The big news this week is that we have a booming bittern again. It has been heard on and off since early last Monday morning, mostly at dusk and dawn but some visitors have been lucky enough to hear it during the day. The bird is booming from the reeds to the right of the viewing ramp in almost the same area as last year.
Raptors kept us watching the skies with eight common buzzards passing over on Tuesday 22nd, a red kite on 23rd and several sightings of merlin. A large flock of starlings touring the site on Sunday attracted the attentions of both sparrowhawk and peregrine.
Waders on the move included 35 golden plovers and a green sandpiper at Denge Marsh on 23rd, our first little ringed plovers of the year at the eastern end of the ARC pit on 24th and 17 curlews, seen from the Hanson-ARC site, and seven turnstones on Burrowes pit yesterday,
Migrant passerines continued to arrive in small numbers with our first yellow wagtail of the year seen on Saturday and several sighitngs of sand martin and swallow throughout the week. Two black redstarts were near the Water Tower on Sunday.
Today started well for one of our volunteers who saw two spoonbills flying over at about 6.30.
Three garganey were on Burrowes pit yesterday - two were seen from Makepeace hide and one from the Visitor Centre. The glaucous gull put in a brief appearance and an avocet was spotted from Scott hide. A black-necked grebe was on the ARC pit, a red kite flew over at about 9.30 and a merlin was seen near the access track. A black redstart and a wheatear spent the day near the main car park.
Highlights on Saturday included a spoonbill flying high over the reserve and a buzzard flying lower over the access track. A bittern, rock pipit and chiffchaff were seen at Hooker's pits and a firecrest was in Christmas Dell.
A penduline tit was seen from the Hanson-ARC hide on Thursday and Friday but proved elusive over the weekend.
It’s all happening here! Another wheatear appeared this morning and two sand martins flew through. The penduline tit has just been seen from the Hanson-ARC hide again. Also of note: several smew and goldeneye, two Slavonian grebes, bittern, two avocets, a firecrest and two ravens.
Our first wheatear of the year was seen near Makepeace hide yesterday! No sign of it today, unfortunately, but with such a blustery wind blowing it might have been keeping its head down or, of course, it could be half-way across the country by now.
The highlight today was a red-throated diver on Burrowes pit that obligingly swam right past the Visitor Centre.
A penduline tit was spotted at Hooker's pits a couple of hours ago and a red-throated diver has been seen from Denge Marsh hide. There are still a few smew and goldeneyes around the site and large numbers of shoveler on Burrowes pit. Three scaup were on Burrowes pit on Sunday and Monday but haven't been seen yet today. Also of note over the past few days were a Slavonian grebe and three rock pipits (at the ARC site on Sunday) and two woodcocks, which flew across the access track at dusk on Saturday.