It has been a busy few days out on the reserve with cooler conditions bringing in more wildfowl to the marsh with over 500 each of Wigeon and Teal on Purfleet Scrape on Friday morning with 33 Pintail and the other usual dabblers amongst them.

Wigeon and a Pintail - HTV

Big flocks of Greylag and Canada Geese are roaming around and will hopefully draw in some rarer geese but so far only four Brent Geese have taken the lure and briefly joined them.

Can you find the six species present? - Nick Lay

Greylag - Russ Sherriff

The Snipe, Ruff and Lapwing out on Aveley have been joined at high tide by 13 Curlew, 400 Black-tailed Godwits, 38 Avocet and 600 Dunlin but the Redshank seem to be heading to the Concrete Barges to roost up while a Jack Snipe was seen bathing in front of the Butts Hide.

Common Snipe - Mark Vale

Curlew - Russ Sherriff

Curlew - Russ Sherriff

Marsh Harrier, Buzzard, Peregrine, Kestrel and Sparrowhawk have all been daily attendees but a hulking male Goshawk sat out in the middle of Aveley for 45 minutes on Friday morning quite literally had the place to itself and accounted for the fact that all the duck were jammed on Purfleet Scrape!  This is the first on the deck sighting in twenty years of looking.

Kestrel - Basil Thornton

male Goshawk - HTV

Both Short-eared and Barn owls have been showing incredibly well of an afternoon and have been well attended by photographers.

Short-eared Owl - Andrew Wakefield

Barn Owl - David Dent

Goldcrests, Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps are still to be found and at least two Firecrests are knocking about but a Siberian Chiffchaff near the Centre on Saturday was new for the year.

male Goldcrest - Basil Thornton

Firecrest - Pete Woods

I shall leave you with a couple of shots of the magnificent sunrise this morning...

Anonymous