It is definitely that time of year again with gulls arriving now in big numbers. We have two Gull ID Days coming up: Saturday November 13 and Saturday December 11. These are free to attend drop in events. We will be hosting them from within the new Shooting Butts Hide from about 10am-3pm. Simply turn up and the gull-loving volunteers present will guide you through whatever you wish to know and at your level on interest be it helping sort out Common from Herring Gull to the more complex separation of Yellow-legged and Caspian Gulls (two of which have already been found!)
Caspian Gulls (Andy Tweed)
Sounds like the Bearded Tits have been showing very well all weekend with up to 20 seen around the reserve but mostly near the Dragonfly Pool by the Shooting Butts. Pretty vocal so you should hear all that pinging!
Male Bearded Tit (Les Harrison)
Female Bearded Tit (Paul Hawkins)
The immature male Marsh Harrier has been seen most days but on Thursday two adult males moved through along with two female Hen Harriers (you may see these reported as Ringtails).
Water Rails have been seen regularly on the pools from the Northern Trail with the bomb crater pool at the western end being the best bet at the moment.
Water Rail (Dave Blackwell)
Back to blustery again but with lots of bird activity today including two adult male Marsh Harriers and two female (ringtail) Hen Harriers seen. The latter are notable for the site and both headed south. Redwings and several Fieldfares were noted and small flocks of Starlings were seen heading east all day. No Waxwings as yet.
Quite a few finches on the move with Lesser Redpoll, two Siskins and a Brambling amongst the commoner species.
and finally... the three Pink-footed Geese were still around and actually spent most of the day on the Purfleet Scrape outside the centre, loosely with the Greylag flock.
Pink-feet (Russ Sherriff)