This morning there were two male Cuckoos on the reserve. In the afternoon another male was in the Slurry Lagoon reed-bed. In the late afternoon a Bittern was driven by Black-headed Gulls into the Slurry Lagoon reed-bed. Later it was seen again in the Deep Pit, but the gulls again drove it into the Slurry Lagoon reed-bed. There were also several Hairy Dragonflies and Emperor Dragonflies on the Slurry Lagoon. PS.
During this morning’s Bird Count, a lone Arctic Tern flew through and a Little Gull flew through with a Black-headed Gull flock. A Whitethroat was singing near the river and 33 Blackcaps, 19 Chiffchaffs, 16 Willow Warblers and 2 Sedge Warblers were heard singing. PS.
This morning the three water bodies were all mostly frozen over. There were a lot of gulls resting on the ice, including Great Black-backed, Lesser Black-backed, Herring, Common and Black-headed. Amongst one group of Black-headed Gulls on the Deep Pit was a Yellow-legged Gull. Also a pair of Black Swans have arrived from somewhere and are on the Deep Pit. At the dry end of the Slurry Lagoon a flock of about thirty Lesser Redpolls were feeding in the Birch trees. PS.
This morning the female Pintail was still on the Slurry Lagoon as were the Shoveler pair and a Little Egret. There were also broods of Mallard and Gadwall. The first fledged Black-headed Gulls had also flown across from the Deep Pit. PS.
This morning there was a massive movement of gulls through the lagoons, especially Black-headed Gulls, mostly going between north and west. There were also lots of Snipe flying in in small groups which added up to about 34 whilst watching, dropping into the Slurry Lagoon reed beds. The male Stonechat was still visible in front of the sub-station but the female did not show. PS.
This morning there was a strong passage of Black-headed Gulls to the east. A Peregrine was on a pylon and later spiralled over the site. Also seen were a pair of Kestrels and of Buzzards, six Water Rail were heard plus five Cetti’s Warblers. Four Little Egrets were on the Wader Scrape. PS.
Late this morning a flock of eleven Common Scoters (8 males and 3 females) settled on the Slurry Lagoon and stayed all afternoon. There were several flocks of Black-headed Gulls passing through, which included two individual Little Gulls. Willow Warblers are now singing on site and a Little Ringed Plover was on the Wader Scrape. PS, RW.
This morning the frost had taken a hold of the site and thin ice was forming on most of the lagoons. There were large flocks of winter thrushes, Redwings, Fieldfares and Blackbirds. By the Gravel Pits there were two Cetti’s Warblers and the Slurry Lagoon held over 300 Teal with Black-headed Gulls and Lapwings. A Peregrine flew low across the bank in front of us, skimming the tops of the reeds, directly at the flocks of birds, which erupted into the air as one. In the confusion the Peregrine missed its mark and withdrew to the top of a pylon. PS.
At dusk the gull roost contained about 500 birds, consisting mainly of Black-headed, Herring and Great Black-backed Gulls. there were also around 200 Teal and 70 Shoveler. Two Little Egrets and two Shelduck were also present and the Cetti’s Warbler sang briefly from the reed bed that the Starlings were roosting in. PS.
This evening two Ruff and two Dunlin dropped in, onto the Slurry Lagoon. There were also about 120 Sand Martins, 340 Lesser Black-backed Gulls and 1,000 Black-headed Gulls. RW.