Recent sightings from 16 to 22 September 2019

It was a week with lots of glorious sunshine. Butterflies and dragonflies made the most of these conditions. Lots of hawkers and darters filled the air and especially common darters could often be seen in tandem flight. The sun shining on the dragonflies certainly brought the best out of them. Speaking of bright colourful delights, the kingfisher once again made regular appearances at the Wetlands this week. Several times it could be seen hovering over the lagoons for at least ten seconds before diving for fish. It was a performance which would have been worthy of any hummingbird. Wheatear, yellow wagtail, willow warbler and stonechat were spotted as well and the trees next to the play area held the one or the other nice surprise: On Thursday a goldcrest could be seen from close range and on Friday two treecreepers were chasing each other. A green woodpecker was seen around the visitor centre on several occasions and a kestrel was seen hunting on the far side of the scrape in front of the café on Sunday. Pochards joined the gadwalls on the lagoons and water rails started to get more vocal and could be heard from the reedbeds. Some reed and sedge warblers still kept the Cetti’s warblers and reed buntings company and there was the one or the other sighting of the ever popular bearded reedling as well. A marsh harrier was seen flying over the reedbeds on Thursday and there were big numbers of shelduck and curlew along the mudflats and salt marshes all week long. Big numbers could also be recorded of black-tailed godwits which were regularly seen flying over the reserve in the late afternoon and on Friday there were nearly 300 of them. Monday brought an astonishing number of eight great white egrets to Goldcliff lagoons. Goldcliff held – as usual – a variety of other waders as well, including greenshank, ruff, spotted redshank, snipe, black- and bar-tailed godwit. On Thursday there were also two turnstones, 17 avocets and over 80 knots recorded. A Mediterranean gull was about at Goldcliff on Wednesday and no less than 7 spoonbills were seen on Sunday. Lots of insects and birds definitely made the most of the autumn sunshine so let’s see what the changeable weather in the week ahead will have in store.

We offer a range of events throughout October. On 16th is our Autumn Birdwatching Guided Walk on which we hope to see some late migrants as well as early winter visitors and three days later on 19th Lucy Christopher will give you an introduction into Writing in the Wild. During half-term Wild Things at Halloween will be all about nature based creepy crafts and frightful fun. Details of all our events can be found on our website:

Avocet, Bar-tailed godwit, Bearded reedling, Blackbird, Blackcap, Black-headed gull, Black-tailed godwit, Blue tit, Buzzard, Carrion crow, Cetti's warbler, Chiffchaff, Cormorant, Curlew, Dunlin, Dunnock, Gadwall, Goldcrest, Goldfinch, Great black-backed gull, Great spotted woodpecker, Great tit, Great white egret, Green woodpecker, Greenfinch, Greenshank, Grey heron, Herring gull, House martin, House sparrow, Jackdaw, Jay, Kestrel, Kingfisher, Knot, Lapwing, Lesser black-backed gull, Linnet, Little egret, Little grebe, Long-tailed tit, Magpie, Mallard, Marsh harrier, Meadow pipit, Mediterranean gull, Moorhen, Mute swan, Oystercatcher, Peregrine, Pheasant, Pied wagtail, Pochard, Redstart, Reed bunting, Reed warbler, Ringed plover, Robin, Ruff, Sedge warbler, Shelduck, Shoveler, Snipe, Sparrowhawk, Spoonbill, Spotted redshank, Starling, Stonechat, Swallow, Treecreeper, Turnstone, Water rail, Wheatear, Willow warbler, Woodpigeon, Wren and Yellow wagtail.

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: Common darter by Stefan Zitzmann