Another glorious day began with the great white egret on Burrowes pit. After flying around the point for a bit it returned to its favoured spot at Denge Marsh. A spotted flycatcher, blackcaps and plenty of chiffchaffs were in Christmas Dell, there were a few golden plovers among the lapwings on Burrowes pit and a grey plover was seen from Firth hide.
The buff-breasted sandpiper that was here a week ago was spotted again this afternoon from the Hanson-ARC hide and a bittern is showing really well on New Excavations as I write.
A misty start seemed to bring a few migrants to ground, with several chiffchaffs seen around Boulderwall Farm and the main car park and redstart, blackcap and stonechat all near Hide 1. As the mist cleared a few small flocks of swallows were seen flying over the car park. Panic among the lapwings on Burrowes pit alerted us to a passing buzzard mid-morning and two visitors later reported a group of four common buzzards flying over and two honey buzzards over Denge Marsh. Bittern, great white egret and kingfisher were also seen at Denge Marsh, whilst 200+ golden plovers were at the ARC site. Black-tailed godwit, snipe, grey plover, curlew and raven were also of note.
Have just come back from Denge Marsh where I finally managed to catch up with one of the two spoonbills that have been flaoting around this week. The great white egret was also showing nicely once again and three greenshanks were on the small islands. A very smart whinchat was in the scrub just near the entrance to Christmas Dell along with a stonechat and whitethroat. On my up the track a 'regular' grey heron flew across in front of me followed by the leucistic individual that has been causing some confusion in recent weeks. Elsewhere around the reserve, a spotted flycatcher and redstart were seen at the ARC site and a juvenile shag was on Burrowes pit.
Sadly there has been no sign today of yesterday's greater flamingo. It turns out that this was the bird (known as Fiona!) that has spent some time at our Minsmere reserve over the past few months, having escaped from Marwell Zoo in December.
Other highlights this week: Garganey – one at ARC on 11th. Crane – two flying over on 14th. Bittern – one at Denge Marsh on 10th. Cattle egret – one near Boulderwall Farm and sometimes ARC all week. Hobby – one over the ARC pit on 14th. Honey buzzard – one over the reserve on 15th. Common Buzzard – two over the reserve on 15th. Golden plover – 150+ on the ARC pit, daily. Little Stint – two on the ARC site on 14th. Knot – on Burrowes pit on 14th. Curlew sandpiper – five on the ARC site on 14th. Ruff – two on ARC and one on Burrowes pit on 15th. Spotted redshank – two on Burrowes pit on 13th. Snipe – one at ARC on 13th. Dunlin – four at ARC on 14th. Black-tailed godwit – four at the ARC site on 14th. Bar-tailed Godwit – three at ARC on 13th. Common sandpiper – one on Burrowes pit in 14th. Whimbrel – one at Denge Marsh on 15th. Little gull – two at the ARC site on 14th. Arctic tern – one at the ARC site on 13th. Black tern – three at ARC on 14th. Kingfisher – one at Scott hide on 14th. Swift – over the reserve on 11th. Sand martin – many passing thorugh, daily. Swallow – several daily. Yellow wagtail – one by access track on 11th. Black redstart – one on the return trail on 15th. Wheatear – one at Boulderwall Farm on 15th. Goldcrest – one at ARC site on 14th. Raven – one at ARC on 12th.