Unlike our previous visits to this reserve at this time of year, today was fairly sparse on sightings and birdsong was subdued. It was the Nightingales that we came to hear and, according to reports from the EWT staff, the birds were present, but we heard only a couple of them singing. The main songsters were the Blue & Great Tits, Chaffinches and Blackcaps and several times we heard the sudden outburst of a Cetti’s Warbler. The birds on the feeders outside the Visitor Centre’s window are always busy and today a Moorhen, perched on a metal tractor seat, was able to reach one and feed. Nearby in the field, a splendidly coloured male Pheasant poked about whilst keeping a protective eye firmly on the female close by.
We started our visit by walking to the new hide situated on the recently developed intertidal area. It is a comfortable and spacious hide and the eleven of us, and one other visitor had plenty of space to look out over the mud flats. The tide was making but was later and slower than expected so many of the birds were some distance away; however, we identified many including a flock of Grey Plover.
We made a wide circle back to the Visitor Centre where some lunched on the benches in the sunshine. A few stayed after lunch but didn’t have many more sightings; another member who had to leave early reported seeing an adder on the footpath.
Birds Identified: Blue & Great Tits, Chaffinch, Dunnock, Sparrow, Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Blackbird, Robin, Nightingale, Pied Wagtail, Magpie, Crow, Pheasant, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Moorhen, Coot, Tufted Duck, Little Grebe, Mallard, Grey Plover, Curlew, Oystercatcher, Redshank, Bar-tailed Godwit, Mute Swan, Shelduck, Greylag & Canada Geese, Little Egret, Black-headed & Herring Gulls.
Butterflies: Orange Tipped, Peacock
Flowers: Primrose, Gorse, Stitchwort, Red & White Deadnettles, Ground Ivy, Lesser Celandine, Dandelion, Blackthorn, Cow Parsley, Groundsel, Chickweed. (Scentless Mayweed?? – it looked like it but it shouldn’t flower until later in the year; Scented Mayweed has different flower head)
Other: Adder, Pond Skater
April 29th 10.00 Our Patch
May 10th Tollesbury – Meet in the free Car Park at 10 a.m.