Mid February 2024

19th February. Whilst so many Waxwings have only paused briefly to feed before moving on this winter, the current bird is enjoying its fourth day here , showing very well along the Cycletrack opposite North Car Park. New arrivals were 2 Red Kites, a Barnacle Goose with 80 Pink-footed Geese and a Lapland Bunting over the east Dunes.


Red Kite, 19th February 2024.
 Photos- Paul Neale


Waxwing, 19th February 20214. 
Photos - Paul Neale

Waxwing, 19th February 2024. 
Photo - Sam Goddard

Buzzard, 19th February 2024. 
Photo - Sam Goddard


Starlings, 19th February 2024. 
Photo - Sam Goddard

18th February. Rain from first thing well into the morning. The Waxwing was still present and showing well at times and the regular Whooper Swans came in to roost in the evening.

17th February. The Waxwing was seen again late morning around North Car Park. 44 Whooper Swans left the roost on Tennyson's Sands where a Bittern was reported. Other birds around included Marsh harrier, male Hen Harrier, 9 Corn Bunting and a Merlin.


Waxwing, 17th February 2024. 
Photos- Caroline Sedgley

16th February. The 3 Shorelarks were seen again today on the north saltings. A Waxwing was along the Cycletrack and a ringtail Hen Harrier was hinting the Old Saltmarsh.

15th February. A fairly quiet day. Highlights were 2000 Lapwing on Croftmarsh, an Avocet and 70 Black-tailed Godwit on Tennyson's Sands, 2 Treecreeper in the Plantation and a Grey Wagtail.

14th February. A significant increase in the number of Knot at the high tide roost this morning with over 32000, possibly anticipating another big tide after the very big evening tide yesterday. Grey Plover had also increased to well over 3000. The sea was fairly quiet but the 2 Long-tailed Ducks showed well. A Waxwing flew over the east side. Several Woodcocks remain on the Reserve - see amazing trail cam footage below!

Woodcock - recent footage from trail cam by Sam Goddard

13th February. Similar numbers of waders at roost to yesterday morning and fairly similar numbers of Divers etc. at sea. A few birds on the move included a Rook and 2 Jackdaws arriving off the sea and a Grey Wagtail heading south - an unusual February record.

12th February. Another very good wader spectacle on the morning tide involving at least 13000 birds at the north roost alone. Offshore, 45 Red-throated Diver and 2 Long-tailed Ducks and highlights of Black-throated Diver and Goosander north and a Harbour Porpoise. A Caspian Gull was amongst the Herring Gulls on the beach and Black-tailed Godwits had increased to 76. In the evening, 44 Whooper Swans came in to roost.

Teal, 12th February 2024. 
Photo - Paul Neale

Pink-footed Geese, 12th February 2024. 
Photo - Paul Neale

Black-tailed Godwits, 12th February 2024. 
Photo - Paul Neale

 11th February. Remaining overcast after more heavy rain overnight. Fortunately, this cleared just before the morning WeBS count commenced. Very good numbers of the regular waders came up to roost ( 22000 Knot, 6920 Oystercatcher, 2820 Grey Plover, 757 Sanderling, 7820 Dunlin and 1070 Bar-tailed Godwit and 47 Turnstone) and hundreds of large gulls came to feed on the beach on the dropping tide including over 1000 Herring Gulls but nothing unusual found amongst them. 30 Red-throated Divers were offshore with the 2 Long-tailed Ducks. 900 Lapwings were around Croftmarsh with another 400 arriving from the north. The regular Barn Owl showed well over the Freshwater Marsh and a Green Woodpecker was around the Plantation. 44 Whooper Swans came in to roost. Other birds around included single Hen Harrier and Jack Snipe and the 3 Shorelark were with a group of 20 Skylarks.

Shorelarks, 11th February 2024. 
Photo - Rob Watson.


Early February 2024

10th February. A dry morning, misty but mild and even becoming comparatively warm mid morning when the sun broke through. A very light southerly movement involved Woodpigeons, Skylarks, Meadow Pipits, Chaffinches, 30 Siskin, a Snow Bunting and  Brambling. A Great White Egret flew high south offshore and two more Great White Egrets flew south together later in the afternoon. The 2 Long-tailed Duck were close inshore and other birds around included a Hen Harrier, 2 Stonechat and 3 Water Pipit.

9th February. Another day with rain of varying intensity. Several Water Pipits were recorded today including 2 on the Fenland Lagoon that is becoming a regular site for them (view from West Hide). Croftmarsh was busy with 400 Wigeon and 450 Lapwing. 

8th February. A day mostly dominated by rain. An Avocet was a new arrival on Tennyson's Sands this morning and a Pale-bellied Brent Goose was with the Brent flock.

Pale-bellied Brent Goose, 8th February 2024. 
Photo - Nige Lound

7th February. An increase in Snow Buntings today with a flock of up to 25 along the beach, but just 3 Corn Bunting near the Visitor Centre. A male Hen Harrier was hunting over the Old Saltmarsh and 11 Egyptian Geese and 1100 Pink-footed Geese were on Croftmarsh. Other birds around included singles Green Woodpecker, Brambling and Yellowhammer.

6th February. A raft of up to 400 Eider were on the sandbank offshore at low tide, with 2 Long-tailed Ducks close in. On the beach 2 Snow Bunting were seen but the 3 Shorelarks are now ranging more widely, being seen on saltings further inland today. A Bearded Tit was at the Mere and a Raven flew north west distantly. 49 Whooper Swans came into roost on Tennyson's Sands after 4 pm.

Shorelarks, 6th February 2024. 
Photo - Nige Lound

5th February. A quiet day; birds around included a Water Pipit and 4 Snow Bunting

4th February. The Smew was seen again early morning and 50 Whooper Swans left the roost. A Black-throated Diver was offshore again with the 3 Long-tailed Ducks with 45 Red-throated Diver and 900 Common Scoter heading into the Wash. 6 Snow Buntings were along the beach and 3 Waxwing paused to feed on Hawthorn berries near Mill Hill. Other birds around included 2 Water Pipits.

Hen Harrier, 4th February 2024. 
Photo - Sam Goddard

Little Grebe, 4th February 2024. 
Photo - Sam Goddard

Water Pipit, 4th February 2024. 
Photo - Sam Goddard

3rd February. The Smew showed early morning as 49 Whooper Swans were leaving their roost on Tennyson's Sands while a herd of 6 Bewick's Swans heading south was a rare sight. A Great Spotted Woodpecker was drumming at Sykes Farm and 2 Waxwings were found along the approach road. 4 Snow Buntings were along the beach at the north end but only 3 Shorelarks today. Corn Buntings however, showed an encouraging increase to 20 although still half the number that wintered 10 years ago. Other birds around were 2 Stonechat and a Hen Harrier.

Fieldfare, 3rd February 2024.  
Photo - Nige Lound

2nd February. Mild again and overcast, giving good visibility. Three sawbill species were recorded on the Reserve today; The Smew was seen again on occasions during the day on Tennyson's Sands where a Goosander arrived and several Red-breasted Mergansers were offshore. Also offshore, a Black-throated Diver again and the 3 Long-tailed Ducks. There were 9 Snow Buntings along the beach and 5 Waxwing seen along the Cycletrack. A ringtail Hen Harrier was hunting the Old Saltmarsh and a Merlin was on the beach.

Long-tailed Ducks, 2nd February 2024. 
Photo - Sam Goddard

Long-tailed Ducks, 2nd February 2024. 
Photo - Sam Goddard

Long-tailed Ducks, 2nd February 2024. 
Photo - Sam Goddard

Goosander, 2nd February 2024. 
Photo - Sam Goddard

Goosander, 2nd February 2024. 
Photo - Sam Goddard

Smew, 2nd February 2024. 
Photo - Sam Goddard

Smew with Pink-footed Geese, 2nd February 2024. 
Photo - Sam Goddard

1st February. A cold and frosty start but becoming bright, pleasant and remaining dry. A morning sea watch was rewarded with some good variety including a  Black-throated Diver and the regular 3 Long-tailed Ducks, but nothing in any numbers. The Smew remained on Tennyson's Sands where 48 Whooper Swans came in to roost. A good size group of Blue Tits were feeding on elm buds in the West Dunes - up to 20 have been seen ding this recently.  Other birds around included Red Kite, Barn Owl, 4 Woodcock, a Treecreeper and 2 Egyptian Geese.

Smew, 1st February 2024. 
Photo - Stuart Ainsworth

Nursery-web Spider, 1st February 2024. 
Photo - Rob Watson

Sunset over Tennyson's Sands, 1st February 2024. 
Photo - Stuart Ainsworth


Late January 2024

Shorelarks - Request to birders looking for these birds; access to the favoured site (around wins.degree.simulator)is along the beach south from Seacroft. Parking at Drake Road/Seacroft Esplanade. Please avoid the Greenshank's Creek area to the south which is an important part of the Special Protection Area (SPA) for feeding and roosting waders. 

January 31st. A single Waxwing flew south. Other birds around included 48 Whooper Swans, 2 Hen Harriers, a Peregrine and a Red Kite.

January 30th. The Smew was seen again on Tennyson's Sands and 2000 Pink-footed Geese arrived during the late afternoon and landed on Croftmarsh.

Pochard, 30th January 2024. 
Photo - Rikki Clark

Teal, 30th January 2024. 
Photo - Rikki Clark

Pink-footed Geese, 30th January 2024. 
Photo - Rikki Clark

Herring Gull, 30th January 2024. 
Photo - Rikki Clark

January 29th. Another bright morning, mild, with a cool southerly breeze. The Whooper Swans departed their roost at 0745 and the 2 Bearded Tits were in the adjacent reedbed on Tennyson's Sands. At least 6000 mixed waders came up to roost on the high tide. Snow Bunting had increased to 23 along the north end beach with the 4 Shorelarks nearby. good numbers of Skylark and Linnet were also along the frontal dunes and marshes with a single Lapland Bunting calling in flight when passerines were flushed by a hunting Merlin. 2 Waxwings were along the Cycletrack. Late in the day, the redhead Smew was seen again on Tennyson's Sands. Other birds around included 5 Woodcocks.

Woodcock, 29th January 2024. 
Photo - Sam Goddard


Whooper Swans leaving roost, 29th January 2024. 
Photo - Sam Goddard


Bearded Tit , 29th January 2024. 
Photos - Sam Goddard

Waxwing, 29th January 2024. 
Photo - Sam Goddard

January 28th. A bright morning, fairly mild with a stiff southerly breeze. A good morning for Geese, with 500 Pink-footed Geese leaving the roost early morning and a further 600 south offshore into the wash. Another skein of 70 contained  Barnacle Goose and then a group of 5 adult White-fronted Geese arrived from the north and continued south. Another good day for birds of prey too with 3 Buzzard, 2 Marsh harrier, a male Hen Harrier and a Barn Owl. At one time, 2 Peregrines were attacking a Marsh Harrier and a Buzzard over Croftmarsh. A single Waxwing was reported and 51 Whooper Swans were again at roost.

Barn Owl, 28th January 2024. 
Photo - Paul Neale

Peregrine, 28th January 2024. 
Photo - Stuart Ainsworth

Peregrine and Marsh Harrier, 28th January 2024. 
Photo - Stuart Ainsworth

Buzzard and Marsh Harrier, 28th January 2024. 
Photo - Stuart Ainsworth

Teal, 28th January 2024. 
Photo - Paul Neale

Shelduck, 28th January 2024. 
Photo - Paul Neale

Pintail, 28th January 2024. 
Photo - Paul Neale

January 27th. A return to colder conditions with a morning frost and a westerly breeze. 3 Waxwings flew south early. A morning seawatch was productive with 2 Velvet Scoter, a Goldeneye, 5 Red-breasted Merganser, a Kittiwake, a Med Gull, 70 Red-throated Diver and a Black-throated Diver heading south, a Great Northern Diver moving north and the 3 Long-tailed Ducks close in. A light southerly passage of Finches and Skylarks was also noted over the East Dunes and beach with 30 Siskins on the move and a further 11 Siskins around the North Car Park. The 2 Bearded Tits were seen again on Tennyson's sands and 51 Whooper wans came in to roost. Other birds around included 2 Water Pipits, 2 Merlin and a Bullfinch.

January 26th. A much improved day with bright sunshine and good visibility. Little change offshore and along the beach with the 3 Long-tailed Duck and 4 Shorelark still present but a southbound Lapland Bunting was a first for the year. The rarest birds of the day though were 2 Raven that arrived form the south and headed out north-east. 53 Whoopers came in to roost. It was also very interesting to note that a Goldcrest that arrived here and was ringed on 31st October last year has overwintered in the Plantation and not moved on despite several periods of cold weather. Well done to the team who were able to determine the ring number from photographs !.

Pochard, 26th January 2024. 
Photo - Paul Neale

Black-tailed Godwits, 26th January 2024. 
Photo - Paul Neale

leucistic Blackbird, 26th January 2024. 
Photo - Paul Neale

Waxwings, 26th January 2024. 
Photo - Kev Wilson

January 25th. Quite mild and dull before drizzle from mid morning. No sign of yesterdays Smew, but 5 waxwings were new in by North Car Park early morning before heading north. Along the beach and outer ridges, still 4 Shorelark, 8 Snow Bunting and at least 1 Twite with the flock of around 100 Linnets. 2 Bearded Tit were seen on Tennyson's Sands late afternoon nd 51 Whooper Swans came in to roost.

Brent Goose, 25th January 2024. 
Photo - Rikki Clark

Great Tit, 25th January 2024. 
Photo - Rikki Clark

Chaffinch, 25th January 2024. 
Photo - Rikki Clark

Dunnock, 25th January 2024. 
Photo - Rikki Clark

January 24th. Overcast again but milder and dry. The Whoopers left their roost site at dawn but there were plenty of Wigeon, Teal and Shoveler on the lagoons - having returned after the freeze. A new arrival was a superb redhead Smew, initially on Jackson's Marsh before moving to Tennyson's Sands. Very much a Gib rarity this was the first since 2013 and much appreciated by the local birders. Elsewhere, a delayed seawatch resulted in a southbound Barnacle Goose, a Red Kite was around and a Chiffchaff was at Sykes Farm.

Smew, 24th January 2024. 
Photo - Paul Neale

Smew, 24th January 2024. 
Photo - Paul Neale

Buzzard, 24th January 2024. 
Photo - Paul Neale

Curlew, 24th January 2024. 
Photo - Paul Neale

Fieldfare, 24th January 2024. 
Photo - Paul Neale

Stonechat, 24th January 2024. 
Photo - Jeremy Eyeons

Mallard, 24th January 2024. 
Photo - Jeremy Eyeons

Roe Deer, 24th January 2024. 
Photo - Jeremy Eyeons

Grey Squirrel, 24th January 2024. 
Photo - Jeremy Eyeons

January 23rd. Overcast initially with a strong and cold westerly breeze, then rain from mid-morning. A 45 minute sea-watch produced 55 Red-throated Divers, 250 Eider, 10 Red-breasted Merganser and 8 Great Crested Grebe, with the highlights being a Velvet Scoter south and the 3 Long-tailed Ducks close in. At least 1 Snow Bunting was still around the beach. 5 Woodcocks were seen in the dunes and 49 Whooper Swans came in to roost.

Woodcock, 23rd January 2024. 
Photo - Nige Lound

Ringing Recovery: Lesser Redpoll, ringed GPBO 29 October 2023, found dead Crich, Derbyshire 19 January 2024.

January 22nd. Fairly mild but with a cool south-westerly breeze after the overnight gale from Storm Isha. A Waxwing was along the Cycle Track early morning, a Red Kite flew south early morning plus another three south later and 8 Snow Bunting were around the beach. Good numbers of Eider were on the sand bars again at low tide, with the 3 Long-tailed Duck on the sea. A flock of around 100 Linnets contained at least 1 Twite. Some displaced waders were in evidence after the storm with 2 Grey Plover and a Ringed Plover feeding with the Black-tailed Godwits on Croftmarsh. Nearby, 44 Whooper Swans came in to roost on Tennyson's Sands and 3 Water Pipits were around the Freshwater Marsh.

January 21st. Milder conditions. Around 800 Eider were on the sand bars at low tide with single Red-necked Grebe and Goldeneye south offshore.  The 3 Long-tailed Ducks were on the sea with a good count of 22 Great Crested Grebes. 8 Snow Buntings were along the beach. Other birds around included 5 Marsh Harrier, a Woodcock and a Barn Owl.

Dunlin, 21st January 2024. 
Photo - Rikki Clark

Dunlins, 21st January 2024. 
Photo - Rikki Clark

Redshank, 21st January 2024. 
Photo - Rikki Clark

Curlew, 21st January 2024. 
Photo - Rikki Clark

Little Egret, 21st January 2024. 
Photo - Rikki Clark

Robin, 21st January 2024. 
Photo - Rikki Clark

Stonechat, 21st January 2024. 
Photo - Rikki Clark

Roe Deer, 21st January 2024. 
Photo - Rikki Clark