Recent sightings from 04 to 10 February 2019

The often windy and rainy conditions this week allowed some stunning views of the hovering Kestrel. While all its body was in motion with the wings flapping and the tail trying to steady the bird in the high winds, the head itself was absolutely still. A similar technique was used by the Stonechats over the reedbeds on a smaller scale, but not less impressive. On Thursday afternoon the visitor centre turned out to be a good spot for watching birds of prey. First a Peregrine flew past very closely and allowed a great view of its facial mask and then a female Hen harrier was looking for dinner on the far end of the scrape in front of the café just before closing time. Simply marvellous sights! Once again, the mudflats were full of life this week with wintering waders and wildfowl. The calls of the Curlews filled the air as did flocks of several hundreds of Lapwings. Dunlins were still present in impressive numbers and Black-tailed godwits, Knots, Oystercatchers, Grey plovers and Redshanks have all been recorded as well. Lots of Shelducks were grazing the mudflats and along the seashore Wigeons and Shovelers were a common sight. A Bittern on Saturday was the highlight in the reedbeds while a Scaup was still present on the lagoons in the beginning of the week and two Redshanks and a Green sandpiper were seen from the hide on Wednesday. The Glossy ibis was again around at Goldcliff lagoons in the first half of the week and was seen flying over the reserve on Tuesday. White-fronted geese, Barnacle geese and Spotted redshanks were seen at Goldcliff lagoons alongside a Goldeneye on Monday, an Avocet on Wednesday and a Merlin on Thursday. A Water vole was a great sighting close to the visitor centre on Friday. While not being one of the rarer bird species, the flocks of honking Canada geese which could be seen regularly flying over the reserve late afternoons undoubtedly added a very special wetland atmosphere to the scenery. Together with the Little owl which didn’t seem to enjoy the wet and windy conditions this week too much, we are hoping for some better weather next week.

Bittern, Blackbird, Black-headed gull, Black-tailed godwit, Blue tit, Bullfinch, Buzzard, Canada goose, Carrion crow, Cetti's warbler, Chaffinch, Coal tit, Coot, Cormorant, Curlew, Dunlin, Dunnock, Fieldfare, Gadwall, Glossy ibis, Goldeneye, Goldfinch, Great spotted woodpecker, Great tit, Grey plover, Green sandpiper, Green woodpecker, Greenfinch, Grey heron, Hen harrier, Herring gull, House sparrow, Jay, Kestrel, Knot, Lapwing, Lesser black-backed gull, Little egret, Little grebe, Little owl, Long-tailed tit, Magpie, Mallard, Marsh harrier, Moorhen, Mute swan, Oystercatcher, Peregrine, Pheasant, Pied wagtail, Pochard, Raven, Redshank, Redwing, Reed bunting, Robin, Rook, Scaup, Shelduck, Shoveler, Snipe, 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: Canada geese by Jeremy White