July, 2011

Blacktoft Sands

Blacktoft Sands
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Blacktoft Sands

  • Marsh Sandpiper - still at home at Blacktoft!

    The marsh sandpiper heads the cast of waders currently present at Blacktoft.  It has now been in this part of the Humber for 20 days!  Today, like most of last week, singleton lagoon was the place to find this special bird.  Other waders include almost 200 Black-tailed godwits, 14 spotted redshank, 65 dunlin, greenshank, ruff etc.  This coming week we have highish tides in the mornings that hopefully will bring more waders onto our lagoons.


    Other great birds around this week included bearded tits being seen on all lagoons, young marsh harriers playing around, sedge / reed warblers in front of reception, water rails on singleton /  townend, yellow wagtails, around 14 little egrets, flocks of tree sparrows and goldfinches.








  • Marsh Sandpiper makes the reserve feel like the Med!

    The marsh sandpiper that was first seen at Alkborough yesterday evening has done a quick flit over to be on Ousefleet lagoon this morning. This is only the second record of this delicate southern European wader for the reserve with the first about seven years ago on Marshland lagoon.  Hopefully it will stay long enough for everyone to enjoy it! We'll try and put some pics on the blog! A good bird always turns up on our visitor officers Mike Andrews day off so I'll have to put him down to a three day week to bring in a few more rarities!

    In fact someone yesterday happened to mention to me that the reserve felt like the Mediterranean and indeed I have to agree! Supporting cast for the above Yorkshire rarity are the regular 2 spoonbills, 13 little egrets, 6 ruff, 13 spotted redshank, 7+ green sandpiper, 50+ black tailed godwits, 3+ greenshank, snipe, dunlin, common sandpiper, a few remaining avocet and at least till Sunday wood sandpiper. (although it still may be lurking along the edges of the lagoons).

    Add to this the regular sightings of bearded tits, water rails and superb views of marsh harriers then the reserve is providing everyone with some superb birding! Last night it was great to see a male marsh harrier bring in some food for its three chicks and when one went to take the food the bird just at the last minute lifted it away! It did this several times in what I assume to be a bit of a teaching session for the youngster. The Barn owl at Marshland is also putting on a good display on an evening while the grasshopper warblers are still reeling

    Good to see many people enjoying the site and its birds and wildlife at the moment Enjoy it while its good! That's my hot tip of the day!

    A moody sky over the grazing marsh today!


  • Wading birds flock to use the lagoons

    An evening and morning walk round the Sands to check the cows and water levels on site gave me an avian spectacular that everyone who visits seems to be enjoying at the moment! Waders were top of the bill with the prodigal Marsh Sandpiper still about, curlew sand, 10 green sands, 14 spotted redshank, 150 Black tailed godwits, 2 greenshank, 11 snipe, 6 ruff, 9 dunlin, 8 avocet (plus 3 young ). I missed the spoonbill but that seems to be showing today following its usual one day on and one day off rota!  Add to this marsh harriers, plenty of bearded tits including a flock of 10 showing well on marshland today, water rails, little egrets, garganey, yellow wagtails and a stack of warblers, reed buntings and tree sparrows then hopefully there is something for everyone to enjoy! The weekend and particularly early next week will see some highish tides so maybe this may bring in a few birds feeding out on the estuary so here's hoping for another good wader.................

    A quick update on yesterday/this morning with Osprey, little ringed plover, hobby, 1200 sand martins and 700 starlings at roost time, hobby, wheatear, 2 grey plover and 30 oystercatcher west! Migration is really starting to roll on! Oh and the beardies were showing very well indeed.