Recent sightings from 16 to 22 November 2020

This week had its fair share of typical November weather with lots of rain and wind. Therefore, conditions for birdwatching weren’t perfect as the visibility was quite poor at times. Not least identifying waders on the foreshore became an even bigger challenge than it already is normally. Curlew, dunlin, black-tailed godwit, lapwing, grey plover, oystercatcher and redshank could all be identified but there might well have been other wading birds hidden amongst them. Especially on Sunday lunchtime the performing flocks of dunlins were impressive with well over 1,000 individuals. Snipes were still a regular sighting on the edge of the reedbeds in the lagoons. There was a good number of teal and wigeon on the water’s edge when the tide was in. Shelduck were around on the mudflats and gadwall, tufted duck, mute swan and little grebe were regulars on the lagoons. A highlight were four pintails – two males and two females – which were first seen on the mudflats on Friday before they flew to the water and headed off south a little later. One individual was also seen the following day. Apart from Canada and greylag geese there was a group of eight pink-footed geese calling and flying over on a sunny Thursday.

Photo credit: Wigeon by Jeremy White

Once again there was a good number of songbirds seen as well. Stonechats, reed buntings and Cetti’s warblers were busy in the reedbeds. Bullfinches could be heard and seen along Perry Lane on most days and there were great, blue and long-tailed tits as well as goldcrests. Greenfinch, goldfinch and chaffinch were also spotted. Linnets continued to “hop over” the saltmarshes in sizeable flocks of around 50. Speaking of sizeable flocks, the same is true of fieldfares and redwings and of woodpigeons which could be seen in impressive numbers heading south. Even bigger flocks could be marvelled at from the starlings. An estimated 40,000 individuals were taking part in the daily murmurations. Those attracted the interest of marsh harriers which were recorded on a more regular basis this week whilst the only sighting of a peregrine was on Thursday. The kingfisher wasn’t put off by the inclement weather conditions and was seen on several occasions. Other wildlife on the reserve included a weasel and mottled umber and large wainscot moths. Friday brought a late large white butterfly and the sunny Sunday brought sightings of a red admiral butterfly and a common darter as well as a migrant hawker dragonfly.

Photo credit: Fieldfare by Stefan Zitzmann

The highlight at Goldcliff lagoons was also a wildfowl sighting. On Tuesday five common scoters made a rare appearance in amongst shovelers, teals and wigeons. From Thursday onwards four barnacle geese, a white-fronted goose, a peregrine and the two glossy ibis were recorded. A late swallow did indeed not make a summer on Saturday before a merlin rounded off the week on Sunday.

Our visitor centre and the car park are open every day 9am to 5pm. The café and shop are open 10am to 4pm, the playground remains closed until further notice. Please follow the government guidelines regarding social distancing and face masks which have to be worn inside the visitor centre. Follow us on Twitter for the latest updates.

Barnacle goose, Blackbird, Black-headed gull, Black-tailed godwit, Blue tit, Bullfinch, Buzzard, Canada goose, Carrion crow, Cetti's warbler, Chaffinch, Chiffchaff, Common scoter, Coot, Cormorant, Curlew, Dunlin, Dunnock, Fieldfare, Gadwall, Glossy ibis, Goldcrest, Goldfinch, Great black-backed gull, Great tit, Green woodpecker, Greenfinch, Grey heron, Grey plover, Greylag goose, Herring gull, Jay, Kestrel, Kingfisher, Lapwing, Lesser black-backed gull, Linnet, Little grebe, Long-tailed tit, Magpie, Mallard, Marsh harrier, Merlin, Mistle thrush, Moorhen, Mute swan, Oystercatcher, Peregrine falcon, Pheasant, Pied wagtail, Pink-footed goose, Pintail, Raven, Redshank, Redwing, Reed bunting, Robin, Shelduck, Shoveler, Snipe, Sparrowhawk, Starling, Stonechat, Swallow, 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!