This morning a cream-top Marsh Harrier was seen in the Slurry Lagoon reed-bed. It was present for a good part of the morning. A female Peregrine was seen on one of the pylons and there were a few Redwings and Fieldfares about. Several Water Rail were heard calling from the reed-beds and at least six Cetti’s Warblers were singing. PS.
This evening the Starling roost was really spectacular as about 8,500 birds came in to roost. Hundreds of corvids were flying across the site and then about 1,500 Canada and Grey-lag Geese arrived en mass on the Slurry Lagoon. As this was all going on a juvenile Swallow came in from the north and circled the lagoon a few times, as if making up its mind whether to join the Starlings or not, but then flew off to the north. A Sparrowhawk was seen three times trying to catch a Starling from the roost and a Water Rail flew across the gap in the reeds in front of the Causeway bench. PS.
An eclipse male Goldeneye was on the river and later the Slurry Lagoon this morning. Seven Little Egrets were present briefly on the Wader Scrape, until a dog walker flushed them. Along the railway line was a small finch flock that contained two Lesser Redpoll. PS.
The gull roost contained a first winter Mediterranean Gull and an adult Yellow-legged Gull this afternoon. Several Water Rails were heard or seen across the site, as were hunting Sparrowhawks. One Sparrowhawk was seen to fly into the Starling roost causing them to move across the Slurry Lagoon to another reed bed. As the light failed a massive flock of Grey-lag Geese rose unseen from the harvested maize field, where they had been feeding, to move to the Large Gravel Pit, to roost. The noise they made cackling and screeching was very impressive. RW, PS.