Saturday, 30 April 2016

The setee for cetti's

Undoubtedly the birds of the moment are cetti's warblers.  As per the last post they appear to be all over the reserve this year; the north marsh ones are undoubtedly the most showy.  We can be a bit blas√© when shown all these images - but prior to 2013 the only cetti's shot from the reserve was a grainy image by Martin Hodges from 2007.  A few more passable record shots here - Alan Walkington:
Maurice Dowson:
Brian Colley:
Tony Simpson:
And to finish off a nice video from Bruce Pillinger - we've had a few folk asking about what the call is like so hopefully this will help.  Once you've hear it once you can't fail to miss it.     
In fact now the call is everywhere - and so officially derided as a 'common bird.'  The unfortunate problem of being a successful species.  We had a visitor the other day saying how splendid the black headed gulls were - and indeed they are - despite their numbers.  We're not sure on what caused this -
Perhaps thrombosis caused by the neighbours:
It would seem our lesser black backed gulls have returned for attempt number 2.  Last year was the first time ever this species nested on the site, but unfortunately failed not long after the single chick hatched.  Presumably they were a young inexperienced pair - but hopefully will fare better this year - and with luck not consume the neighbours in the process.  It'd appear though that they have already started off as they mean to go on.  This eel wasn't even safe under water...
But some have got off already.  The first mallard brood today, and numerous greylag goslings through the week:

 Otherwise to be fair the last 5 days have been a write off.  The appalling cold saw a complete stall it appears in any movements (or observers wanting to brave it!).  Up until Sunday things has been moving well.  Cuckoo, hobby, swift all in last weekend along with the first common tern:
And yellow wagtail:
A good find was a communal roost on the North Lagoon at dusk; 11 yellows with a possible blue headed continental amongst their number on the 20th with 34 pied.

Perhaps a far more exciting warbler to have on site last weekend than cetti's was a grasshopper warbler reeling on South Marsh West - the first time in many years we've had a genuine 'Spring' bird as opposed to summer refugee from grass cutting elsewhere.  Alas no further sound since with the cold weather.  Dunlin was a nice drop in today as last Friday:
A more notable bird and nice one to boost the ever burgeoning year list was this long-tailed duck which dropped in on the 16th - the first since 2010 just before 'the big freeze'
Not dropping in - perhaps more emerging from the silt of South Lagoon:
The Tophill Terrapin has survived another winter.  This was rumoured to be present for many years and was finally vindicated with views and photos two years back.  Presumably discarded through the shutters of south lagoon inlet hide after the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles craze.  They are omnivorous so are potentially a hazard to our smaller wildlife - but perhaps in the same way as grass snakes.  Conditions are not warm enough for long enough for them to breed in the UK; so this one is destined to spend its days basking in the sun of the lagoon.    

Otherwise we finally got an osprey tonight courtesy of Lee Johnson, alas too late to make use of our platform this year.  And a 'bus like' male redstart spent the day today on East Scrub - many years without one and now two the same spring! Brambling & Egyptian goose on the 20th.  The first common sandpiper on the 22nd. 

So - spotted flycatcher, turtle dove would be great but vain hopes.  Garden warbler should be imminent.  And then whatever spring passage waders may drop by; last year was respectable enough with wood sands etc; but this year the lagoons and marshes are ready and waiting...

Reserve walk next Saturday at 10am.