A very high tide this morning and waders were pushed up the estuary from their usual high-tide roosts further downstream. At the Breakwater hide a steady stream of oystercatchers and curlew flew past with smaller numbers of dunlin, redshank, bar-tailed godwit, grey plover and ringed plover looking for an uncovered area to roost. A sanderling was unusual for so far up-river as were two sandwich tern amongst the black-headed gulls. Also seen was a juvenile Mediterranean gull, a ring-tail hen harrier, a yellow wagtail and a latw willow warbler. Winter visitors are increasing in numbers with almost 300 barnacle geese, 800 wigeon and a few pintail. The Indian summer (or haf bach Mihangel for the welsh among us) is very welcome at the moment with higher temperatures than we have had all year. From now on, I shall be scanning the skies to the north west, hoping to hear and see the arrival of our Greenland white-fronted geese; to me a sign that winter will soon be upon us, despite these rather unusual temperatures.
On a falling tide this morning, good numbers of waders were feeding on the exposed mud and sand opposite the Breakwater hide. There were around 550 dunlin with a few ringed plovers, 3 little stints and 4 curlew sandpipers. Further out was a group of 17 knot and 5 bar-tailed godwit. Other odds and ends included a few wigeon, a wheatear, whitethroat and small flocks of linnets and meadow pipits.