Recent sightings from 21 to 27 October 2019

The week got off to an exciting start on Monday. Huge flocks of woodpigeon were dominating the sky, red admiral and comma were on the wing, goldcrests were jumping about in the trees and black-tailed godwits, wigeon and shoveler were seen along the coast. On Tuesday morning three brent geese were flying over the visitor centre and around 20 of them were later spotted on the foreshore. The mudflats were teaming with life and there was also a good number of black-tailed godwits, hundreds of shelduck, around 20 knots, some dunlins and oystercatchers and lots of curlew. Peacock, speckled wood, common darter and migrant hawker made the most of the glorious sunny conditions. All week long, stonechats were once again seen all over the reserve and from Tuesday to Thursday a whinchat was joining them. At Goldcliff lagoons a bittern was seen flying towards the reserve on Tuesday and a late wheatear as well as eight grey plovers were further sightings on that day. Green woodpeckers were a regular sight on the reserve as was the marsh harrier which could be seen flying over the reedbeds on several occasions. Up to six snipes and some redshanks were spotted along the coast from Thursday onwards and on a very wet Friday there was a nice flock of around 50 lapwings flying over the salt marshes. Two of our most popular species, the kingfisher and the bearded reedling were both seen on Thursday, Friday and Sunday. Another one of our favourites, the otter, was seen from the hide on Monday and on Thursday. It was once again a good week for raptors as well with the peregrine being spotted on Wednesday and a merlin was seen flying rapidly over the reserve on Friday despite of the heavy rain. A well and truly stunning sight! The flocks of starlings are starting the get bigger and bigger and the first murmuration activity has been recorded, even if still on a relatively small scale. Other highlights of the week included a bittern on Sunday and a glossy ibis which was seen from Red House Barn on Wednesday. Some winter visitors in the form of redwings were seen but there were still some swallows about at Goldcliff on Sunday as well. Sometimes in autumn you get the best of both seasons…

This week is all about Halloween. On Monday 28th October and Wednesday 30th October Wild Things at Halloween will offer spooktacular activities for the kids such as den building, mini-beast hunting or smelly potions. For the rest of the half-term week we will offer drop-in activities so visit us and see what is on. The number of starlings is definitely on the rise and there are still a few spaces available on our Soup and Starling events which run every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday throughout November but dates are filling up quickly. To get in the right mood for Christmas there will be Christmas Craft Workshops for all the family every weekend from 16th/17th November. Details of all our events can be found on our website:

Bearded reedling, Bittern, Blackbird, Black-headed gull, Black-tailed godwit, Blue tit, Brent goose, Bullfinch, Buzzard, Canada goose, Carrion crow, Cetti's warbler, Chaffinch, Cormorant, Curlew, Dunlin, Dunnock, Gadwall, Glossy ibis, Goldcrest, Goldfinch, Great spotted woodpecker, Great tit, Green woodpecker, Greenfinch, Grey heron, Grey plover, Greylag goose, Herring gull, House sparrow, Jackdaw, Jay, Kestrel, Kingfisher, Knot, Lapwing, Lesser black-backed gull, Little egret, Little grebe, Long-tailed tit, Magpie, Mallard, Marsh harrier, Meadow pipit, Merlin, Moorhen, Mute swan, Oystercatcher, Peregrine, Pheasant, Pied wagtail, Pochard, Raven, Redshank, Redwing, Reed bunting, Robin, Shelduck, Shoveler, Skylark, Snipe, Sparrowhawk, Starling, Stonechat, Swallow, Teal, Tufted duck, Water rail, Wheatear, Whinchat, Wigeon, Willow warbler, 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: Shelduck by Jeremy White