Recent sightings from 28 October to 03 November 2019

The week started with some nice autumn weather before things took a turn to much wetter and windier conditions on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Large flocks of long-tailed tits could be seen all over the reserve and managed to put a smile on everyone’s face. Goldcrests and green woodpeckers remained regular sights as well and the calls of bullfinches could be heard around the visitor centre. Some stonechats were still around but their number wasn’t as high as a few weeks back. On Monday a whinchat was seen in amongst them as well. Two late swallows made an appearance on Tuesday. Bearded reedlings were elusive this week and could only be heard on Monday whilst the usually very elusive (in regard to sightings) water rail could be photographed on Thursday. We are still waiting for the arrival of big flocks of winter thrushes, so far only some redwing could be spotted flying over. Marsh harriers were very active this week and could be seen on a daily basis. A merlin which was flying along the foreshore on Tuesday, a peregrine at Goldcliff during the weekend and a short-eared owl at Goldcliff on Wednesday were other highlights amongst the raptors. On the mudflats the numbers of curlew and shelduck remained high and for the first time this autumn we also had bigger flocks of dunlin. Knot and some small flocks of lapwing were also spotted this week. Along the coast wigeon were present, especially on the weekend in decent numbers, with some shovelers and teals also being seen. Two pintails were a highlight at Goldcliff on Tuesday. One of our favourites, the starling, started to arrive in big numbers before sunset to roost in the reedbeds. A nice murmuration took place on Tuesday when an estimated 15.000 were seen displaying over the reedbeds and in horrendous rainy conditions they were performing for more than half an hour on Saturday. Two of our other favourites, the bittern and the otter, were regularly seen this week from the hide. It is certainly always a great to experience to see any of them! On Friday a kingfisher was spotted from the hide as well and a siskin and a bat were further interesting sightings on Thursday.

The starling murmurations have started and throughout this month we offer our special events Soup & Starlings which take place every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday. Especially the weekends are already in high demand, there are still some more spaces available on the Wednesdays. Every weekend from 16th/17th November we will have a Christmas Craft Workshops on for all the family to get into the festive mood. If you have just started getting interested in nature and birds and want to learn a bit more then our Winter Birdwatching for Beginners on 1st December will be the right event for you. Details of all our events can be found on our website:

Bearded reedling, Bittern, Blackbird, Black-headed gull, Blue tit, Bullfinch, Buzzard, Canada goose, Carrion crow, Cetti's warbler, Chaffinch, Chiffchaff, Coot, Cormorant, Curlew, Dunlin, Dunnock, Gadwall, Goldcrest, Goldfinch, Great black-backed gull, Great spotted woodpecker, Great tit, Green woodpecker, Greenfinch, Grey heron, Greylag goose, Herring gull, House sparrow, Jay ,Kestrel, Kingfisher, Knot, Lapwing, Linnet, Little egret, Little grebe, Long-tailed tit, Magpie, Mallard, Marsh harrier, Meadow pipit, Merlin, Mistle thrush, Moorhen, Mute swan, Oystercatcher, Peregrine, Pheasant, Pied wagtail, Pintail, Raven, Redwing, Reed bunting, Robin, Shelduck, Short-eared owl, Shoveler, Siskin, Song thrush, Sparrowhawk, Starling, Stonechat, Swallow, Teal, Water rail, Whinchat, 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: Bittern by Jeremy White