While walking around the Reserve today we spotted this stonechat in Flora Field. West Field scrape was extensively flooded with the rain we have had and there were many Black-headed, Herring and Lesser Black-backed gulls present. Further round there were a couple of mistle thrush in Big Meadow.
The Wednesday Work Group watched a kestrel hunting over Big Meadow but the highlight was the frequent sighting, over the course of all the morning, of a curlew busy amongst the soft rush.
At least we didn’t get drenched this morning! But the reserve marshes are incredibly wet for this time of year. Despite the temperature still being quite high, we flushed 20 snipe, all in Big Meadow. One to took off from Ian’s feet, so probably a jack snipe already back from its breeding grounds in either northern Europe or northern Russia. There was a kestrel hovering over the Big Meadow marsh and another meadow pipit to add to the six noted in School Pond.
The hay in Carr House Meadow and The Hay Meadow has been cut and baled ahead of the rains this weekend.
On Monday afternoon we saw two shell duck in the West Field wetland and a couple of roe deer peeping out of Upper Sowerholme toward the Fauna path.
Did anyone record the row deer we disturbed last Saturday whilst sowing the Flora Field seed margin? It ran out of Pony Wood and across the ploughed field and into Lower Sowerholme.
A heron took off from Alder Pond as we passed this morning and a sparrowhawk was on patrol over Big meadow during the morning.
a little egret in West Field pond just now (6.45am)FA74AC77-0093-4C65-BFF0-0ECA4018E3A4
After a cold and misty start a bright sunny morning presented a wide collection of small birds through the orchard today. The stars of the show were pairs of Reed Buntings and Bullfinches along with a solitary Nuthatch. Great Tits, Blue Tits, Hedge Sparrows and Goldfinches were also about in good numbers
A Waxwing spent all January 3rd moving between corner of Leighton Drive / Willow Lane and the hedgerow along the path to the rear of Willow Lane. The ornamental tree it was feeding on has been stripped so bird has probably moved on.
The first flush count of the winter this morning put up a total of 22 snipe, all common. All bar one (Hay Meadow) were in Big Meadow. A reasonable tally for this point in the season. The marshes are very dry, the recent rains clearly still replenishing the water table after the summer’s drought. Other notable sightings: two dunnock flying along the Upper/Lower Sowerholme boundary and a jay in Pony Wood. And something unidentified rustling amidst the phragmites which are now quite dense in parts of Upper Sowerholme.