Last Wednesday evening I had an amazing view of a Barn owl as it flew right over my head!I was lucky to watch it for quite a while as it was hunting along the bottom of the sea wall next to the hedge heading straight towards me, as I was walking along the newly laid hedge measuring the new fence heading straight towards it. I thought it would have turned to fly away from me but instead it continued towards me undeterred by my presence. Why do i never have a camera when I need one?
A Great white egret has been at Hesketh Out Marsh since wednesday 26 October. It has been seen everyday in the lagoons or creeks on the reserve, and yesterday was very close to the sea wall and viewing platform especially as the tide was coming in.
A near verbatim report from Colin again -
"During a High tide wildfowl count today a Crossbill headed SE calling as I was watching Barn Owl at 12.50PM at the east end of the reserve; 2 Sandwich Terns heading up-river, 2 Marsh Harriers, 12 Kestrels (10 sitting on posts on NNR), Sparrowhawk, 11 Cormorants, 21 Mute Swans, 88 Canada Geese, 19 Greylags, 69 Teal, 60 Mallard, 135 Oystercatcher, 225 Dunlin, 45 Black-tailed Godwit, 1 Whimbrel, 75 Curlew, 22 Greenshank, 175 Redshank, 7 Common Terns, 6 Arctic Terns, 3 House Martin, 2 Sand Martin, 3 Yellow Wagtails, a Corn Bunting and 2 Raven.
Butterflies included plenty of Meadow Browns, Gatekeepers, a few Common Blues, Small Tortoishell, Green-veined White and Peacock Butterflies and a Brown Hawker."
High Tide again tomorrow so well worth a visit.
This is a verbatim report from one of our local birders - thanks, Colin.
"My first Merlin (a female) of the autumn at HOM lunchtime! The biggish tide pushed a few more birds onto the reserve including 12 Little Egrets, 15 Greylags, 8 Teal, 10 Greenshank, a Grey Plover, 7 Dunlin, Green and Common Sandpipers and the usual Avocets were still there. The imm' Marsh Harrier was about as well as 5 Kestrels hunting the NNR and 49 Golden Plovers flew over before heading back to HOM east. Adult Lesser Whitethroat calling from the big hedge accompanied by what looks like a recently fledged young bird."
So, it's time to check for high tides again and the first Pink-foots returning. There is one already at neighbouring Marshside reserve.
There are still up to 3000 Pink-foots with the odd Barnacle around and the usual cast of raptors but they have been joined by singing Chiffchaffs, Corn Buntings and Willow Warblers, Wheatears and Meadow Pipits. Swallows have been reported and Avocet numbers are increasing. Hopefully, they will have a better breeding season this year.
Plenty Golden and Grey Plover and Black-tailed Godwits with the odd Little Ringed Plover.
Red-legged and Grey Partridge are about.
Earlier in April a male Ring Ouzel caused much excitement.