Recent sightings from 25 November to 1 December 2019

Once again there were big numbers of redwing and fieldfare all over the reserve, feasting on the remaining berries. Blackbirds, song and mistle thrushes completed the thrush party. They did, however, not quite outnumber the starlings of which around 30.000 were roosting in the reedbed. Marsh harriers were still very interested in all the starling activities and on Wednesday we could even see a bat flying around near the reedbed the starlings went down into. Siskins were recorded on Monday and Friday and on Thursday a blackcap didn’t get unnoticed in the woodlands. Stonechats remained a regular sight in the reedbeds and there was also a female stonechat hunting flies just in front of the visitor centre, just as it did a few weeks back. The kingfisher was again a firm favourite of our café visitors as it was perching and fishing on the other side of the scrape. The busiest part of the reserve was the coastline. A good selection of waders could be seen on the mudflats, including redshank, lapwing, dunlin, curlew and up to 20 snipes. A whimbrel on Thursday and grey plovers in Saturday were further great sightings in amongst the waders. Wigeon, shoveler and shelduck were around the water’s edge in good numbers and on Friday a Brent goose and three pintails were further exciting finds on the coast. Fortunately, the bittern was very active this week as well and could be seen flying over the reedbeds on a nearly daily basis. In regard to raptors, a female hen harrier on Thursday was the first of this autumn-winter-season and a peregrine made some appearances during the weekend. Sunny conditions on Friday made a red admiral flying around, adding to a spring-like feel in that day. The main attraction this week – as in the previous weeks – were once again the otters. Up to three otters were seen on a daily basis on the lagoons and could be seen feeding for quite long periods. One just can’t get tired of the sight of an otter in the wild! At Goldcliff Lagoons highlights of the week were a goldeye and two really late swallows on Saturday – not really a bird you would usually connect with the pre-Christmas period.

Our Christmas Craft Workshop in which you can make your own log reindeer, wooden snowman ornament or some rustic Christmas tree decoration continues running every weekend till 15th December. It is a drop in event and you can pay on the day. If you would like to find out more about waders and wildfowl, then come along on 11th December to our Wildfowl and Waders guided walk. Our New Year’s Day Twitch and Tick Guided Walk gives you an opportunity to get your year list started. Details of all our events can be found on our website:

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