Recent sightings from 11 to 17 November 2019

This week we finally had some bigger numbers of fieldfare and redwing although the flocks are still not quite as big as you would expect at this time of the year. Especially redwings could be seen feeding on the berries along the paths and flying over in flocks of around twenty or thirty. Perry Lane was full of thrushes in the mornings with some song thrushes and mistle thrushes mixed in amongst plenty of blackbirds. Goldcrest, long-tailed tit and jay were regulars throughout the week. Plenty of raptors allowed some nice close-up views as well. Kestrel and buzzard were regularly seen perching on the post on the other side of the scrape, sparrowhakws were hunting in high speed, a peregrine was spotted on Monday and a merlin was seen on Wednesday. Marsh harriers remained very interested in the starlings and up to three could be seen in the evenings waiting for the starlings coming in to roost in the reedbeds. There might be around 15.000 to 20.000 starlings roosting at the wetlands at the moment although numbers are hard to estimate as the murmurations are sometimes cut short, maybe due to the presence of the marsh harriers. Along the coast you could find wintering wildfowl such as wigeon, teal and shoveler. Shelduck and curlew were seen on a daily basis as well and a flock of around 40 black-tailed godwits was spotted on Wednesday and Friday. A great sighting was also a small group of turnstones on the mudflat on Sunday. The reedbeds were rather quiet, the only record of the bearded reedling was on Wednesday when some were heard “pinging”. The bittern was seen flying over the reedbeds on Tuesday and Friday. We had regular visits of the kingfisher on the scrape in front of the café where it could be seen hunting successfully for fish on several occasion. Even on a very wet and grey Thursday it brightened up the day. Lovely to see was also a female stonechat which was present just next to the visitor centre for most of Saturday. It was perching on the reeds and on the trees from where it started feeding flights and seeing it seemingly effortlessly picking insects out of the air was a real treat! Once again very active was the otter which could be seen in the lagoons on most days. Early Sunday afternoon even three otters could be watched from the first viewing screens. On Friday a male red-breasted merganser was reported flying over the reserve. Highlights at Goldcliff included two barnacle geese in amongst the Canada geese during the weekend and a glossy ibis which was spotted from Redhouse Barn on Friday. The peregrine was a regular on the island in front if the hide at Goldcliff Lagoons. Once again a good selection of exciting sightings that proves the Wetlands are well worth a visit not only for the starlings.

There are just a few late availabilities on a few of our remaining Soup & Starlings events which take place every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday during November. Give us a ring on 01633 636363 to check dates. A Christmas Craft Workshops for all the family will be held every weekend from 23th/24th November to get you into the festive mood. You can create a log reindeer, a wooden snowman ornament or some rustic Christmas tree decoration. You can just drop in and pay on the day. Our Winter Birdwatching for Beginners walk on 1st December gives you the opportunity to learn a bit more about how to enjoy birdwatching. If you are especially interested in waders and wildfowl, then come along on 11th December and join us on our Wildfowl and Waders Guided Walk. Details of all our events can be found on our website:

Barnacle goose, Bearded reedling, Bittern, Blackbird, Black-headed gull, Black-tailed godwit, Blue tit, Bullfinch, Buzzard, Canada goose, Carrion crow, Cetti's warbler, Chaffinch, Chiffchaff, Coal tit, Coot, Cormorant, Curlew, Dunnock, Fieldfare, Gadwall, Glossy ibis, Goldcrest, Goldfinch, Great black-backed gull, Great spotted woodpecker, Great tit, Green woodpecker, Greenfinch, Herring gull, House sparrow, Jackdaw, Jay, Kestrel, Kingfisher, Lesser black-backed gull, Linnet, Little egret, Little grebe, Long-tailed tit, Magpie, Mallard, Marsh harrier, Merlin, Mistle thrush, Moorhen, Mute swan, Oystercatcher, Peregrine, Pheasant, Pied wagtail, Raven, Red-breasted merganser, Redshank, Redwing, Reed bunting, Robin, Rook, Shelduck, Shoveler, Snipe, Song thrush, Sparrowhawk, Starling, Stonechat, Teal, Tufted duck, Turnstone, 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!


Photo credit: Successful kingfisher by Jeremy White