Thursday, 22 March 2018

Late March 2018

31st March. The first Wheatear of the Spring was discovered on the saltings from Mill Hill. Other birds around were 3 Yellowhammers, 2 Goldeneye, Ring-necked Parakeet and a House Sparrow. A Chiffchaff was singing near the Beach car park.

Yellowhammer, 31st March 2018
Photo - Ben Ward
30th March. Birds around were a Red Kite and a Raven heading south over Croft Marsh, ringtail Hen Harrier heading north, 2 Goldeneye, 2 Pintail and 16 Avocet. A Ring-necked Parakeet was once again making the most of the plantation feeders. The Goosander pair came in to roost on Tennyson Sands around 1825hrs.
 A morning ringing session in East Dunes by Mike Polling and Jenni Godber produced 10 new birds: 3 Dunnock, 6 Great Tit and a Blue Tit; and 3 retrap Great Tit.

Ring-necked Parakeet, 30th March 2018
Photo - Kev Wilson
29th March. Highlights of the day were a pair of Goosander that dropped in on Tennyson Sands late on to roost. The 2 Ravens were seen over the plantation and Old Saltmarsh before heading inland calling loudly. Other birds around included an adult Mediterranean Gull heading south over Croft Marsh, a Brambling, 4 Siskin, 3 Woodcock, 2 Chiffchaff and 14 Corn Buntings. Avocet numbers had increased to 39.

Ravens over Old Saltmarsh, 29th March 2018
Photo - Ben Ward

Brambling, 29th March 2018
Photo - Ben Ward
Sparrowhawk, 29th March 2018
Photo - Stuart Ainsworth

Goosander pair, 29th March 2018
Video - Stuart Ainsworth

Chiffchaff, 29th March 2018
Photo - Kev Wilson
28th March. Highlights were a Green Sandpiper heard over Tennyson Sands and an Adult Mediterranean Gull heading towards the Wash calling at dusk. Around were 44 Siskin, 3 Woodcock, a House Sparrow, Water Rail, Merlin, 2 Treecreeper, 15 Avocet and 14 Corn Bunting.

Fox, 28th March 2018
Photo - Ben Ward

Pink-footed Goose, 28th March 2018
Photo - Ben Ward

Sunset from Harvey's Hide, 28th March 2018
Photo - Ben Ward
27th March. Highlights from around the reserve were 4 Woodcock, 3 Chiffchaff, 2 Treecreeper, 3 Siskin and 2 Corn Bunting. On Tennyson Sands were 17 Avocet and 3 Pintail, while 2 Goldeneye were on the Mere. A Short-eared Owl was seen hunting the Old Saltmarsh.

26th March. In the Plantation were 15 Redwing, 6 Siskin, a Brambling, a Green Woodpecker, a Treecreeper and a Ring-necked Parakeet . A Water Pipit was in flight over Jackson's Marsh. Around were 3 Chiffchaff, a Bullfinch, a Yellowhammer and 2 Woodcock. In the afternoon a Red Kite was seen over Croft Marsh heading North, a Short-eared Owl and Male Hen Harrier were seen over the Saltmarsh.

Red Kite, 26th March 2018
Photo - Stuart Ainsworth
25th March. A Pale-bellied Brent Goose was among the brents on Croft Marsh. On Tennyson's Sands were 2 Mediterranean Gull and 15 Avocet. Around were 11 Woodcock, a Brambling, 22 Redwing, a Bullfinch, a Chiffchaff, 11 Corn Bunting.

Green Woodpecker, 25th March 2018
Video - Stuart Ainsworth

24th March. The first singing Chiffchaffs of the year were noted in the Plantation, West Dunes and Aylmer. A Bullfinch was at Sykes Farm as was female Crossbill. Other birds around were 7 Pink-footed Goose, 3 Pintail, 2 Goldeneye, a Marsh Harrier (north), 61 Redwing, 4 Siskin, 11 Corn Bunting and a Yellowhammer.

23rd March. Highlights of the day were 2 Siskin and a female Brambling in the Plantation, 2 Bullfinch, Egyptian Goose, a Pale-bellied Brent Goose, 3 Buzzard, Merlin, adult Male Hen Harrier. 2 Short-eared Owls were seen hunting the saltmarsh in front of the Visitor Centre around 1700hrs.


Short-eared Owl, 23rd March 2018
Photo - Stuart Ainsworth
22nd March. A Serin was briefly at the feeding station mid-afternoon. The first Red Kite of the year was seen over Greenshank Creek. A party of 3 Crossbill were showing well in North Car Park. Other birds around were 2 Raven, a Woodlark, Chiffchaff, Jay, Redpoll, 15 Siskin, a Brambling, an Egyptian Goose (just about annual on the reserve) and 2 Water Pipit. Over the Old Saltmarsh were an adult male Hen Harrier, a Marsh Harrier and 2 Peregrine.

Male Common Crossbill, 22nd March 2018
Video - Stuart Ainsworth

Male Common Crossbill, 22nd March 2018
Photo - Stuart Ainsworth

Female Common Crossbill, 22nd March 2018
Photo - Stuart Ainsworth

21st March.
Highlights from around the reserve were a Tree Sparrow, Water Pipit, 19 Woodcock, 2 Stonechat, 10 Corn Bunting, Siskin, 2 Merlin, 9000 Knot and 1000 Bar-tailed Godwit. 10 Buzzard passing through. Male Hen Harrier, a Marsh Harrier and a Peregrine were seen on the Old Saltmarsh, a Grey Wagtail was found on the Steeping River and a Sand Martin headed north.
 The first Small Tortoiseshell butterfly of the year was on the wing near Mill Hill.

Small Tortoiseshell near Mill Hill, 21st March 2018.
Photo - Adrian Royle


Special Thanks to Friskney local Andy Rayment for the tip off about the Snowy Owl on Wainfleet Marsh which was relocated by Gib Birders later in the day.
Snowy Owl, Wainfleet Marsh 21st/22nd March 2018
Photo - Stuart Ainsworth




Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Mid March 2018

March 20th. The Raven put in another appearance today over Jackson's Marsh. The first Grey Wagtail of the year flew south over Mill Hill mid-morning.

March 19th. Early morning seawatch produced 6 Red-throated Diver, 2 Fulmar, 16 Kittiwake and 4 Guillemot. A Black Redstart was still present at the Visitor Centre. A Caspian Gull was found on Tennyson's Sands mid-afternoon. On Jackson's Marsh were 300 Wigeon, 2 Pintail, 2 Black-tailed Godwit and a Bar-tailed Godwit. Around were 4000 Bar-tailed Godwit, 10000 Knot, 4000 Herring Gull, 800 Common Gull, 1500 Black-headed Gull, 2 Common Buzzard, a Brambling and a Siskin.


Caspian Gull, Tennyson Sands, 19th March 2018
Video - Stuart Ainsworth
Colour Ringed Caspian Gull (RED 834P), 20th March 2018
Photo - Stuart Ainsworth

Black Redstart at the Visitor Centre, 19th March 2018.
Photo - Ben Ward
Song Thrush anvil, 19th March 2018.
Photo - Ben Ward
March 18th. Black Redstart was present at the Visitor Centre in the afternoon. A Brambling was at the feeding station in the Plantation. Offshore were 4 Little Gull, a Puffin, 15 Kittiwake, a Goldeneye, 9 Eider, a Gannet and 4 Auk sp.


Polish Colour ringed Mediterranean Gull (RED PUK9) on Tennyson Sands, 18th March 2018
Video - Ben Ward

Stonechat, 18th March 2018.
Photo - Ben Ward

Brambling at the feeding station, 18th March 2018.
Photo - Ben Ward
 March 17th. Raven was seen/heard briefly over the Plantation. On the move offshore were 13 Kittiwake, 4 Auk sp, 2 Eider and an Iceland Gull. On Tennyson's Sands were 14 Avocet and a Knot.

March 16th. The main highlight of the day was the discovery of 2 Raven around North Car Park. A Firecrest was found along the north section of the Tennyson's Sands cycletrack. There were 2 Black Redstart showing well by the Visitor Centre.
Black Redstarts at the Visitor Centre, 16th March 2018.
Photo - Richard Tomlinson
Black Redstart at the Visitor Centre, 16th March 2018.
Photo - Paul Johnson
March 15th. A Black Redstart was discovered by the Visitor Centre.
Avocet on Tennyson's Sands, 15th March 2018.
Photo - Jack Wilson
March 14th. On Jackson's Marsh were 2 Pintail, a Great Crested Grebe (unusual away from the sea) and a flyover Water Pipit. Tennyson's Sands held 3 Pintail, 21 Avocet, a Black-tailed Godwit and 2 Snipe. Heading south over the West Dunes were 680 Chaffinch, 5 Brambling and a Woodlark.

March 13th. Adult male Hen Harrier seen from the Wash Viewpoint at 1605hrs. A group of 4 Corn Bunting near the Visitor Centre car park.

March 12th. A new record count of 119 Woodcock was made around the reserve today. 11 Corn Bunting heard singing in the West Dunes. On Tennyson's Sands were 6 Avocet, 450 Wigeon and 500 Lapwing.

March 11th. Around were 2 Pale-bellied Brent Goose, 350 Dark-bellied Brent Goose, a male Hen Harrier, 35 Woodcock, a Green Woodpecker, 155 Redwing, 5 Fieldfare, a Brambling and 14 Corn Bunting. On the water-bodies were 3 Black-tailed Godwit, 550 Lapwing, 400 Golden Plover, 15 Avocet (first of the year) and 2 Goldeneye.
Wren nest, 11th March 2018.
Photo - Rob Watson
Pale-bellied Brent Goose, 11th March 2018.
Photo - Rob Watson
Roe Deer, 11th March 2018.
Photo - Rob Watson
Woodcock remains found in the dunes, 11th March 2018.
Photo - Rob Watson

Thursday, 1 March 2018

Early March 2018

March 10th. On the beach were 1500 Grey Plover, 3000 Herring Gull and 10 Ringed Plover. West Dunes held 12 Redwing, 5 Woodcock, a Green Woodpecker and a Treecreeper.

March 9th. A Woodlark was seen over the West Dunes. In the Plantation were 12 Redwing, 2 House Sparrow and a Bullfinch.

March 8th.  A drake Goosander flew south over Sykes Farm.

March 7th. In the Plantation were 10 Redwing, 2 Fieldfare, a Siskin, a Green Woodpecker, 8 Woodcock and 2 House Sparrow. On the move were 5 Rook, 11 Jackdaw, 2 Siskin, 3 Chaffinch and a Greenfinch.

March 6th. Around were 17 Woodcock, 2 Siskin, a Green Woodpecker, 2+ House Sparrow, a Bullfinch, 200 Lapwing, 10 Redwing, 3 Song Thrush and 30 Pink-footed Goose. A Mediterranean Gull was showing on the beach at Greenshanks Creek. 
Mediterranean Gull on the beach with masses of gulls, 6th March 2018.
Photo - Kevin Wilson
March 5th. Flying south were 2 Siskin, 4 Rook and a Woodlark.

Recent ringing recoveries...
- Blackbird, ringed overijssel, Netherlands 24 October 2016, controlled GPBO 8 November 2017
- Robin, ringed GPBO 27 September 2017, controlled Holland Haven Country Park, Essex 30 January 2018
- Blackbird, ringed Reddingbootpad, Netherlands 6 November 2017, controlled GPBO 8 November 2017
- Kestrel, ringed Winthorpe, Lincolnshire 2 July 2017, found dead GPBO 16 January 2018

March 4th. A walk down Greenshank Creek produced 6 Little Gull, 5000 Black-headed Gull, 3000 Common Gull, 3000 Oystercatcher and 5 Eider. A singing Mistle Thrush on territory was also seen.
 A Woodcock, 2 Guillemot and a Razorbill were found dead along the shore.
Common Seal on the beach, 4th March 2018.
Photo - Rob Watson
Lobster returned to the sea, 4th March 2018.
Photo - Rob Watson
Ray washed up, 4th March 2018.
Photo - Rob Watson
Sea Mouse, 4th March 2018.
Photo - Rob Watson
Extensive washout along the beach, from Greenshank Creek to Millennium Ridge, 4th March 2018.
Photo - Rob Watson
Little Gull, 4th March 2018
Photo - Nige Lound
Little Gull, 4th March 2018
Photo - Nige Lound
Mistle Thrush, 4th March 2018
Photo - Kev Wilson
Redwing, 4th March 2018
Photo - Kev Wilson
In harsh conditions when food is particularly scarce apples can be a good food source.
March 3rd. Very poor visibility for most of the day. Birds around were 500 Brent Goose, 400 Oystercatcher, 1500 Grey Plover, 800 Dunlin, 180 Sanderling, 800 Knot and a Merlin. A Little Gull flew north offshore.

March 2nd. An impressive 87 Woodcock recorded on the reserve today (equalling the reserve record of 87 from 09/01/2010). Other noteworthy records included c600 Wigeon and 91 Gadwall.

Cormorant in the Plantation, 2nd March 2018
Photo - Nige Lound
March 1st. A further arrival of Woodcock today with at least 50+ birds on the reserve. Other birds around were 30 Golden Plover, 2 Goldeneye, 15 Fieldfare, 3 Redwing and a Bullfinch. 

View from Mill Hill, 1st March 2018
Photo - Nige Lound

Woodcock, 1st March 2018
Photo - Nigel Lound
Woodcocks in the West Dunes, 1st March 2018.
Photo - Nigel Lound