Mid May 2022

18th May. A morning ringing session in East Dunes produced 5 new birds: 2 Willow Warbler, a Linnet, a Spotted Flycatcher and a Goldfinch; and a retrap Lesser Whitethroat.

Spotted Flycatcher, ringed 18 May 2022.
Photo - George Gregory

17th May. An adult Purple Heron appeared from the west and flew out to sea at 0630, mostly silhouetted in strong sun. It returned after a short while, circling the north end of the Reserve before dropping into Shoveler's Pool.  It would be impossible to see the bird in the pool without flushing it so birders sensibly waited on Mill Hill and were able to get good views when it flew up into adjacent trees periodically.

The spring Sanderling build-up is now underway, with over 1000 birds coming to roost. Elsewhere, 9 Wheatear included 5 at the north end, a Firecrest was still at Sykes Farm and there was a light southerly passage of Hirundines.

A morning ringing session in East Dunes, with Kyle Campbell, yielded 2 new birds: a Lesser Whitethroat and a Chaffinch; and a retrap Blue Tit.



Purple Heron 17th May. Photos: Kev Wilson


Sanderling 17th May. Photo: Jim Shaw

Ringing Recovery: Chiffchaff, ringed GPBO 4 October 2020, found dead Longframlington, Northumberland 14 May 2022.

16th May. Overcast and humid start with rain mid morning, brightening significantly in the afternoon. Quality over quantity in terms of visible migration with light but continued hirundine passage with smaller numbers of Swift; a Wood Sandpiper and a Woodlark. A Firecrest and a Ring Ouzel were in the Plantation. The first Common Crane of the year was located on the mudflats in the afternoon, but soon vanished from sight to the dismay of those on site; a rare opportunity to see a settled bird here. A Short-eared Owl was very active late in the day around Wash Viewpoint.

A morning ringing session in East Dunes provided 5 new birds: a Chiffchaff, a Reed Bunting, a Whitethroat, a Great Tit and a Blue Tit; and a retrap Dunnock.

15th May. Increasing easterly winds with rain in the morning and then set in from mid afternoon. A Broad-billed Sandpiper was discovered amongst a small group of Dunlin that had appeared approaching the peak of the evening tide. The flock was only present momentarily and quickly flew high and north erratically. Unusually the bird was an adult in winter plumage, not a well documented plumage in terms of vagrants in the UK. 

A Turtle Dove flew north at the south end and then out to the East Dunes in the morning. Around were a 1100 Knot, 475 Sanderling, 350 Dunlin, a Curlew Sandpiper (Jacksons Marsh), a Common Sandpiper, 2 Wood Sandpipera Spotted Redshank, 2 Greenshank, a Mediterranean Gull, a Little Gull, 2 Spoonbill and 110 Swallow to roost. 

A morning ringing session in East Dunes produced 5 new birds: a Wren, 2 Whitethroat, a Sedge Warbler and a Ring Ouzel; and 3 retraps: a Sedge Warbler and 2 Whitethroat.

Broad-billed Sandpiper, 15th May 2022.
Photo's - Ben Ward

Female Ring Ouzel, ringed 15 May 2022.
Photo - George Gregory

Female Ring Ouzel, ringed 15 May 2022.
Photo - George Gregory




Great Crested Grebe, Cuckoo, Whitethroat 15th May. Photos: Tom Baker

14th May. The classic date for Golden Oriole did not disappoint. At 0700, an adult male was in song at the south end of the East Dunes, whilst an immature male was in song in the North Building Ridge area. The adult male departed quickly to the south and was lost high out to sea whilst the immature male flew south, over Mill Hill and landed in a very large clump of mature hawthorns, where it sang occasionally until mid-morning but was not seen; and a bird was heard in the Plantation in the evening. Just light swallow passage this morning, but nonetheless involving another Red-rumped Swallow (the 7th of Spring) south down Rock Ridge, circling a couple of times before departing over the River. Elsewhere, up to 21 Jay down the East Dunes, a Ring Ouzel there, a Raven south of the Reserve and a Pied Flycatcher along Sykes Farm track. Two ringtail Harriers were circling together distantly and headed west over Croftmarsh. Another massive species day on the reserve, around were 3 Cuckoo, the first Curlew Sandpiper of the year (Jacksons Marsh), a Little Stint, a Common Sandpiper, a Green Sandpiper, a Wood Sandpiper, a Spotted Redshank, a Little Gull, a Mediterranean Gull, 31 Little Tern, 5 Spoonbill, a Short-eared Owl, a Merlin, 2 Wheatear (1 Greenland race), a Redstart, a Tree Pipit, a Brambling, a Siskin and a Corn Bunting.

A morning ringing session in East Dunes resulted in 6 new birds: a Willow Warbler, a Wren, a Whitethroat, a Reed Bunting, a Dunnock and a Woodpigeon; and 2 retraps: a Whitethroat and a Reed Bunting.




Red-rumped Swallow 14th May. Photos: Paul Neale




Sparrowhawk 14th May. Photos: Paul Neale

Curlew Sandpiper, 14th May 2022.
Photo - Ben Ward

Woodpigeon, ringed 14 May 2022.
Photo - George Gregory

13th May. Three Red-rumped Swallows today, a day that saw at least 122 species recorded ! One with House Martins over the north lagoons from early on was undoubtedly the bird seen briefly yesterday. It was joined for a while by a second bird which then drifted off south down the West Dunes. Another bird arrived from the north, and passed quickly through the East Dunes during a period of moderate Swallow, House Martin and Swift passage. The original bird then departing mid morning at which time an Alpine Swift arrived from the north, having been seen earlier at Anderby. The swift spent some 10 minutes around the south end of the Reserve and the Visitor Centre before being lost to view. At midday a male type Red-footed Falcon was discovered hovering distantly to the northwest of Croftmarsh, before it moved swiftly south. A vintage day for vis mig with constant Hirundines and Swifts moving; as well as 2 Turtle Dove, a Wood Sandpiper, a Red Kite, and 4 Hobby. An Osprey arrived from the north with an enormous prey item and was present most of the afternoon before being pushed off south by the incoming tide. Around were 6 Spoonbill, a Merlin, a Short-eared Owl, 4 Wheatear (2 Greenland type), a Pied Flycatcher (Plantation), and a Brambling.  

A brief wind-restricted morning ringing session in East Dunes provided 2 new birds: a Reed Bunting and a Cuckoo; and 2 retrap Whitethroat.

A Chinese Water Deer was noted on the saltmarsh to the south.

Cuckoo, ringed 13 May 2022. Photo - George Gregory

Spoonbills 13th May. Photo: Jeremy Eyeons

Mediterranean Gull 13th May 2022. Photo: Kev Wilson




Cormorants with Mute Swan, Little Egret, Mute Swan, Muntjac Deer 13th May.
Photos: Tom Baker

Red-banded Sand Wasp 13th May. Photo: Kev Wilson

Brown Argus 13th May. Photo: Kev Wilson

12th May. Moderately strong south-westerly winds. The third Red-rumped Swallow of the spring flew south and then west midday. Also heading south were 134 Swift, 17 Sand Martin, 104 Swallow, 32 House Martin, and a small number of finches including a Brambling and a Siskin. The first Pied Flycatcher of the year was in the Sycamore Plot in the morning and a decent arrival of Wheatear across the reserve. Around were 4 Cuckoo, a Common Sandpiper, a Green Sandpiper, a Spotted Redshank, a Greenshank, 5 Spoonbill, 2 Marsh Harrier, 2 Peregrine, 4 Jay and a Bullfinch. In the evening, a ringtail Montague's Harrier hunted the sea banks as it drifted south.

A morning ringing session in East Dunes, with Keith Collett, produced 3 new birds: a Lesser Whitethroat, a Blue Tit and a Jay; and 8 retraps: a Great Tit, 3 Whitethroat, a Reed Bunting, a Dunnock, a Meadow Pipit and a Blue Tit. 

A Clouded Yellow butterfly arrived from the sea and flew northwest inland.







Sedge Warbler, Avocet, Gadwall, Orange Tip, Red Admiral on Hawthorn blossom. Photos: Tom Baker

11th May. Moderate to strong southwest wind and rain from early morning to late afternoon. Around the waterbodies were, a Wood Sandpiper, a Spotted Redshank, a Ruff, 5 Ringed Plover, 4 Dunlin, a Green Sandpiper, 2 Common Sandpiper, a first summer Little Gull (through north), a Mediterranean Gull, 3 immature Spoonbill and finally good numbers of Reed Warbler. Around were 3 Cuckoo, 12 Whimbrel, an adult Spoonbill, 2 Marsh Harrier, a Short-eared Owl, a Merlin, a Garden Warbler and the first Whinchat of the year; a female Ring Ouzel was around the plantation during the morning and an Osprey headed south in the evening; also south went 23 Swift, 16 Sand Martin, 54 House Martin and 85 Swallow.





Black-tailed Godwits, Whitethroat, Swallow, Moon 11th May.
Photos: Tom Baker

Redshank and Ruff, 11th May 2022
Photo - Ben Ward


Red-headed Cardinal Beetle 11th May. Photo: Tom Baker


Early May 2022

10th May. Around were a Grey Partridge, 4 Swift, 7 Cuckoo, 4 Whimbrel, a Spotted Redshank, a Greenshank, 2 Spoonbill, 3 Marsh Harrier, a Peregrine, a Ring Ouzel and a Tree Pipit. 

Highlights during the butterfly transect were 2 Brown Argus, 5 Small Heath, 2 Small Copper as well as several Common Blue and Green Hairstreak.

Small Copper 10th May. Photo - Tom Baker

Small Heath, 10th May. Photo - Ben Ward



Common Terns, Spoonbills, Shelducks, 10th May. Photos: Tom Baker

9th May. Todays highlights included Turtle Dove, Greenshank, Green Sandpiper, Spotted Redshank, 3 Spoonbill, White Wagtail and Tree Pipit.

 The second session of CES, with Liam Andrews, was done this morning. The 3 new birds were a Chiffchaff, a Lesser Whitethroat and a Sedge Warbler; the 17 retraps were a Song Thrush, 2 Dunnock, 2 Willow Warbler, 2 Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Robin, 2 Wren, 2 Sedge Warbler, 2 Great Tit and 2 Whitethroat.

Sedge Warbler 9th May. Photo: Jim Shaw

Spoonbill 9th May. Photo: Jim Shaw



Moths 9th May. Photos: Nige Lound
Birch Mocha (a first for the Reserve), Campion and Small Elephant Hawk Moth

Adder's-tongue Fern 9th May. Photo: Kev Wilson

8th May.  A good day for Whimbrel with 58 recorded including 15 heading north. Also moving north offshore were 62 Sandwich Tern and 68 Little Tern whilst 45 Common Scoter headed south. Around were 4 Wheatear, 2 Ring Ouzel, 4 Cuckoo, a Great White Egret and a Common Redstart. At Seacroft were another Ring Ouzel and a Wood Warbler.

A morning ringing session in East Dunes, with Liam Andrews, provided 5 new birds: a Blackcap, a Whitethroat, 2 Goldfinch and a Blackbird; and 4 retrap Whitethroat.

7th May.  Passage waders on the lagoons included 22 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Little Ringed Plover, Spotted Redshank and Greenshank. Also there, 3 Spoonbill and 2 Egyptian Geese. A full census of common birds was carried out on the Reserve with warbler totals as follows: 184 Whitethroat, 7 Lesser Whitethroat, 27 Blackcap, 25 Chiffchaff, 57 Sedge Warbler, 9 Reed Warbler, 4 Cetti's Warbler, 3 Grasshopper warbler and only 2 Willow Warbler. Also around were 4 Cuckoo, 3 Wheatear, a Swift and  a Hobby. Offshore 221 Sandwich Tern and 58 Little Tern flew north. A Firecrest was seen at Seacroft.

Colour-ringed Avocet. This bird was ringed as a chick at Rutland in July 2019 and arrived in the Skegness area on 7th April 2022, currently on Tennyson's sands. Photo: Nige Lound.

Egyptian Geese 7th May. Photo: Steve Taylor

Sparrowhawk 7th May. Photo: Paul Johnson

Fox with prey 7th May. Photo: Paul Johnson

A morning ringing session in East Dunes, with Liam Andrews, produced 11 new birds: 3 Willow Warbler, 2 Reed Bunting, 2 Blackcap, 3 Whitethroat and a Lesser Whitethroat; and 3 retraps: a Wren, a Blue Tit and a Lesser Whitethroat.

6th May.  A very warm, pleasant day with lots of birds singing on territory in the dunes and around the Plantation. Whitethroats, Sedge Warblers, Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps are in good numbers now with a few Lesser Whitethroats, Grasshopper Warblers and one or two Willow Warblers. whilst 4 Cetti's Warbler territories are established, Reed Warblers are still arriving and finding voice on the Mere and Tennyson's Sands where reed growth is becoming more vigorous. At lest 2 Garden Warblers were singing today - migrants that do not stay to breed. Other new migrants were a Firecrest along the Cycletrack, a Tree Pipit and a Wood Sandpiper. Moving south were a steady trickle of Swallows, 6 Buzzards, a Red Kite, 2 Marsh Harrier and a Hobby. A Common Crane was reported for yesterday - we'd be grateful for any information about this sighting - info to kwilson@lincstrust.co.uk 

A morning ringing session in East Dunes, with Kyle Campbell, resulted in 9 new birds: a Chiffchaff, a Sedge Warbler, a Reed Bunting, 3 Whitethroat, a Lesser Whitethroat, a Linnet and a Jay; and 2 retrap Whitethroat.

Up to 6 Smooth Newts can be seen in the raised ponds in the woodland.

Sedge Warbler, ringed 6 May 2022.
Photo - George Gregory

Red Kite 6th May. Photo: Steve Taylor



Smooth Newts 6th May. Video and Photo: Stuart Ainsworth


Meadow Saxifrage and Cowslips 6th May. Photo: Jim Shaw


Cuckoo Flower 6th May. Photo: Kev Wilson


Orange Tip 6th May. Photo: Kev Wilson

5th May. Around were 55 Dark-bellied Brent Goose, 43 Eider, 3 Cuckoo, 450 Oystercatcher, 26 Whimbrel, a Common Sandpiper, a Wood Sandpiper, 2 Spotted Redshank, 2 Greenshank, 2 Mediterranean Gull, 4 Little Tern, a Spoonbill, a Marsh Harrier, a Short-eared Owl and 3 Yellow Wagtail.

 A morning ringing session in East Dunes, with Keith Collett, provided 4 new Lesser Whitethroat; and a retrap Wren.

Good numbers of Green hairstreaks can be seen around Hawthorn and Elder scrub in the dunes.


Green Hairstreak 5th May. Photo: Kev Wilson



Crane fly, Hoverfly, Spider 5th May. Photos: Tom Baker
Any identifications appreciated !
St Mark's Flies 5th May. Photo: Tom Baker.
In response to recent enquiries, these very common insects are non-biting and non-stinging.




Avocets with Black-headed Gulls, Common Sandpiper, Lapwing displaying, Moorhen with chick, Swallow 5th May. Photos: Tom Baker

4th May. Overcast with thunderstorms and rain from the late afternoon. The third Wood Sandpiper of the spring and a new Spotted Redshank were the highlight from around the lagoons in the evening. A Hawfinch was noted in the Plantation late in the day. Birds around included 2 Pink-footed Goose, 3 Cuckoo, 24 Whimbrel, a Snipe, a further Spotted Redshank, 2 Greenshank, 3 Mediterranean Gull, a Spoonbill, 2 Marsh Harrier, an immature male Hen Harrier, a Short-eared Owl, a Hobby, 4 Jay, 2 Garden Warbler, a Redstart, 5 Yellow Wagtail, a Tree Pipit and 2 Siskin.

Spotted Redshank, 4th May 2022 Video - Ben Ward

3rd May. A Nightingale was heard in the Plantation in the early hours of the morning and was located later around Sykes farm where it progressively found its voice, last heard mid morning. Now a great rarity on the Reserve, not recorded at all since 2016. 2 Hawfinch dropped in nearby as did a Tree Pipit.

 A morning ringing session in East Dunes, with Liam Andrews, produced 7 new birds: a Willow Warbler, 2 Whitethroat, 2 Linnet, a Lesser Whitethroat and a Sedge Warbler; and 4 retraps: 2 Whitethroat, a Great Tit and a Blue Tit.

Nightingale, 3rd May 2022 Video - Ben Ward

2nd May. Misty start. 4 Barnacle Goose flew south in the early morning perhaps from the lagoons, 310 Swallow headed in that direction over the course of the day. The first Garden Warbler of the year was occasionally in song in the Plantation, where there also was a Tree Pipitan acredula Willow Warbler frequented the Orchard, Birds grounded and around included a Snipe, 2 Spotted Redshank, 3 Greenshank, 5 Mediterranean Gull, 2 Spoonbill, 2 Marsh Harrier, a Short-eared Owl (Old Saltmarsh), 5 singing Grasshopper Warbler, 2 Wheatear, 2 Greenland Wheatear and 4 Siskin.  

A morning ringing session in East Dunes, with Liam Andrews and Owen Beaumont, yielded 10 new birds: a Willow Warbler, 2 Whitethroat, 2 Grasshopper Warbler, 3 Lesser Whitethroat, a Song Thrush and a Jay; and 8 retraps: 3 Wren, 2 Whitethroat, a Linnet and 2 Lesser Whitethroat.

Greenland Wheatear 2nd May 2022. Photo - Ben Ward

Jay, ringed 2nd May 2022. Photo - George Gregory




Sedge Warbler, Mute Swans, Oystercatchers, Whimbrels 2nd May.
Photos : Tom Baker

1st May. Another big day on the reserve with a whopping 124 species, 119 of which by midday. Best around were 38 Eider, 5 Cuckoo, 42 Whimbrel, a Jack Snipe, 2 Spotted Redshank, 2 Mediterranean Gull, 2 Spoonbill, a Long-eared Owl, a Short-eared Owl, a Barn Owl, a residual Wryneck (East Dunes), a Merlin, a Firecrest (East Dunes), 3 Ring Ouzel, 2 Tree Pipit, a Water Pipit, a Little Gull and a Crossbill. Hirundine passage saw over 100 Swallows moving south and a spate of raptor passage , mostly early afternoon involved 7 Red Kites, 6 Marsh Harriers, 15 Common Buzzard and a Sparrowhawk flying south. 

A morning ringing session in East Dunes, with Kyle Campbell and Owen Beaumont, provided 8 new birds: a Wren, a Willow Warbler, 2 Lesser Whitethroat, a Blue Tit, a Chaffinch, a Swallow and a Whitethroat; and 5 retraps: 2 Dunnock, a Wren, a Great Tit and a Willow Warbler.

Cuckoo, 1st May 2022.
Video - Ben Ward 


Willow Warbler incorporating Chiffchaff song, 1st May 2022.
Video - Ben Ward

Whitethroat, ringed 1st May 2022.
Photo - George Gregory






Spotted Redshank, Cuckoo, Blackcap, Great Crested Grebes 1st May.
Photos: Tom Baker