Wow it was a bit of surprise this morning when just undertaking some monitoring work I rounded a corner to see my first chicks of the 2014 breeding season! Amazing the eggs must have been laid early to mid March, now greylags are very early breeders but I must admit they seem to get earlier every year!
The weekend was excellent with stunning displaying marsh harriers, top avocet action and the bittern is certainly quite active now and booming! Add to that 600 sand martins in to roost on Friday, blackcaps singing, sedge warblers, and swallows then spring is certainly creeping in the on the marsh.
The twite though are still with us and showing well around the car park, a single male hen harrier came in to roost on Friday with barn owls showing well that evening too, two goosander flew up river today and the buzzards entertain along side the marshies.
Wader wise everything is still very tidal but snipe, curlew and oystercatcher can be seen at any time of the day. The five black tailed godwits and spotted redshank are a little more difficult to connect with!
The good news is that the path repairs have finished at a record rate and we are now ready to reopen - so tomorrow we will open the gates at usual times if anyone wants to visit. However, please note that we will probably not open the visitor centre so you may need to bring a snack or two with you!
Here's a few bird snaps from the weekend
below - avocets were great value on Saturday fighting and splashing around while 80 were present on Friday morning!
And the Marsh harriers were just sublime - this is an adult male at Singleton
And this is an adult female at Townend
And some of the territorial air battles are breath taking! But difficult to do justice in a photo!
Even this little Blackcap obliged - just in from Africa and singing his little heart out. Sylvia warblers are just top birds but not always easy to see.
Mind you this trio of male mallards put on a real show on first showing just how nice our British birds can be - reflections and all!
He's behind you! look who got a shock when he went a little too close to Mr angry the marsh harrier! Gulp - this barnie got a real clattering