Recent sightings from 31 December 2018 to 06 January 2019

Birdwatching can be an emotional pastime and while probably all of us have experienced going out with some high expectations of seeing a rare bird and gone home slightly disappointed because of not having had the luck to see it, most of the times being out in nature brings us joy and happiness. It can also be the little things that make you happy. I myself can say that whenever I see a flock of Long-tailed tits – and I had the pleasure of seeing them regularly this week – it just makes me smile. 2018 ended with some of the usual suspects such as the Snipe which was present on the other end of the scrape in front of the café all week long. New Year’s Day brought not only loads of visitors to the wetlands, but also a long list of sightings including Bittern, Grey plover, Black-tailed godwit and at Goldcliff lagoons Spotted redshank and White-fronted goose. After a week without any recorded sightings, the Little owl made a welcome comeback and was spotted every day of the week thereafter. On the mudflats Curlew, Dunlin, Shelduck and Wigeon remained regulars and around the visitor centre you would regularly see and hear small flocks of Bullfinches. On Saturday, Lesser redpoll and Siskin were seen in the woodlands near the hide and Stonechats were regularly around in good numbers all over the reedbed. The weekend brought sightings of Pintail, Peregrine, Avocet, Grey plover, Meadow pipit, Greylag goose, Peregrine and Black redstart at Goldcliff lagoons and the mudflats at the reserve were once again full of Dunlin and there were some Turnstones as well. Another great sighting this week was a first winter Scaup which showed itself nicely right in front of the café on Monday and Tuesday before heading toward the lagoons. Admittedly, I have never considered the Scaup as being an especially attractive bird, however, the photo below definitely converted me and once again nature succeeded in making me feel better. There is no denying that birdwatching can indeed have a positive effect on your own wellbeing. One could say that this adds a selfish reason to the motivation to give nature a home, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. So, if any new year’s resolutions are needed then going out and enjoying the nature is most certainly not a bad one to start with.

Avocet, Bittern, Blackbird, Black-headed gull, Black redstart, Black-tailed godwit, Blue tit, Bullfinch, Buzzard, Canada goose, Carrion crow, Cetti's warbler, Chaffinch, Coot, Cormorant, Curlew, Dunlin, Dunnock, Fieldfare, Gadwall, Goldfinch, Great black-backed gull, Great spotted woodpecker, Great tit, Green woodpecker, Greenfinch, Grey heron, Grey plover, Greylag goose, Herring gull, House sparrow, Jay, Kestrel, Lapwing, Lesser black-backed gull, Lesser redpoll, Linnet, Little egret, Little grebe, Little owl, Long-tailed tit, Magpie, Mallard, Marsh harrier, Meadow pipit, Mistle thrush, Moorhen, Mute swan, Oystercatcher, Peregrine, Pheasant, Pied wagtail, Pintail, Raven, Redshank, Redwing, Reed bunting, Robin, Scaup, Shelduck, Shoveler, Siskin, Snipe, Song thrush, Sparrowhawk, Spotted redshank, Starling, Stonechat, Teal, Tufted duck, Water rail, White-fronted goose, 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: Scaup by Jeremy White

Anonymous