This week we saw the arrival of our first turtle dove of 2022, which brought the reserve year list up to an incredible 188 species! 

Car Park / visitor centre / woodland

The highlight for many on Sunday 8 May was a white-tailed eagle, that flew over the visitor centre. The white-tailed eagle is known as G801 a 2-year-old bird that is part of the Isle of Wight reintroduction programme. The bird was tracked along the coast to our RSPB Snettisham reserve, where it was seen flying out across The Wash to Lincolnshire.

The nest boxes are home to several blue tit broods, and we are seeing lots of young blackbirds and robins who have recently fledged hopping about on the ground around the visitor centre. The blackcaps continue to be in full song along with the odd chiff chaff.

As the rain arrived on Wednesday, we also witnessed a large arrival of swifts, house martins and swallows, flying through in large flocks. An amazing sight.

White tailed eagle, Sue Bryan

Reedbed / East Trail

This week in the reedbed we have enjoyed watching a grey heron catch its next meal which has included eels and a little grebe. Three different great white egrets continue to be seen daily. The marsh harriers are regularly food passing to one another, again another species we have been watching to see what prey items are being brought in. At the moment it is principally goslings from the large number of breeding greylag geese.

Also, within the reedbed there has been sedge warbler, reed warbler, bearded tit, cetti’s warbler and a grasshopper warbler, lesser whitethroat and whitethroats on the East Trail.

Wildfowl within the reedbed and on the Freshmarsh have included pochard, tufted duck, gadwall, shoveler, shelducks and mallards.

The first turtle dove of the year was sighted flying over the tank road on 12/5, we hope they will become more regular again. The first garden warbler of the year was heard by our Assistant warden when completing a morning survey on the 11/5.

Grey heron, Neel Sureja

Freshmarsh

During May we complete weekly counts of the nesting avocets and breeding gulls. Today (12/5) we counted an incredible 75 nesting avocets, the third highest number since 1990, showing early success of the Freshwater Habitats Project.

On 8 May a Temminck’s stint dropped in briefly. On Wednesday 11 May 50 ‘Tundra’ ringed plovers dropped onto the Freshmarsh along with 100+ dunlin for a pit stop as they continue their migration northwards. There are several common sandpipers feeding along the muddy edges, a wood sandpiper was present between 9 & 12 May plus 4 little ringed plover, 8 turnstones, up to 40 black-tailed godwits, whimbrel and snipe.

Several common tern, sandwich terns and little terns have been making an appearance on the Freshmarsh most days. On Monday, 2 Arctic terns flew through, and a little gull has also been present.

Little gull, Les Bunyan

Volunteer / Tidal Marsh

On the tidal marsh there have been several little ringed plovers, ringed plovers, turnstones, oystercatchers and avocets.

Little terns and common terns can regularly be seen diving for food and the odd pochard, shoveler, mallard and gadwall can also be seen on here.

Across from tidal marsh, a pair of stonechats have successfully fledged their first brood of the year.

Stonechat, Les Bunyan

Beach / Sea

On the beach varying numbers of waders can be observed feeding as the tide comes in and out, they can include grey plover, sanderling, bar tailed godwits, ringed plovers and oystercatchers.

Report your sightings

If you are visiting why not enter your sightings on to BirdTrack. Your records support species conservation at local, regional, national, and international scale.

For more information follow the link https://www.bto.org/our-science/projects/birdtrack

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