Thursday 8th April 2021

On a shortened visit today I headed to the beach first but couldn’t resist the pink twilight sleeping Mute Swans at Reedy Ditch.

Mute Swans pre dawn

On the walk to the beach an immature Goshawk broke through the trees near the information board being chased by a smaller Carrion Crow. There were still 10 Turnstone on the shoreline, only a few remain into April and May.

Turnstone photo by Ian Williamson

Oystercatchers were mating and it was clear that there had been a further clear out of Brent Geese, Teal and Wigeon. There were 11 Avocet on DL’O scrape and, later, a similar number on G Marsh. Linnets and Reed Buntings were singing in the NP area.

Linnet and Reed Bunting

With the recent northerlies there appeared to be no significant increase in spring visitors with five Willow Warbler, 2 Sedge Warbler and 2 Reed Warblers singing round the reserve. A male and female Marsh Harrier were both seen carrying nesting material down into the reeds at the back of B Water and at one stage the female mobbed a Red Kite who had appeared suddenly.

female Marsh Harrier carrying nesting material and later mobbing a red Kite

The Red Kite broke away and quartered over DL’O lagoon and was then mobbed by the Black-headed Gulls who have settled on the rafts. Based on primary moult, breast markings and tail wear this appears to be a different Red Kite to the one I saw last Thursday.

Red Kite

A lovely fresh Small Tortoiseshell was basking on some flattened reeds, my first at NO and the only butterfly I saw all day.

Small Tortoiseshell

I relocated the female Garganey on the edge of JV and Ian dashed across from the beach for a patch tick. Soon afterwards the constantly moving Garganey was off again.

female Garganey on the edge of JV, right hand photo by Ian Williamson

Eight Swallows and a House Martin passed through heading east and a Stoat, my first here, ran across the road near the parking area.

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