November kicked off with our first Bittern sighting of winter from the Gadwall Hide. The Bittern has been frequently sighted throughout the month although refused to put in an appearance for our monthly Bittern Roost Watch!

Kingfishers were spotted from the Gadwall and Draper Hides as they continue to maintain their territory. We’ve had frequent reports of our winter visitors: Redwings and Fieldfare. Green Sandpiper, Goldcrests and Muntjac have been regular sights over the past few weeks and our good Snipe numbers have continued – mainly seen at the newly named ‘Snipe Island’ in front of Gadwall Hide – with peak numbers reaching around 35.

Green Sandpiper (Photo Credit: Mary Smith)

Many visitors have reported hearing the squeals of Water Rail from the Ashby and Warbler Hides and a few lucky visitors have seen the bird itself! Stonechat have been sighted across the meadow and Reed Bunting have also been active around the reserve.

Water Rail in flight (Photo Credit: Stuart Fox)

We had a great number of Lapwing seen from the Gadwall Hide in the middle of the month with numbers estimated at over 40. Bearded Tits have been a highlight of the month spotted from Draper and Warbler Hides along with a pair of Bullfinch seen near the 5-bar gate.

Other sightings have included Wigeon, Grey Wagtail, Little Egret, Cetti’s, Chiffchaff, Little Grebe, Tufted Duck, Ring-necked Parakeet, Teal in large numbers (60+), Black Cap and a Fox. We’ve also had some nice sightings of Tree creeper, Shoveller (24+), Yellowhammer, Red Admiral butterflies (2) and recent sightings of Song Thrush.

It has been a good month for raptors with a Merlin landing at Draper Hide at the beginning of November and Peregrine, Red Kite, Kestrel and Sparrowhawk all reported since.