Saturday, 16 April 2016

Gone too spoon

An excellent couple of weeks on the reserve; Continuing in from the first migrants arriving in the last post we have had a great array of birds - generally in various 'gluts' as the wind swings southerly.  Anything up to four ruff have been present on the southern marshes:
But perhaps the best bird was this immature spoonbill present on the 14th albeit too briefly: Great video here from Roy Vincent:
Found by Martin Hodges it showed excellently for those fortunate enough to be on site at the time - coming very close to the 1st hide:
Some more great pictures by Maurice Dowson - note the black wing tips denoting that it is an immature bird:
Roy Vincent captured a last few images too...
...before it was last seen disappearing high south east and 40 minutes later was over Sunk Island and the Humber.  Spoonbill isn't a first for the reserve, but it is the first for several years and nice to see.  Much similar was the redstart that was found last Sunday by Ian and Lukas at South Marsh West.  Again several years since the last, this male showed well all day albeit distantly. Another great video by Roy Vincent:
Further photo's on Erich's blog here.
Otherwise a mass arrival of migrant warblers; the first willow warbler joined the first blackcap on the 3rd found by Steve Routledge (great write up on his blog here).  Blackcap male by Maurice Dowson:
This perching post at North Marsh is not only favoured by this but also one of the buoyant numbers of cetti's warblers on site - some exceptional pictures by Maurice:
And Tony Simpson:
Following on in the last three days have been common and lesser whitethroat, along with sedge warbler.  And it goes without saying that where there are warblers cuckoos aren't far behind - and indeed the first was calling on the 13th.  Again the other shadow also put in appearance the same day; the first hobby of the year. 

Otherwise wagtails are gradually building in numbers as they move through.  15 pied's roosted on the lagoons on the 10th, and a white was present on the 6th.  A smattering of yellow's have been present and a couple of grey's on the north lagoon:
Always worth looking that bit harder - only just spotted the ringed greylag behind just now!  Hopefully we should have some barn owl's to ring of our own this summer as the lonely owl seems to have found a mate.  Still a presence of marsh harriers too so here's hoping.  Red kite sightings also.  A small party of four Egyptian geese have dropped by and the red crested pochards continue to linger - Tony Simpson:
A bit more dubious progeny with the reeve's pheasant; a new addition to the tophill low 'plastic' list in the form of this reeve's pheasant currently wandering around the car park from Bruce Pillinger:
Love is certainly in the air around the reserve's water ways - Oystercatchers - Roy Vincent:

Coot - Stuart Allen
And little grebe Roy Vincent: 
Even the volunteers are getting in the spirit:
Whilst the islands are prepped by those doing real work...
Ready for these characters - Maurice Dowson:
It's not only on the water but beneath it.  Hundreds of great crested newts on the training walks held with the Freshwater Habitats Trust last week:
Nice to see a few other uncommon residents showing as well; both bullfinch - Bruce Pillinger:
and reed bunting - Tony Simpson - are threatened species these days:
But perhaps most welcome are two now very uncommon species - grey partridge showing well on the approach road and a cracking 17 corn buntings at Wilfholme.
Lots of shelduck activity still - Roy Vincent:
For better or worse lesser black backed gulls also back on the marsh.  Roe deer gradually disappearing back into the growing foliage - Stuart Allen:
So still plenty to look forward to; common terns, reed warblers to come back yet as we amass quite a year list.  Perhaps not as many as this guy we were graced by on the 5th of April - well worth a read and donate here