Just a quick one to say Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all our blog readers. I will hope to update the blog over the holiday period, so keep an eye open for sightings news.
In the last week we have had both bittern and marsh harrier sightings on site - the bittern was on Phase 2 this morning and a female marsh harrier flew north over the silt lagoons and Phase 1 yesterday morning. There are at least three pairs of goldeneye on site, with a lovely male displaying in front of the dipping platform earlier in the week. There is an impressive flock of c.50 chaffinches feeding on Cottage Lane - it could be well worth looking through these for tree sparrow and potentially brambling. Water rail continue to be vocal and sometimes show on the Phase 1 islands and please do look out for any roosting starlings!
The December WeBS count was conducted by myself and volunteer Stuart Carlton last Thursday. Strong winds certainly don’t make it easy with birds hunkering down in long vegetation and scopes shaking, but we went for it and the results are as follows –
160 tufted duck
11 mute swan
2 greylag goose
1 canada goose
4 grey heron
1 little egret
4 little grebe
2 great crested grebe
241 black-headed gull
1 lesser black-backed gull
Just a quick starling update....I was pleased to see a small (very small!) murmuration back on site this evening, with around 500 birds going into reed at the western end of the boardwalk. It's not quite the 25,000 we had back in November, but it's a start!
With some colder weather on the Continent recently, it is possible that we may get an influx of birds over the next few days. It's worth keeping an eye open for starlings if you are on site at dusk and please do let us know if you see any.