A pectoral sandpiper was seen briefly from the ARC viewing screen yesterday morning - presumably the same bird that had been at the southern end of the pit from Friday to Monday. Other waders at the Hanson-ARC site included greenshank, common and green sandpipers and little ringed plover. A turtle dove on the wires near the screen was also a pleasing sight.
The great white egret remains in the Denge Marsh area and bitterns are still being seen daily.
The highlight of the day for many was provided by a lesser emperor dragonfly patrolling the return trail.
A good variety of waders were still present at the ARC site, if in small numbers. Little stint, wood sandpiper and a ruff (in a rather scruffy version of its summer plumage) were of particular note.
Two tiny common tern chicks were briefly visible on the raft nearest to Denge Marsh hide this morning.
Our first newly fledged marsh harriers of the year were seen on Saturday morning, sat in a field beyond Denge Marsh. There were several sightings of bitterns on their feeding flights but a bit of patience was required to connect with them. Two wood sandpipers and several common sandpipers and little ringed plovers were seen at the ARC site and a greenshank was seen from Firth hide.
Fantastic news! The repeated booming of our male bittern from March onwards has not been in vain - he appears to have mated with two females and we now have two nests with young in, in the Hooker's pits/Denge Marsh area. The best place to spot the females as they make their feeding flights is from the viewpoint at Hooker's pits.
An increase in waders around the site has been noted in the past few days with wood sandpiper, greenshank and green sandpiper at the ARC site and whimbrel in the fields near Boulderwall Farm.
Bittern by David Featherbe
The most unusual sighting over the past couple of weeks has been of a red-head goosander, which has been on the ARC pit since the 14th. The best news has been the hatching of three common tern chicks on the rafts on Denge Marsh. We are waiting anxiously to see whether they survive to fledging - it's a dangerous world out there, with gulls and other predators looking for an easy meal. The great white egret is still with us and can usually be seen from the Denge Marsh hide or the bridle track.