Hot on the heels of the first red-backed shrike for Vange Marsh comes another first for the reserve!
A cracking juvenile red-necked phalarope was found late morning yesterday, and attracted a steady flow of admirers throughout the afternoon. Phalaropes are the only wader that habitually swim on water, and our juvenile did just that on the freshmarsh while picking food from the surface of the water. The man-made viewing mounds along the northern edge of the marsh provide that extra elevation for freat views of the phalarope. One spoonbill remains, along with spotted redshanks, greenshanks, common and green sandpipers and one little stint.
Red-necked phalarope at Vange Marsh by Stephen Allen
Vange Marsh proves to be a big attraction for spoonbills. Yesterday another immature bird joined the two adults and immature which have been present most of August. All four are still present today. Also on the marsh are 2 ruff, 11 green sandpipers and 2 greenshanks. Warblers in the scrubland area have increased with whitethroat, lesser whitethroat, willow warbler and blackcap in varying numbers.
Last night at Wat Tyler Country Park we held a thank you event for some of our volunteers who have reached the milestone of five years volunteering with the RSPB. A big thank you to each of them for their continued support. It also meant that we were in the park late last night and were lucky enough to see the cattle egret which came in to roost with the little egrets at 19.45, jammy or what!
Thanks to Tony Coombes for supplying the spoonbill images below.
A juvenile red-backed shrike was found at lunchtime, the bird is frequenting a mixed hedgerow just east of the reserve and can be elusive. In the same area were 3 bright juvenile willow warblers, 2 blackcaps, 2 whitethroats and a lesser whitethroat, while overhead 2 hobbies were hunting. The three spoonbills are still present on the marsh.