Recent sightings from 23 to 29 September 2019

The week was definitely on the wild side in regard to the weather and brought a fair share of wet and windy conditions. Unsurprisingly, insects such as dragonflies and butterflies were not as active as in the previous weeks although there were still some migrant hawker, comma, red admiral, painted lady and a vapourer moth spotted this week. The feeders in front of the café started getting busier again and a great spotted woodpecker could regularly be seen there. Spotting birds in the reedbeds turned out to be a big challenge and mostly only reed buntings were visible with the Cetti’s warbler providing the background music, trying to drown out the wind. Marsh harriers could be seen trying to stay on course in stormy conditions and a sparrowhawk was hunting near the visitor centre most mornings. There were also several sightings of kingfisher and stonechat on the reserve and some of the passerines were migrating through such as meadow pipit, linnet, willow warbler and wheatear. Curlew and shelduck remained the main attractions on the mudflats with the occasional redshank, oystercatcher and dunlin mixed in. At times there were still huge flocks of up to 200 black-tailed godwits flying over the reserve. Gadwall and mallard were once again most numerous on the lagoons but alongside little grebes there were also a shoveler and some teal spotted this week. A noisy water rail next to the visitor centre and a flock of at least seven stonechats with one whinchat in amongst them rounded off the week on Sunday. The numbers of waders at Goldcliff wasn’t as high as in the previous weeks but there was still a good selection around: Greenshank, dunlin, black- and bar-tailed godwit, knot, grey and ringed plover, lapwing, snipe and redshank were all seen this week and on Thursday there were also ruff, two golden plovers and a curlew sandpiper recorded. The same day a woodlark was seen flying past. Two spoonbills were still present as well, a whinchat was spotted on Wednesday and a yellow wagtail on Saturday. Our “good old friend” the glossy ibis was seen on Sunday near Red House Barn. So, all in all despite tricky conditions not a bad selection of sightings at all.

On 16th October we try to find some migratory birds as well as the first winter visitors during our Autumn Birdwatching Guided Walk. Join us for a spooktacular time during half-term with our event Wild Things at Halloween which will be all about nature based creepy crafts and frightful fun. And don’t forget our popular Soup and Starlings events throughout November for which we already got quite a few bookings. Details of all our events can be found on our website:

Bar-tailed godwit, Blackbird, Black-headed gull, Black-tailed godwit, Blue tit, Buzzard, Carrion crow, Cetti's warbler, Chiffchaff, Cormorant, Curlew, Curlew sandpiper, Dunlin, Dunnock, Gadwall, Glossy ibis, Golden plover, Goldfinch, Great black-backed gull, Great spotted woodpecker, Great tit, Green woodpecker, Greenfinch, Greenshank, Grey heron, Grey-lag goose, Grey plover, Herring gull, House martin, House sparrow, Jay, Kestrel, Kingfisher, Knot, Lapwing, Lesser black-backed gull, Linnet, Little egret, Little grebe, Long-tailed tit, Magpie, Mallard, Marsh harrier, Meadow pipit, Moorhen, Mute swan, Oystercatcher, Pheasant, Pied wagtail, Redshank, Reed bunting, Ringed plover, Robin, Ruff, Shelduck, Shoveler, Snipe, Sparrowhawk, Spoonbill, Stonechat, Swallow, Teal, Water rail, Wheatear, Whinchat, Willow warbler, Woodlark, 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: Black-tailed godwits by Jeremy White