks and robins made good use of any leftovers underneath the feeders. Great spotted and green woodpecker were seen on several occasions as was the jay with its characteristic flight pattern. A nuthatch made a rare appearance in the woodland on Saturday as did a coal tit in a hedge near the power station on Sunday. On Tuesday two stoats were seen playing – or fighting or play-fighting? – near the café decking and a pied wagtail was coming close whilst looking for anything edible.

Photo credit: Pied wagtail by Stefan Zitzmann

Tuesday brought some nice reports from Goldcliff lagoons. Some avocets were spotted from the sea wall and a brent goose was recorded which was still seen on Thursday. Tufted duck and shoveler were also present alongside teal and wigeon. At least one black redstart was still around on Wednesday and during the weekend. Thursday brought a merlin, a spotted redshank and five pintails. On Saturday barnacle geese were spotted alongside a grey wagtail and more avocets from the seawall. Two glossy ibis were once again around Red House Barn.

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Avocet, Barnacle goose, Bittern, Black redstart, Blackbird, Black-headed gull, Black-tailed godwit, Blue tit, Brent goose, Bullfinch, Buzzard, Canada goose, Carrion crow, Cetti's warbler, Chaffinch, Coal tit, Coot, Cormorant, Curlew, Dunlin, Dunnock, Fieldfare, Gadwall, Glossy ibis, Goldcrest, Goldfinch, Great black-backed gull, Great spotted woodpecker, Great tit, Green woodpecker, Greenfinch, Grey heron, Grey plover, Greylag goose, Herring gull, Jay, Kingfisher, Knot, Lapwing, Lesser black-backed gull, Linnet, Little egret, Little grebe, Long-tailed tit, Magpie, Mallard, Marsh harrier, Meadow pipit, Merlin, Moorhen, Mute swan, Nuthatch, Oystercatcher, Peregrine, Pheasant, Pintail, Raven, Redshank, Redwing, Reed bunting, Robin, Shelduck, Shoveler, Siskin, Song thrush, Sparrowhawk, Spotted redshank, Starling, Stonechat, Teal, Tufted duck, Water rail, Wigeon, Woodpigeon and Wren.

Please note that we take our recent sightings list from the visitor sightings board that anyone can contribute to. This is great as everyone can get involved, but obviously can lead to potential errors too as they aren’t always verified! We try to keep this list as accurate as possible but if you see something unusual feel free to comment here!