Have you done yours yet?
A count at Boulderwall Farm first thing this morning produced: great spotted woodpecker (1), wood pigeon (1), reed bunting (6), blue tit (4), blackbird (2), dunnock (2), tree sparrow (3), great tit (4), robin (1), moorhen (2), house sparrow (7), chaffinch (1), magpie (2) and sparrowhawk (1). The latter flew in scattering all before it and then sat around on the bird table for several minutes - thus bringing the count to an early end! Beautiful bird though.
The usual suspects were still around the reserve yesterday, with visitors willing to brave the chill wind getting sightings of black-necked and Slavonian grebes, smew, bittern and Bewick's swan.
Bewick’s swan – varying numbers roosted overnight on the ARC pit. Goldeneye – up to six on the ARC pit or Burrowes pit. Smew – up to 18, including two males. Goosander – up to three around the site. Black-necked grebe – one on Denge Marsh or New Excavations all week. Slavonian grebe – one on New Excavations from 19th. Bittern – up to five seen around the site. Sightings at Scott hide, the ARC site, Denge Marsh and New Excavations. Glossy ibis – one form 11th to 19th beyond the lakes near Boulderwall Farm. Hen harrier – a female flew over the ARC site on 21st. Glaucous gull – an immature bird was seen on Burrowes pit on 23rd. Snipe – several around the site. Chiffchaff – two or three at the ARC site. Dartford warbler – one in Christmas Dell on 19th. Raven – two flying around the area from 20th.
A glossy ibis appeared at the ARC site yesterday morning and is still around today, although it has moved to the field behind the lakes near Boulderwall Farm. Bitterns continue to give stunning views from the Hanson-ARC hide and Scott hide. A black-necked grebe has been on Burrowes pit since Saturday and there are still plenty of smew and goldeneyes around the site along with a few goosanders. A raven was seen over Denge Marsh yesterday and two common buzzards today.
Bewick’s swan – large numbers (100+) are still coming in to roost on the ARC pit. They are more often heard than seen as the majority of them are coming in after dark. They are leaving between 7.30 and 8.00 the following morning. Barnacle Goose – two flocks (totalling about 125 birds) flew in from the west on the afternoon of 3rd. They circled above Burrowes pit for a few minutes before joining up and flying off east. Goldeneye – up to three on the ARC pit or Burrowes pit, daily. Smew – up to 14 all week, including two males. Goosander – up to four around the site all week. Black-necked grebe – one on Burrowes pit on 4th. Bittern – at least seven around the site all week including one feeding just a few feet from Scott hide. Other sightings at the ARC site, Denge Marsh and New Excavations. Water rail – one or two showing from Scott Hide all week. Hen harrier – one at the ARC site on 4th. Merlin – one on 4th. Snipe – several around the site all week. Black-tailed godwit – five on Denge Marsh on 3rd. Caspian gull – two adults on Burrowes pit on 1st. Firecrest – two at the ARC site on 1st, one in Christmas Dell on 4th. Chiffchaff – one near Scott hide on 4th.