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  • Blog Post: An early Autumn Miscellany

    2nd September. A flat calm estuary with Shelduck out on the mudflats . Good to see so many Bumblebees amongst the clover planted partly as a green manure and partly as an end of the season seed crop for birds. 4th September. Another warm sunny day brought out the bees. A large...
  • Blog Post: The impressive high tide wader roosts of Campfield Marsh - late August.

    The Solway estuary is recognised as a site of international importance for both Eurasian Oystercatchers and red Knot, holding the 2nd and 10th largest population respectively, within the UK. These overwintering waders mainly feed on cockles, mussels and Baltic tellins from the tidal mudflats and are...
  • Blog Post: A flavour of August.

    2nd August. Rained most of the day until 3.30pm. As the tide came in, the sun broke through. Lots of young birds about: Swallows, Blue Tits, Greenfinch, Dunnock and Robins. Plenty of activity on the mudflats. Brambles starting to ripen on Lonning hedgerow - this seems very early for the time...
  • Blog Post: ‘Big Bertha’ comes to Campfield.

    High Tide roost, Saltmarsh pool - 12 8 14 Hurricane Big Bertha was on its way across the Atlantic. The weathermen had been terrorising us for a week in advance. We knew that, should it arrive, it was going to coincide with a series of very high tides on the Solway, anyway - which heightened our sense...
  • Blog Post: Further July reminiscences

    LONNING AND RAISED BOG With the hot sunny days of summer, bird song has fallen silent with birds concentrating on raising their young. However, welcome colour to our suite of wildlife has been provided by the burgeoning insect life. The hedgerows and meadows were alive with butterflies, dragonflies...
  • Blog Post: One of Campfield's many sun-drenched days of July.

    The Lonning and meadows The 13th of July was a fine, very warm day. The hay fields were looking great and the verges were alive with butterflies. Looking across the hay meadows. Honeysuckle in full bloom along the hedgerows. Plenty of nectar here for butterflies. Numerous Green-veined...
  • Blog Post: The dog days of Summer!

    A LATE JUNE PHOTODIARY 15th June. After a very warm day, a quick evening walk along the Lonning and across the buttercup meadow to the 'Willow' Bower revealed a few late evening activities. Sunlight cattle grazing against a backcloth of the distant Lake District fells. A Moorhen...
  • Blog Post: Further recollections of May

    6th May A sunny warmer day with a slight breeze blowing, brought forth a single Siskin and a male Bullfinch feeding in the hamlet gardens. Reports of a good flock of Barnacles ( plus a leucistic) still on the marshes at Rockcliffe, with a common Swift at Burgh. Male Bullfinch 7th May A...
  • Blog Post: Wetlands Management Training Day,7th May - Review

    The Wetlands Management Training Day organised by the Solway Wetlands Landscape Partnership at the Wetlands Centre at Campfield, inspite of the inclement weather, was very well supported. Dave Blackledge (Campfield Marsh RSPB Manager) led the workshop and during the morning, covered the mudflat and saltmarsh...
  • Blog Post: Recent sightings

    1st May A cold strong easterly wind was blowing. Small flocks of waders going west on the high tide. Three Little Egret and a Grey Heron were frequenting the saltmarsh round Scargavel Point. Two little Egret on the saltmars h at 1.50pm . . . . . . and a third one flew in. - but the Heron...
  • Blog Post: T'was a very 'Good' Friday.

    April 18th proved to be just that: the most beautiful of sunny days and the air was full of bird song. A short walk down the Lonning revealed all sorts of delights. PHOTO RECORD BELOW. The hawthorn hedges have suddenly sprung into life. The new greenery will provide better cover for nesting...
  • Blog Post: Every cloud has a silver lining ! !

    View across the wet meadows from the 1st Screen - had plenty of rainfall recently Earlier in the month, as the damson buds started to show, a pair of Bullfinches could be seen taking advantage of this feast in the orchards here abouts. Male Bullfinch 5 3 14 Female Bullfinch. END OF MARCH...
  • Blog Post: Barnacle activity - 3rd March

    After a cold starlit night the Estuary and saltmarsh were shrouded in mist this morning. As the tide came in the mist gradually dispersed and the sun came out. The cheerful song of a Robin rang out from the top of a marsh-edge hawthorn. We were still in an over 9m tide phase which causes a fair amount...
  • Blog Post: Extra sightings from February

    4th February Sunny with a light southerly wind all day. A large mixed flock of Pinks and Barnacles were flying over the Reserve and adjacent farmland, attempting to land but nearby farming activity prevented them from doing so. Eventually, towards evening, they could be seen flying off towards the...
  • Blog Post: Cabin Fever - 15 2 14

    Wetlands after the storms. Recently there had been days of poor weather: highish tides and some strong winds – more or less the same as the rest of the country. For one reason or other (visits to the dentist etc. . . Ouch!) we hadn't been out onto the Reserve. But today was different...
  • Blog Post: Late January photo review

    Frosty Dawn 16th January Cold but sunny weather. Snowdrops showing at the entrance of the Lonning. Rooks could be seen displaying. Waders wheeling in the sunshine - Viaduct corner Oystercatcher flock on the edge of the tide - Campfield Marsh. Wigeon riding out the...
  • Blog Post: Campfield Marsh at the high Spring tide - 2nd February

    A pictorial walk overlooking the Marsh, as the high Spring tide was falling back. There was plenty of bird activity. It was milder than of late with a brisk south-westerly wind blowing - but the bonus was the afternoon-long sunshine. Flooded marsh looking east towards the viaduct. Marsh near...
  • Blog Post: New Year gales and high tides at Campfield.

    Massive Cumulus clouds over the wetlands - a forerunner of things to come. 2nd January Gales overnight continued throughout the morning. Large flocks of Oystercatchers, other waders and Gulls taking shelter near the boundary fence as the tide came in. Marsh starting to flood. ...
  • Blog Post: December Review - 2013

    Month started off very cold and wet but with good movements of Barnacles back and forth along the Estuary. Excavation started of enlarged pools in front of the hide. 4th December. Waders flying by in large groups at high tide along the marsh edge. At 12.30pm good flock of Barnacles plus a leucistic...
  • Blog Post: Marsh Harriers have been showing well.....

    Marsh Harriers by Ben Hall (rspb-images.com) Marsh harriers have been showing well recently with several birds in the area, both males and females being spotted. Bowers Marsh is a great place to see them, as is the hide in Wat Tyler Country Park overlooking Pitsea Scrape, where fly-bys are regularly...
  • Blog Post: Four spoonbills on Bowers Marsh

    The opening of Bowers Marsh was celebrated with the arrival of four spoonbill, giving great views on the edge of the main freshwater lagoon. A juvenile glossy ibis has also been popping in and out of Bowers Marsh and has also been seen flying over Vange Marsh. The ibis has been quite mobile, although...
  • Blog Post: Bank Holiday viewing - 26th August 2013

    From the lay-by at the start of Campfield Marsh . Here at Campfield over the last few days, the weather has been magnificent: hot sunshine and very little wind - with high tides on the estuary and saltmarsh. This particular combination of circumstances has had the effect on the inland part of the...
  • Blog Post: Waders on the Solway - early August 2013

    Good flocks of mixed waders are now to be seen here along the Solway Estuary - being pushed about by the tides. They consist of Dunlin, Oystercatchers, Knot, and Ringed, Green and Golden Plover. CAMPFIELD MARSH 3rd August. In the region of 350 Oystercatchers and a small numbers of Dunlin...
  • Blog Post: "Much about?"

    Needless to say, Rhian's excited proclamation - upon the arrival of our first avocet of the year in mid-February - that spring was here, was a little premature. Since then we've had plenty more snow flurries, frozen pools and lots of gratitude for the stove in our reception hide. However, we've...
  • Blog Post: Pectoral Sandpiper makes it 29 not out

    Last night a regular visitor found a pectoral sandpiper feeding in front of the Marsh Covert hide which means that we are just one away from the magical 30 wading birds barrier . To put this in context the "RSPB Handbook of British Birds" only lists 34 wading birds in its main section with...