Sunday, 1 May 2016

Early May 2016

Access to Gibraltar Point
 Following the tidal flooding in December 2013, the Visitor Centre, CafĂ© and Toilets have been closed. Refreshments and temporary toilets are available in the Visitor Centre Car Park. Car Parks are closed overnight. For further information please contact Kevin Wilson at the address below:

High tides for the coming week: 
Sunday 1st May 2016 - 0110hrs (5.1 metres); 1332hrs (5.3 metres)
Monday 2nd May 2016 - 0250hrs (5.3 metres); 1457hrs (5.6 metres)
Tuesday 3rd May 2016 - 0359hrs (5.7 metres); 1603hrs (6.0 metres)
Wednesday 4th May 2016 - 0456hrs (6.2 metres); 1659hrs (6.5 metres)
Thursday 5th May 2016 - 0545hrs (6.6 metres); 1751hrs (6.9 metres)
Friday 6th May 2016 - 0631hrs (6.9 metres); 1840hrs (7.1 metres)

May 1st.  Birds around included 2 Spoonbill, 2 Short-eared Owl, a Cuckoo and 2 Wheatear. An Osprey flew south. On Tennyson's Sands was a Spotted Redshank.
 A morning ringing session in East Dunes resulted in 12 new birds: 2 Chiffchaff, 3 Willow Warbler, 2 Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Whitethroat and 3 Blackcap; 7 retraps: 3 Whitethroat, 2 Sedge Warbler, a Linnet and a Wren; and a control Chiffchaff.
 A morning ringing session at Aylmer Avenue by David Vincent resulted in 11 new birds: 3 Chaffinch, 3 Goldfinch, 2 Greenfinch, a Great Tit, a Blackcap and a Mistle Thrush; 13 retraps: 4 Goldfinch, 3 Dunnock, 2 Greenfinch and singles of Great Tit, Chaffinch, Blackbird and Blue Tit.
Mistle Thrush - Ringed 1st May 2016.
Photo - David Vincent.

Thursday, 21 April 2016

Late April 2016

April 30th. Around were a Spoonbill, 2 Short-eared Owl, a Marsh Harrier, a Ring Ouzel, a Wheatear, 2 Swallow and 3 Whimbrel. On Tennyson's Sands was a Spotted Redshank.
 A morning ringing session in East Dunes provided 13 new birds: 2 Chiffchaff, 5 Blackcap, a Reed Warbler, 4 Linnet and a Blackbird; and 4 retraps: 2 Dunnock and 2 Linnet.

April 29th. Fairly strong south-westerly wind.
 Birds around included 67 Brent Goose, 14 Pink-footed Goose, 2 Red-legged Partridge, a Peregrine, 600 Oystercatcher, 15 Avocet, a Ruff, 2000 Dunlin, 8 Whimbrel, a Greenshank, 15 Little Tern, 4 Willow Warbler, 5 Lesser Whitethroat, 7 Sedge Warbler and 2 Corn Bunting. Flying south were 7 Yellow Wagtail and 4 Swallow. Moving offshore were 125 Sandwich Tern and a Kittiwake.
Robin fledglings at the feeding station, 29th April 2016
Photo - Richard Doan
Wheatear, 29th April 2016
Photo - Richard Doan
April 28th. Frozen, foggy start, then sunny, then rainy.
 Around the reserve were 45 Brent Goose, 4 Pink-footed Goose, 650 Oystercatcher, 5 Willow Warbler, 5 Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Tawny Owl, a Short-eared Owl, a Wheatear and 6 Swallow. Offshore were 7 Little Tern.
 A visit to the outer ridges at the north end of the Reserve was productive this morning with three Cuckoo, presumed recent arrivals in the outer dune scrub, probably feeding on the numerous Brown-tailed Moth caterpillars. Also here were two reeling Grasshopper Warbler about 500m apart, either new arrivals or birds on territory. It was difficult to know when so few visits are made to this remote location. Linnet were the only migrant moving south in any numbers – about 70, with 3 Yellow Wagtail also south. A Marsh harrier and  a Buzzard were circling high and off to the north together.

Reeling Grasshopper Warbler, 28th April 2016.
Photo - Kevin Wilson
April 27th. Birds around included a Short-eared Owl, 2 Whimbrel, a Greenshank, 500 Oystercatcher, 4 Yellow Wagtail, 25 Whitethroat, 7 Lesser Whitethroat, 15 Blackcap, 10 Sedge Warbler, 3 Willow Warbler, 4 Chiffchaff and a Cuckoo.
 The first Green Hairstreak of the year was seen.
 A morning ringing session in East Dunes produced 4 new birds: a Chiffchaff, a Robin and 2 Linnet; and a retrap Linnet.
 An unexpected snow shower fell during the day with some snow still present next day.
Roe Deer stag at Syke's Farm, 27th April 2016
Photo - Richard Doan
Sedge Warbler in the West Dunes, 27th April 2016
Photo - Richard Doan
Ringed Plover, 27th April 2016
Photo - Richard Doan
Snow shower, 27th April 2016
Photo - Kevin Wilson
April 26th. Strong north-westerly wind, with occasional showers, some wintry.
 Around were 2 Egyptian Goose, 30 Brent Goose, 3 Greenshank, 3 Whimbrel, a Fieldfare, a Wheatear, 2 Cuckoo, a Marsh Harrier, 2 Peregrine (pair), a Chiffchaff, 6 Blackcap, 2 Lesser Whitethroat and 3 Corn Bunting. Heading north offshore were 6 Fulmar and 4 Sandwich Tern. A female Brambling was at the feeding station. Flying south were 6 Swallow and 2 Rook.
Rain storm over Tennyon's Sands at dusk
Photo - Richard Doan 
Common Cornsalad in the East Dunes, 26th April 2016
Photo - Richard Doan
April 25th. Birds around included a Ring Ouzel, 4 Fieldfare, a Short-eared Owl, 2 Egyptian Goose, 11 Whimbrel, a Greenshank, 5 Little Tern, 3 Rook, a Cuckoo, 15 House Martin, 12 singing Sedge Warbler, 12 Corn Bunting and a Yellow Wagtail. Flying south over land were a Tree Sparrow, 3 Yellow Wagtail, a House Martin and 2 Sand Martin. Flying north at sea were 3 Fulmar, 5 Commic Tern and 12 Sandwich Tern, and south 3 Fulmar and 4 Sandwich Tern.
 A morning ringing session in East Dunes yielded 6 new birds: a Chiffchaff, a Blackcap, 2 Linnet, a Whitethroat and a Meadow Pipit; and 3 retraps: a Great Tit and 2 Lesser Whitethroat.

April 24th. Around were 4 Whimbrel, 2 Greenshank, a Ring Ouzel, 18 Snipe, 20 Sandwich Tern, 3 Fulmar, a Marsh Harrier, a ringtail Hen Harrier, a Yellow Wagtail, 6 singing Sedge Warbler, 2 Rook, a Siskin, a Cuckoo, 8 Corn Bunting, a Short-eared Owl, and 2 House Martin. Over the Mere were 8 more House Martin. Heading south-west was a Buzzard.
 A wind-restricted morning ringing session in East Dunes provided 3 new birds: a Chaffinch, a Lesser Whitethroat and a Goldfinch; and 4 retraps: a Great Tit, 2 Lesser Whitethroat and a Willow Warbler.

April 23rd. Birds around included a ringtail Hen Harrier, 2 Short-eared Owl, a Spotted Redshank, a Greenshank, a Grasshopper Warbler, a Cuckoo, 2 Whimbrel, 15 Swallow, 5 House Martin, 2 Sand Martin, 3 Lesser Whitethroat, 6 Whitethroat, a Sedge Warbler, 2 Willow Warbler, 4 Chiffchaff, 8 Blackcap, 3 Yellow Wagtail and a Bullfinch.
 A morning ringing session in East Dunes, with James Siddle, produced 13 new birds: 3 Chiffchaff, 4 Lesser Whitethroat, 3 Linnet, a Blackcap, a Robin and a Song Thrush; and 3 retraps: 2 Blue Tit and a Wren.

April 22nd. Around were a Whimbrel and a Yellow Wagtail. A Grasshopper Warbler was heard singing on Mill Pond Road early morning. On Jackson's Marsh were 2 Egyptian Goose. The 15 Pink-footed Goose remain on Croftmarsh.
 A morning ringing session in East Dunes, with Alex Tozer and Pippa Disney, resulted in 10 new birds: a Wren, a Chiffchaff, 2 Linnet, a Lesser Whitethroat, a Blackcap, a Lesser Redpoll, a Song Thrush, a Blackbird and a Woodpigeon; and 4 retraps: 2 Wren, a Dunnock and a Blue Tit.
Shoulder Stripe, 22nd April 2016
Photo - Kevin Wilson
Cowslips, 22nd April 2016.
Photo - George Gregory
April 21st. Birds around included a Short-eared Owl, a Swift (first of the year), 3 Swallow, 2 Sand Martin, 2 Brambling, a Whimbrel, 8 Avocet, a Whitethroat, 2 Siskin, 8 Blackcap, 4 Chiffchaff, 2 Wheatear and 50 Brent Goose.
 A morning ringing session in East Dunes provided 2 new birds: a Blackcap and a Goldfinch; and 3 retraps: 2 Wren and a Blue Tit.
Peacock, 21st April 2016
Photo - Bryony Baxter

Monday, 11 April 2016

Mid April 2016

April 20th. Around were 2 Brambling, a Short-eared Owl, 2 Whimbrel and 3 Yellow Wagtail. In the Plantation were 5 Blackcap. On Tennyson's Sands were a Spotted Redshank and 15 Avocet.
 A morning ringing session in East Dunes produced 10 new birds: a Robin, a Lesser Whitethroat, a Blackcap, 2 Reed Bunting, 3 Linnet, a Meadow Pipit and a Song Thrush; and 7 retraps: a Whitethroat, 2 Great Tit, a Sedge Warbler, a WillowWarbler, a Robin and a Chaffinch.

April 19th. Birds around included 2 Short-eared Owl, 3 Whimbrel, a Wheatear, a Cuckoo, 2 Yellow Wagtail, a Firecrest (singing by the feeders), 4 Siskin and 2 Brambling.
 A morning ringing session in East Dunes resulted in 8 new birds: 2 Blackcap, 2 Linnet, a Reed Bunting, 2 Goldfinch and a Great Tit; and 5 retraps: a Great Tit, 2 Dunnock and 2 Linnet.

April 18th. Around were 2 Little Tern (first of year), 3 Red-breasted Merganser, 8 Siskin, a Yellow Wagtail, a Lesser Whitethroat and a Great Crested Grebe. Flying south were 2 Common Redpoll.
 A morning ringing session in East Dunes provided 14 new birds: a Wren, a Chiffchaff, 3 Willow Warbler, 5 Linnet, a Reed Bunting, a Whitethroat, a Chaffinch and a Dunnock; and 4 retraps: a Reed Bunting, a Blue Tit and 2 Dunnock.

April 17th. Birds around included a Brambling, 6 Fieldfare, a House Martin, 16 Willow Warbler, 5 Goldcrest, a Yellow Wagtail and a Cuckoo. Flying north were 2 Fieldfare, south a Yellow Wagtail and northeast 35 Curlew.
A morning ringing session in East Dunes produced 4 new birds: 2 Chiffchaff and 2 Blackbird; and 5 retraps: a Wren, 3 Dunnock and a Goldfinch.

April 16th. On Croftmarsh were 15 Pink-footed Goose, 25 Teal and a Spotted Redshank. Around were 2 Lesser Whitethroat, 4 Willow Warbler, a Short-eared Owl, a Hen Harrier and 3 Brambling.

April 15th. The first Cuckoo of the year was recorded. An adult Little Gull was seen briefly over the Mere and it then flew out to sea.

April 14th. Around were a Short-eared Owl, 2 Marsh Harrier (including an adult male), 2 Ruff, a Woodlark, a Firecrest, 9 Goldcrest, 3 Song Thrush, 3 Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Whitethroat, 11 Blackcap, 19 Chiffchaff, 9 Willow Warbler, 2 Brambling, a Grey Wagtail, 2 Fieldfare, 3 Sedge Warbler and a House Sparrow. A Spotted Redshank was on Tennyson's Sands and a pair of Garganey were on Jackson's Marsh.

Garganey, 14th April 2016.
Photo - Nige Lound
April 13th. An Osprey and a Red Kite flew through the reserve in the afternoon, as did several Common Buzzard throughout the day. At the feeding station were 4 Brambling. Birds around included a Short-eared Owl, 2 Mediterranean Gull, 3 Corn Bunting, a Song Thrush, 15 Pink-footed Goose, 2 Whitethroat, a Lesser Whitethroat (first of the year), a Peregrine, 3 Blackcap, a White Wagtail, 8 Fieldfare, 6 Wheatear, 2 Spotted Redshank and 10 Chiffchaff. Flying south were 15 Rook, 4 Swallow, 5 Sand Martin and 6 Yellow Wagtail. A Pied Flycatcher was discovered near the Betty Alan Hide in the evening.

Pied Flycatcher, 13the April 2016.
Photo - Richard Doan
April 12th. A walk through the East Dunes early morning produced a Ring Ouzel, 2 Song Thrush and 10 Redwing. Around were 9 Brambling (feeding station), a Short-eared Owl, a Firecrest (Sykes Farm track), a Spotted Redshank, 2 Whimbrel (first of the year), a Grey Partridge, 5 Chiffchaff, 26 Corn Bunting, a Green Sandpiper and a Sandwich Tern. A dark Common Buzzard flew high south-west. Other birds on the move included a House Martin, 10 Sand Martin, 3 Swallow and a Yellow Wagtail. A male Black Redstart was in the Visitor Centre Car Park in the evening.
 An early morning ringing session at Aylmer Avenue by Mike Polling yielded 16 new birds: 5 Goldfinch, 3 Brambling, 6 Great Tit, 5 Chaffinch and 2 Greenfinch (including a bird with a well developed brood patch); and 22 retraps: 6 Great Tit, 6 Blue Tit, 4 Goldfinch, 5 Greenfinch and a Chaffinch.

April 11th. In the Plantation were 4 Chiffchaff, 2 Goldcrest, 2 Brambling and a Firecrest. Singles of Short-eared Owl, Marsh Harrier, Whitethroat (first of the year) and Common Buzzard were around. The 15 Pink-footed Goose were still on Croftmarsh. Offshore were 2 Red-breasted Merganser, 1+ Fulmar, 2 Common Scoter and an ider. A Manx Shearwater flew north offshore.

Brambling, 11th April 2016.
Red-breasted Merganser, 11th April 2016.

Friday, 1 April 2016

Early April 2016

April 10th. On The Wash were 37 Brent Goose, 6 Avocet, 1795 Oystercatcher, 3200 Grey Plover, 51 Ringed Plover, 46 Curlew, 300 Bar-tailed Godwit, 7 Turnstone, 6700 Knot and 493 Redshank. A Firecrest was seen along the Syke's Farm track. Around were 2 Swallow, 5 Chiffchaff, a Willow Warbler, a Blackcap, 3 Brambling and a Siskin. 2 Ring Ouzel reported in the East Dunes. 

April 9th. On the reserve were 15 Pink-footed Goose, 35 Brent Goose, a Merlin, 150 Ringed Plover, 1500 Dunlin, 400 Redshank, 3500 Knot, a Sand Martin, 3 Swallow and 4 Brambling. A Red Kite flew south through the reserve at 1350hrs.  

April 8th. At the feeding station were 4 Brambling and 10 Siskin. A Hooded Crow was seen in the West Dunes on the Lonesome Pine. The 15 Pink-footed Goose remained on Croft Marsh. A single Chiffchaff and Short-eared Owl were also of note.
Chiffchaff, 8th April 2016
Photo - Paul Johnson
Short-eared Owl, 8th April 2016
Photo - Paul Johnson
April 7th. A Red Kite was seen early in the morning. Around were 16 Avocet, a Pintail, 10 Siskin and a Marsh Harrier. On Croft Marsh were 15 Pink-footed Goose. The first Yellow Wagtail of the year flew south.
 The Wood Forget-me-nots are now flowering in the Plantation.
 A Grey Seal pup was found on the beach in the afternoon, the pup had sustained an eye injury and was under weight. It was later recovered by Natureland and taken away for treatment.
Grey Seal pup on the beach, 7th April 2016
Photo - Bryony Baxter
Wood Forget-me-not, 7th April 2016
Photo - Bryony Baxter
April 6th. At the bird feeding station were 7 Brambling (5 cracking males) and 10 Siskin. On The Wash at high tide were 400 Redshank, 38 Brent Goose, 5000 Knot, 1800 Oystercatcher and 86 Ringed Plover. The 15 Pink-footed Goose remained on Croft Marsh. A Woodcock was observed on the verge near Mill Hill.  
Woodcock on the verge by Mill Hill, 6th April 2016
Photo - Bryony Baxter
Blackcap, 6th April 2016
Photo - Kev Wilson
April 5th. A probable Serin flew over the East Dunes early morning. Around were singles of Ring Ouzel and Redstart. Other birds of note were 500 Redshank, 2000 Dunlin, 1800 Oystercatcher, 2 Goosander, 2 Grey Partridge, 5 Firecrest, 2 Short-eared Owl, 4 Wheatear, 36 Corn Bunting and 4 Goldcrest. A Woodlark, a Marsh Harrier, a Hen Harrier, 10 Swallow, 4 Sand Martin and a House Martin flew south. A Red Kite was seen just north of the reserve at Seacroft.
 A ringing session at Aylmer Avenue by Mike Polling and Jenni Godber resulted in 12 new bird: 1 Goldcrest, 1 Wren, 2 Goldfinch, 3 Blue Tit, 2 Chaffinch and 3 Greenfinch; and 11 retraps: 2 Goldfinch, 2 Blue Tit, 2 Chaffinch, 1 Greenfinch and 4 Great Tit.
Male Wheatear, 5th April 2016
Photo - Nige Lound
April 4th. Frequent heavy showers throughout the day.
 On the reserve were 5 Corn Bunting, a male Hen Harrier, 10 Chiffchaff, a Willow Warbler, 2 Brambling and 2 Siskin. A Firecrest was again seen by the Yacht Club. A small arrival of thrushes was evident mid-morning with 84 Redwing and 12 Fieldfare new-in at the Plantation. Flying south were 3 Swallow, a Brambling, 8 Linnet and 18 Chaffinch. A single Black-tailed Godwit was on Jackson's Marsh. The 15 Pink-footed Goose remained on Croftmarsh.

April 3rd. An excellent day with plenty to see.
 Around were 2 Wheatear, a Black Redstart, a Willow Warbler, a Red Kite, 4 Brambling, 3 Lesser Redpoll, 5 Siskin, 2 Blackcap and 7 Avocet. A Woodlark was singing near RAF Ridge. Singles of Grey Wagtail and Swallow south, meanwhile a Hawfinch flew north-east calling.  
Bombus lapidarius (Red-tailed Bumblebee), 3rd April 2016
Photo - Rob Watson
Red Kite high over Croftmarsh, 3rd April 2016
Photo - Richard Doan
1 of 4 Brambling at the feeding station, 3rd April 2016
Photo - Richard Doan
April 2nd. Around were 15 Corn Bunting, a Black Redstart, a Red Kite, 10 Pink-footed Goose, 2 Firecrest (1 East Dunes and 1 presumed new bird singing near the Yacht Club) 3 Swallow and a Pintail. An early Tree Pipit flew south over Mill Hill. In off the sea came 2 Common Buzzard. A male Brambling was at the Sykes Farm feeders this morning.
Brambling at Sykes Farm feeding station, 2nd April 2016
Photo - Richard Doan
April 1st. A slight frost overnight.
 Around were 30 Corn Bunting, 4 Goldcrest, 3 Chiffchaff and 238 Redshank. The first Sandwich Tern of the year noted offshore this morning.    

Monday, 21 March 2016

Late March 2016

March 31st. A Firecrest was in the East Dunes. Other birds of note were 4 Redwing, a Fieldfare and 35 Corn Bunting.
 The first ringing session of the year at Aylmer Avenue, by Mike Polling and Jenni Godber, yielded 36 new birds: 3 Chiffchaff, a Goldcrest, 5 Great Tit, 10 Goldfinch, 5 Chaffinch, 3 Siskin, a Brambling, 2 Dunnock and 6 Greenfinch; and 34 retraps: 9 Great Tit, 4 Goldfinch, 3 Chaffinch, a Greenfinch, 13 Blue Tit, 3 Long-tailed Tit and a Coal Tit.

March 30th. The Firecrest still remained at Syke's Farm. A Red Kite flew south over Millennium Ridge, and a second bird (presumably different) came in from the north and flew off west. A Grey Wagtail flew south. A Water Pipit was on Jackson's Marsh. Around were 3 Firecrest (additional to the above), a Black-tailed Godwit, 8 Chiffchaff, 2 White Wagtail and a Short-eared Owl.  
White Wagtail, 30th March 2016
Photo - Nige Lound
March 29th. The highlight of the day were 2 Common Crane that flew south over the reserve. Flying south over the West Dunes this morning were 65 Chaffinch, a Brambling, a Yellowhammer, 30 Goldfinch, a Crossbill and a Tree Sparrow. There were at least 4 Firecrest recorded on the reserve (1 Syke's Farm, 1 Aylmer and 2 East Dunes). Also, about were 15 Pink-footed Goose, 15 Avocet, an Egyptian Goose, 2 Common Buzzard, 8 Goldcrest, 8 Chiffchaff, 2 Redwing, a Hen Harrier, a Marsh Harrier and 25 Corn Bunting.

Common Crane south over the reserve
Photo - Ben Ward
Lesser Celendine, 29th March 2016
Photo - Richard Doan
March 28th. The highlights from a very wet and windy day were 13 Pink-footed Goose, 10 Avocet, 14 Golden Plover, a Black-tailed Godwit, 6 Snipe, a Water Pipit, 5 Redwing and a Swallow.
 The Cowslips are now flowering on Jackson's Marsh.

March 27th. The first Swallow and Sand Martin recorded on the reserve today. Singles of Grey Wagtail, Lapland Bunting and Tree Sparrow flew south early morning. Other species of note included 12 Pink-footed Goose, 4 Avocet, 1000 Dunlin, a Rook, 17+ Chiffchaff, 5 Goldcrest, 4 Firecrest, 18 Siskin, a Brambling and 38 Corn Bunting.
 A Bank Vole was discovered at Sykes Farm.
Bank Vole, 27th March 2016
Photo - Stuart Ainsworth
March 26th. About were 15 Pink-footed Goose, a Grey Heron, 10 Avocet, 2 Fieldfare, a Chiffchaff and 2 Firecrest (1 at Syke's Farm & 1 in East Dunes).
Firecrest at Syke's Farm, 26th March 2016
Photo - Alan Brewster
March 25th. A new Firecrest was discovered in the East Dunes. In the Plantation were 3 Siskin, 3 Brambling and a singing Chiffchaff. Other notable species include a Jack Snipe, 4 Woodcock, 8 Crossbill (Beach Car Park briefly) and 35 Corn Bunting. On the move were a Brambling, 2 Siskin and a Common Buzzard.
Firecrest in the East Dunes, 25th March 2016
Photo - James Siddle
Siskin in the Plantation, 25th March 2016
Photo - Stuart Ainsworth
Brambling in the Plantation, 25th March 2016
Photo - Stuart Ainsworth

Fox Moth caterpillar, 25th March 2016
Photo - Bryony Baxter
March 24th. The Firecrest was heard singing in the Beach Car Park. Around were 28 Woodcock, 10 Song Thrush, 51 Blackbird, 5000 Knot and 8 Snipe. A light finch passage was noted early morning.

March 23rd. On the reserve were 600 Brent Goose, 10 Avocet, 2 Common Buzzard, an adult Mediterranean Gull, 40 Redwing, 2 Chiffchaff, 18 Goldcrest, 2 House Sparrow and 2 Siskin. Flying south were 11 Rook, 6 Chaffinch and a Brambling. 2 Peregrine were observed doing regular food passes, a third bird was also noted. An Egyptian Goose was vocal on the Fenland Lagoon early morning.  
Egyptian Goose on the Fenland Lagoon, 23rd March 2016
Photo - Kev Wilson
March 22nd. Around were 1000 Brent Goose, 15 Pink-footed Goose, 16 Avocet, 2 Woodcock, 2 Collared Dove, 10 Goldcrest, a Song Thrush, 50 Redwing and 20 Corn Bunting.

March 21st. A Red Kite was over the East Dunes early afternoon. A slight influx of Goldcrest and Woodcock was noted. On Tennyson's Sands were 10 Avocet and 1000 Brent Goose. A Green Woodpecker was noted near North Building. 

Friday, 11 March 2016

Mid March 2016

March 20th. The Firecrest was relocated at the Beach Car Park early morning. Other birds around were 15 Pink-footed Goose, 1000 Dark-bellied Brent Goose, a Pale-bellied Brent Goose, 90 Wigeon, 2 Goldeneye, a Common Buzzard, 10 Avocet, a Water Pipit, a Chiffchaff, 2 Siskin and 8 Corn Bunting.

March 19th. A Woodlark flew south in the morning. Other notables species were the first singing Chiffchaff of the year, 2 Water Pipit, 2 Goldcrest and a flock of 18 Stock Dove.  

March 18th. The first Firecrest of the year was discovered around Mill Pond. About were 35 Redwing, a Lapland Bunting and a Red Kite.  

March 17th. Around were 1000 Dark-bellied Brent Goose, a single Pale-bellied Brent Goose, 4 Siskin and a House Sparrow. In the evening 2 adult summer Mediterranean Gull flew over calling.

March 16th. A Red Kite came in off the sea then flew south. Around were 4 Woodcock, 2 Black-tailed Godwit, 17 Avocet and 2 Snipe.
 The Sweet Violets are now flowering along the Cycle Track.

Avocet on Tennyson's Sands
Photo - Richard Doan
March 15th. Offshore were 25 Red-throated Diver, a Black-throated Diver in partial summer plumage, 12 Great Crested Grebe and 2 Red-breasted Merganser. Around the reserve were 800 Brent Goose, 7 Pink-footed Goose, 43 Teal, 2 drake Goosander (briefly on Jackson's Marsh), a Merlin, 17 Avocet, 64 Ringed Plover, a Lapwing, 500 Oystercatcher, 85 Blackbird, 73 Redwing, 6 Siskin, 3 Corn Bunting.      

Common Seals from The Wash Viewpoint at high tide
Photo - Philip Milns
Corn Bunting
Photo - Philip Miln
Siskin in the Plantation
Photo - Philip Milns
March 14th. Around were 32 Ringed Plover, 60 Skylark, 2 Rook, 3000 Starling and 2 Woodcock.

March 13th. A Blackcap gave a few bursts of song in the Plantation. Other birds around included a Green Sandpiper, a House Sparrow, 4 Woodcock, 3 Fieldfare, 120 Redwing, a Coal Tit and a Song Thrush. Flying south were 2 Rook and 9 Siskin.

House Sparrow singing at Sykes Farm
Photo - Richard Doan
March 12th. The early morning high tide produced 15000 Knot and 3000 Bar-tailed Godwit. About were a Merlin, a Peregrine, 34 Corn Bunting and 4 Avocet.

March 11th. Around were 10 Whooper Swan, 60 Corn Bunting and 2 Siskin. On Tennyson's Sands were 7 Avocet, 12 Pink-footed Goose, 80 Wigeon and 3 Black-tailed Godwit.
Whooper Swans on The Wash, 11th March 2016
Photo - Stuart Ainsworth 

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Early March 2016

March 10th. Offshore this morning were 9 Pintail, 12 Red-breasted Merganser, 15 Red-throated Diver, a Great Crested Grebe, 5 Eider and 67 Common Scoter. Around were 63 Shelduck, a Grey Heron, 2 ringtail Hen Harrier, 2 Peregrine, a Merlin, 5000 Oystercatcher, 16 Ringed Plover, 15000 Knot, 3500 Bar-tailed Godwit, a Woodcock, 2 Short-eared Owl, a Grey Wagtail, 60 Redwing, 2 Goldcrest and 60 Corn Bunting.

The Freshwater Marsh following yesterday's prolonged rain
Photo - Richard Doan
The Freshwater Marsh following yesterday's prolonged rain
Photo - Richard Doan

Short-eared Owl
Photo - Richard Doan
March 9th. About were 8 Pink-footed Goose and a Merlin. The evening wader roost was quite spectacular with 7500 Bar-tailed Godwit, 4150 Dunlin, 1000 Sanderling, 3110 Grey Plover, 7760 Knot and 5000 Oystercatcher. An adult summer Mediterranean Gull was on The Wash at dusk.

March 8th. Around were 60 Redwing, a Woodcock, 9 Pink-footed Goose and a Water Pipit.

March 7th. Croftmarsh held 3 Black-tailed Godwit, 82 Wigeon and a Water Pipit. About were 10 Corn Bunting, a Merlin and a Common Buzzard. A Grey Wagtail flew south. On The Wash this evening were 5500 Herring Gull, 4500 Black-headed Gull and 1000 Common Gull.

March 6th. On Tennyson's Sands were 4 Avocet, 3 Black-tailed Godwit and 1200 Brent Goose including 2 Pale-bellied Brent. In the Plantation were 2 Siskin and 60 Redwing. A Hen Harrier flew south. At least 70 Corn Bunting were in the West Dunes at dusk. Offshore were 80 Common Scoter and a drake Red-breasted Merganser.

March 5th. Cloudy with heavy rain showers clearing by mid-afternoon.
 About were a Pale-bellied Brent Goose, 600 Brent Goose, 6 Pink-footed Goose, a Water Pipit and 50 Redwing.

March 4th. Around were 5 Siskin, 3 Rook and a Goldcrest.

March 3rd. Clear sky with a cold south wind.
 Around the reserve were a Marsh Harrier, 2 Common Buzzard 2, a Yellowhammer, 2 Pintail, 60 Redwing, 4 Redpoll spp, 5 Corn Bunting and 4 Coal Tit. Scrutiny of the Brent Goose flock revealed 3 Pale-bellied Brent Goose and a Black Brant x Dark-bellied Brent Goose.

March 2nd. Heavy rain showers throughout the day.
 The highlight of the day was a Red Kite which flew south through the reserve. In the Plantation were 2 Siskin, 2 Tree Sparrow and 50 Redwing.

March 1st. Sunny with a cold southerly wind.
 Around were a ringtail Hen Harrier, 5 Corn Bunting, a Short-eared Owl, 2 Tree Sparrow, a Water Pipit and 50 Redwing.

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Late February 2016

February 29th. Around were a Woodcock and 81 Corn Bunting

February 28th. Cloudy becoming clear at midday.
 On the reserve were a ringtail Hen Harrier, 6 Woodcock, Coal Tit, 2 Tree Sparrow, a Siskin, 45 Redwing and 46 Corn Bunting. On the water-bodies were 2 Water Rail, 4 Goldeneye and a Black-tailed Godwit.

February 27th.
 No records received.

February 26th. Cloudy with a cold southerly wind.
 Around were 2 Tree Sparrow, 2 Water Pipit, 30 Corn Bunting, 1500 Bar-tailed Godwit and 45 Redwing.

February 25th. Cold and bright.
 The high tide wader roost at dawn produced 8000 Knot, 500 Grey Plover and 2500 Bar-tailed Godwit. About were a Short-eared Owl, a Marsh Harrier, a Merlin, 25 Corn Bunting, 2 Siskin and 4 Tree Sparrow.  
Tree Sparrow, 25th February 2016
Photo - Richard Doan
February 24th. Bright sunny day with no wind.
 On the reserve were a Yellowhammer, 40 Corn Bunting, a Water Pipit and a Coal Tit. A Song Thrush was singing in the Plantation at dawn.
Pintail, 24th February 2016
February 23rd. Sunny and mild.
 Around the reserve were a Short-eared Owl, 6 Corn Bunting and a Woodcock. 

February 22nd. Cooler than of late with an increasing west/ north west breeze
Offshore were 20 Red-throated Diver and 10 Eider. 3 adult White-fronted Geese were again on Croft Marsh with around 70 Pink-footed Goose. 60 Redwing were in the Plantation and 2 Yellowhammer were in song north of Aylmer Avenue

Friday, 12 February 2016

Mid February 2016

February 21st. Mild with moderate south westerly breeze.
Recorded today were 2 Hen Harrier (male and ringtail), a Pale-bellied Brent Goose, 2 Woodcock, 5 Red-breasted Merganser and 3 Common Buzzard.

Hen Harrier, 21st February 2016
Photo - Garry Wright
Corn Bunting, 21st February 2016
Photo - Garry Wright
Short-eared Owl, 21st February 2016
Photo - Garry Wright
Hen Harrier mobbing Short-eared Owl, 21st February 2016
Photo - Garry Wright
Pale-bellied Brent Goose, 21st February 2016
Photo - Roger Riddington
February 20th. Cloudy with light rain spells.
 Around were a Corn Bunting, a Hen Harrier and a Short-eared Owl.
Harvest Mouse Nest, 20th February 2016
Photo - Kev Wilson

In the last 10 years there has only been one live sighting of a Harvest Mouse on site – an individual in the Mere reed-bed. Subsequently a dead one was found in a barn owl food cache at a nest site. Occasionally, these tiny harvest mouse nests are found in thick grass or bramble, indicating that our small population still persists.
February 19th. Mild with a cold westerly wind.
 Heading south offshore were a Red-necked Grebe, 15 Great Crested Grebe,  4 Red-throated Diver and 60 Common Scoter. Some early visible migration was apparent in the East Dunes with 3 Brambling, 15 Chaffinch, 29 Siskin and 20 Greenfinch. Around were a Hen harrier, a Short-eared Owl, 50 Redwing, a Snow Bunting and 3 Corn Bunting. On Tennyson's Sands were 1651 Dark-bellied Brent Goose (1642 adults and 9 juveniles), an adult Pale-bellied Brent Goose, 3 adult European White-fronted Goose and 600 Pink-footed Goose.  

Pale-bellied Brent Goose with Dark-bellied Brent Goose, 19th February 2016
Photo - Richard Doan 
3 European White-fronted Goose, 19th February 2016
Photo - Richard Doan 
February 18th.
 On Tennyson's Sands were 795 Dark-bellied Brent Goose (792 adults and 3 juveniles), 2 adult Pale-bellied Brent Goose, 3 adult White-fronted Goose, 500 Pink-footed Goose and 2 Water Rail. Around were a Woodcock and 164 Lapwing.  

February 17th. Cloudy with light rain from midday.
 Offshore were a Great Northern Diver and 20 Red-throated Diver. A Brambling was in the Plantation. On the Mere were 5 Goldeneye.

February 16th. Heavy overnight frost with temperatures down to -3.4
 On Croft Marsh were the 3 adult White-fronted Goose with 500 Pink-footed Goose. Around the reserve were 35 Redwing, a Barn Owl, 5 Corn Bunting, 2 Woodcock, a Treecreeper and 2 Siskin.
 A Great Tit was heard imitating a Marsh Tit at Sykes Farm this evening.

February 15th. Frequent sharp sleet showers.
 No records received.

February 14th. Bright and sunny with a cold northerly wind.
 Going north at sea were 31 Red-throated Diver, 3 Great Crested Grebe, 2 Red-breasted Merganser,5 Common Scoter, 16 Teal, 9 auk sp, 6 Guillemot, 4 Kittiwake, 2 Fulmar and a drake Scaup. Southbound at sea were 19 Red-throated Diver, 53 Kittiwake, 4 Brent Geese, 2 Eider and a Fulmar. On the reserve were 227 Cormorant, 50 Pink-footed Geese, 3 Corn Bunting, a Treecreeper and 2 Siskin.

February 13th. Cold easterly wind.
 About were 2 Woodcock, a Peregrine, a Merlin and 25 Corn Bunting.

February 12th. Slight frost overnight with a calm easterly wind.
 Around were 50 Redwing, 2 Song Thrush, 141 Pink-footed Goose, 40 Fieldfare and 2 Siskin. On Tennyson's Sands were 2 Water Rail, 33 Shoveler, 21 Gadwall and 52 Curlew.  

February 11th. Heavy overnight frost.
 On The Wash were 7820 Knot, 1500 Bar-tailed Godwit, 120 Grey Plover, 2000 Oystercatcher. Around were 900 Brent Goose, 250 Pink-footed Goose, a Merlin and a Peregrine.

Barn Owl, 11th February 2016
Displaying Goldeneye, 11th February 2016
Displaying Goldeneye, 11th February 2016