Saturday, 21 April 2018

Late April 2018

For further information regarding the Reserve and its wildlife, please contact Kevin Wilson at: 
kwilson@lincstrust.co.uk

Top 5 birds to see in April:
1) Cuckoo - present on the reserve from mid-month
2) Whitethroat - commonest warbler on the reserve by the end of the month
3) Spoonbill - scarce passage migrant, can be seen on Tennyson's Sands or Jackson's Marsh at any time
4) Sandwich Tern - can be seen offshore at any time during the month
5) Firecrest - scarce passage migrant, Plantation and North Car Park often reliable places to see them

April 23rd. Increasing south-westerly wind.
 Around, including birds trapped, were 56 Brent Goose, a Marsh Harrier, a Whimbrel, a Cuckoo and 2 Siskin. Heading south were 15 Swallow.
 A wind-shortened morning ringing session in East Dunes produced 7 new birds: a Chiffchaff, 3 Blackcap, a Lesser Whitethroat, a Chaffinch and a Great Tit; and a retrap Dunnock.

Blackcap with pollen around base of bill, ringed 23rd April 2018.
Photo - George Gregory
Brown-tailed Moth caterpillars in their silk tent, 23rd April 2018.
The hairs of these caterpillars can cause severe allergic reactions in humans, and they should be avoided.
Photo - George Gregory
April 22nd. Birds around, including those trapped, were a Marsh Harrier, 2 Little Ringed Plover, a Greenshank, 4 Whimbrel, a Mediterranean Gull, 4 Cuckoo, a Short-eared Owl, a Jay, 3 Ring Ouzel, a Cetti's Warbler, 2 Grasshopper Warbler and 2 Siskin. On the Mere were 2 Garganey. Flying north were an Osprey, 9 Whimbrel and a Yellow Wagtail; west a Hooded Crow; and south a Red Kite, a Jay, a Woodlark, 5 Whimbrel, 27 Swallow and 2 Siskin.
 A morning ringing session in East Dunes resulted in 15 new birds: a Chiffchaff, a Willow Warbler, a Chaffinch, 3 Blackcap, a Great Tit, a Whitethroat, a Lesser Whitethroat, a Reed Bunting, a Cetti's Warbler, a Blue Tit, a Linnet and 2 Ring Ouzel; 2 retrps: a Wren and a Chiffchaff; and a control Willow Warbler.

Cetti's Warbler, ringed 22nd April 2018.
Photo - George Gregory
Ring Ouzel, with a tick behind the bill, ringed 22nd April 2018.
Photo - George Gregory
Ring Ouzel, ringed 22nd April 2018.
Photo - George Gregory
Ring Ouzel, ringed 22nd April 2018.
Photo - George Gregory
April 21st. Around, including birds trapped, were a male Garganey (briefly on Old Saltmarsh), 3 Whimbrel, a Mediterranean Gull, 3 Buzzard, a Cuckoo, 2 Raven, a Firecrest, a Reed Warbler, 3 Sedge Warbler, a Grasshopper Warbler, 3 Whitethroat, 3 Lesser Whitethroat, a Blackcap and 2 Ring Ouzel. Going south were a Hobby, 2 Swallow, 6 House Martin and a Yellow Wagtail.
 A morning ringing session in East Dunes, with Keith Collett, provided 10 new birds: a Wren, a Chiffchaff, a Blackcap, 2 Linnet, a Reed Warbler, 2 Dunnock and a Song Thrush; and 6 retraps: 2 Great Tit, a Lesser Whitethroat, a Sedge Warbler, a Dunnock and a Wren.

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Mid April 2018

20th April. A Hoopoe was discovered briefly in the north of the reserve. Birds around, including those trapped, were 5 Cuckoo, 3 Buzzard, a Common Sandpiper, 6 Whimbrel, a Jack Snipe, 2 Mediterranean Gull, 4 Ring Ouzel, 2 Raven, 12 Wheatear, a Redstart, a Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Blackcap, 2 Garden Warbler, 2 Willow Warbler, 4 Chiffchaff, 2 Grasshopper Warbler a Brambling and 3 Corn Bunting. Heading south were 4 Buzzard, 2 Swallow and a Brambling.
 A morning ringing session in East Dunes produced 10 new birds: 2 Willow Warbler, 4 Chiffchaff, a Wheatear, 2 Blackcap and a Lesser Whitethroat; and 2 retrap Dunnock.

Ring Ouzel, 20th April 2018.
Photo- Ben Ward
Wheatear, 20th April 2018.
Photo - Ben Ward

Green Hairstreak. 20th April 2018.
Photo - Ben Ward
Wheatear, ringed 20th April 2018.
Photo - George Gregory
19th April. Around were 58 Brent Goose, a Red Kite, 9 Whimbrel, 2 Mediterranean Gull, 3 Cuckoo, a Peregrine, a Firecrest, 2 Wheatear, 12 Blackcap, 4 Lesser Whitethroat, 10 Chiffchaff, 5 Sedge Warbler, 2 Grasshopper Warbler, a Yellow Wagtail, 3 Brambling, 3 Yellowhammer and 5 Corn Bunting. On Croftmatsh were 6 Pink-footed Goose. Flying south were 2 Marsh Harrier, 3 Red Kite and 4 Swallow,;and north 39 Pink-footed Goose.

Red Kite, 19th April 2018.
Photo - Ben Ward
Brambling, 19th April 2017.
Photo - Ben Ward
18th April. Birds around included 11 Greenshank, 4 Mediterranean Gull and 2 male Firecrest.

17th April. The male Ring Ouzel was still present near the Wash Viewpoint; also a White Wagtail flew south here. A Firecrest was discovered along the Sykes Farm track. Other birds around were 3 Whimbrel (New Saltmarsh), 3 Willow Warbler, 2 Cuckoo (East Dunes) and 4 Sedge Warbler. The 3 Pink-footed Goose remained on Croft Marsh.

Ring Ouzel near the Wash Viewpoint, 17th April 2017.
Photo - Ben Ward
16th April. Around were 2 Sparrowhawk, a Peregrine, a Red Kite (East Dunes) and a Ring Ouzel (Wash Viewpoint area). A probable Raven was heard from the Shorebird Hut.

15th April. Highlights of the day were; 17 Little Gull arriving on Tennyson's Sands in the afternoon, 3 Firecrest (2 East Dunes and 1 North Car Park), a drake Garganey on the Mere, 3 Sedge Warbler along Mill Pond Road and 3 Ring Ouzel. A group of 3 Common Tern flew east towards Mill Hill.

Little Gulls in flight, 15th April 2018
Photo - Ben Ward
Little Gull, 15th April 2018
Photo - Ben Ward
Little Gull, 15th April 2018
Photo - Ben Ward
Firecrest, 15th April 2018
Photo - Ben Ward
14th April.  A Raven was heard distantly in the morning. A Woodlark was heard singing in the West Dunes before heading south and a Cuckoo seen in the East Dunes mid afternoon. Also on the reserve today were 3 Hawfinch, a Firecrest, 2 Ruff and a Jack Snipe. 3 Brambling were at the feeding station in the Plantation.

Blackcap, 14th April 2018
Photo - Kev Wilson
Cuckoo, 14th April 2018
Photo - Nige Lound
Male and Female Brambling, 14th April 2018
Photo - Stuart Ainsworth
13th April. Highlights from today were the first returning Grasshopper Warbler, a Green Sandpiper calling over Beach car park, a Water Rail on Freshwater Marsh and 4 Water Pipit. In the afternoon a Red Kite and 2 Marsh Harrier flew south. The Glaucous Gull recently found in Skegness was seen north of Greenshanks Creek from Mill Hill in the evening. Other birds around included 5 Chiffchaff, 4 Blackcap, 2 Sparrowhawk, 2 Short-eared Owl on the Old Saltmarsh. 6 Pink-footed Goose lingered on Croft Marsh.

Glaucous Gull "record shot", 13th April 2018
Photo - Stuart Ainsworth
12th April. Continuing mist on the reserve made conditions difficult. Highlights of the day were a Firecrest along the cycle path opposite the beach car park and an Osprey which flew west mobbed by Gulls and Crows mid-afternoon. Other birds of note were 2 Sedge Warbler, 4 Chiffchaff, 2 Blackcap and 2 Great Crested Grebe.

Firecrest, 12th April 2018
Photo - Stuart Ainsworth
11th April. A few new migrants on the reserve including 3 Ring Ouzel, 5 Woodcock, 8 Chiffchaff, 5 Swallow, 4 Blackcap, 50 Snipe, 30 Redwing and 2 Brambling. 

Monday, 2 April 2018

Early April 2018

10th April. A Cetti's Warbler and a Black Redstart were discovered near North Hide. Other birds of note were a Great Crested Grebe on Jackson's Marsh, a Barn Owl, 2 Short-eared Owl and a Brambling.
Brambling, 10th April 2018.
Photo - Kevin Wilson
9th April. Birds around included 5 Chiffchaff, 2 Garganey, and a Sedge Warbler. A Tree Pipit was briefly observed perched in the West Dunes before heading South. The most unusual record of the day was a Wood Duck, almost certainly escaped from a private collection.

Wood Duck, 9th April 2018
Photo - Stuart Ainsworth
8th April. The Garganey pair were again on the Old Saltmarsh. In the Plantation were 5 Chiffchaff, 3 Blackcap, 2 Green Woodpecker, 2 Brambling (1 male in full song) and 15 Redwing. The first Sedge Warbler of the year was heard along Mill Pond Road (path to Mill Hill). Flying south were 80 Chaffinch, 3 Swallow and 2 Sand Martin.

Local News - A Glaucous Gull (picture below) was found in Skegness at the Festival Car Park by Kevin Wilson.
Glaucous Gull, Festival Car Park, 8th April 2018
Photo - Stuart Ainsworth
7th April. A group of 6 Common Crane were tracked heading south along the coast, the group arrived over the reserve at 1746hrs, and then flew south-east over the Wash. A pair of Garganey were on the Old Saltmarsh. A Firecrest was discovered near Mill Hill. The first Willow Warbler of the year was singing near North Car Park. Other birds around were 3 Pink-footed Goose, 2 Pintail, a Marsh Harrier, 2 Red Kite, 19 Avocet, 2 Ruff, a Woodcock, 2 Short-eared Owl, 9 Goldcrest, 8 Chiffchaff, 5 Blackcap, 31 Redwing, 2 Black Redstart (Visitor Centre) and a Wheatear (Wash Viewpoint).

 'Many thanks to Cliff Morrison for alerting us to the six cranes that flew over Saltfleetby late afternoon heading down the coast'.

Common Cranes south over the reserve in the evening, 7th April 2018.
Photo - Ben Ward
Common Cranes south over the reserve in the evening, 7th April 2018.
Photo - Ben Ward
Red Kite over Mill Hill, 7th April 2018.
Photo - Ben Ward
Pink-footed Goose on Croft Marsh, 7th April 2018.
Photo - Ben Ward
Wheatear near the Wash Viewpoint, 7th April 2018.
Photo - Ben Ward
6th April. Visible migration was again evident early morning (all south); 71 Brambling, 532 Chaffinch, 105 Siskin and 120 Starling. The first Ring Ouzel of the year was seen by the Yacht Club. A Firecrest was seen near North Building. The 3 Garganey were again seen from Harvey's Hide.
Ring Ouzel near the Yacht Club, 6th April 2018.
Photo - Richard Doan
5th April. The first 2 Spoonbill of the year were on Tennyson's Sands this morning. A Black Redstart near the Visitor Centre. A Red Kite was hunting over the New Saltmarsh. Around were 4 Mediterranean Gull (south into roost), 10 Corn Bunting and a Short-eared Owl.
 The first butterfly transect survey of the year produced 2 Small Tortoiseshell and 2 Peacock.
Adult Mediterranean Gulls south into roost, 5th April 2018.
Photo - Richard Doan
Peacock, 5th April 2018.
Photo - Jack Wilson
4th April. Excellent morning visible migration, over the East and West Dunes, with the following south; 2526 Chaffinch (new reserve record!), a Hawfinch (briefly perched up then south with chaffinch flock), 4 Brambling, 51 Siskin, 63 Linnet, a Great White Egret, 21 Rook, 2 Red Kite, 2 Swallow and a single Sand Martin. A Firecrest was seen by North Car Park in the morning. The first Whimbrel and Yellow Wagtail of the year were noted. On the water-bodies were 3 Garganey (Croft Marsh), 18 Avocet (Tennyson's Sands), 6 Pink-footed Goose, 2 Pintail and 200 Golden Plover. Other birds around were a Short-eared Owl, a Woodcock, 13 Corn Bunting, 2 Black Redstart and a Merlin.
Distant Hawfinch perched up in the Plantation, 4th April 2018.
Photo - Richard Doan

Migrating Chaffinch (reserve record broken today!), 4th April 2018.
Photo - Richard Doan 

Marsh Harrier, 4th April 2018
Photo - Ben Ward

Brambling, 4th April 2018
Photo - Ben Ward


Short-eared Owl, 4th April 2018
Video - Stuart Ainsworth

Garganey on Croft Marsh, 4th April 2018
Photo - Stuart Ainsworth 
3rd April. A Raven put in another appearance in the evening over the East Dunes. Other birds around were 4 Ruff (first of the year), 2 Black Redstart (Visitor Centre & Sykes Farm), White Wagtail (Wash Viewpoint), 3 Chiffchaff and Red Kite (East Dunes).

2nd April. Highlights of the day were a Firecrest and Black Redstart. Also on the reserve were 4 Chiffchaff, a Brambling, Peregrine, Adult male Hen Harrier, 10 Avocet and 9 Corn Bunting. A small group of 6 Pink-footed geese were on Croft Marsh.

Chiffchaff, 2nd April 2018
Photo - Nige Lound

Black Redstart, 2nd April 2018
Photo - Ben Ward

Barn Owl, 2nd April 2018
Photo - Ben Ward

Brambling, 2nd April 2018
Photo - Ben Ward
1st April. Around were 11 Redwing, 2 Chiffchaff, 4 Sparrowhawk and 13 Avocet. Sightings over the Old Saltmarsh early evening included a Barn Owl, 2 Short-eared Owl and 4 Marsh Harrier. 11 Corn Bunting were in the pre roost gathering.

Siskin, 1st April 2018
Photo - Ben Ward

Thursday, 22 March 2018

Late March 2018

31st March. The first Wheatear of the Spring was discovered on the saltings from Mill Hill. Other birds around were 3 Yellowhammers, 2 Goldeneye, Ring-necked Parakeet and a House Sparrow. A Chiffchaff was singing near the Beach car park.

Yellowhammer, 31st March 2018
Photo - Ben Ward
30th March. Birds around were a Red Kite and a Raven heading south over Croft Marsh, ringtail Hen Harrier heading north, 2 Goldeneye, 2 Pintail and 16 Avocet. A Ring-necked Parakeet was once again making the most of the plantation feeders. The Goosander pair came in to roost on Tennyson Sands around 1825hrs.
 A morning ringing session in East Dunes by Mike Polling and Jenni Godber produced 10 new birds: 3 Dunnock, 6 Great Tit and a Blue Tit; and 3 retrap Great Tit.

Ring-necked Parakeet, 30th March 2018
Photo - Kev Wilson
29th March. Highlights of the day were a pair of Goosander that dropped in on Tennyson Sands late on to roost. The 2 Ravens were seen over the plantation and Old Saltmarsh before heading inland calling loudly. Other birds around included an adult Mediterranean Gull heading south over Croft Marsh, a Brambling, 4 Siskin, 3 Woodcock, 2 Chiffchaff and 14 Corn Buntings. Avocet numbers had increased to 39.

Ravens over Old Saltmarsh, 29th March 2018
Photo - Ben Ward

Brambling, 29th March 2018
Photo - Ben Ward
Sparrowhawk, 29th March 2018
Photo - Stuart Ainsworth

Goosander pair, 29th March 2018
Video - Stuart Ainsworth

Chiffchaff, 29th March 2018
Photo - Kev Wilson
28th March. Highlights were a Green Sandpiper heard over Tennyson Sands and an Adult Mediterranean Gull heading towards the Wash calling at dusk. Around were 44 Siskin, 3 Woodcock, a House Sparrow, Water Rail, Merlin, 2 Treecreeper, 15 Avocet and 14 Corn Bunting.

Fox, 28th March 2018
Photo - Ben Ward

Pink-footed Goose, 28th March 2018
Photo - Ben Ward

Sunset from Harvey's Hide, 28th March 2018
Photo - Ben Ward
27th March. Highlights from around the reserve were 4 Woodcock, 3 Chiffchaff, 2 Treecreeper, 3 Siskin and 2 Corn Bunting. On Tennyson Sands were 17 Avocet and 3 Pintail, while 2 Goldeneye were on the Mere. A Short-eared Owl was seen hunting the Old Saltmarsh.

26th March. In the Plantation were 15 Redwing, 6 Siskin, a Brambling, a Green Woodpecker, a Treecreeper and a Ring-necked Parakeet . A Water Pipit was in flight over Jackson's Marsh. Around were 3 Chiffchaff, a Bullfinch, a Yellowhammer and 2 Woodcock. In the afternoon a Red Kite was seen over Croft Marsh heading North, a Short-eared Owl and Male Hen Harrier were seen over the Saltmarsh.

Red Kite, 26th March 2018
Photo - Stuart Ainsworth
25th March. A Pale-bellied Brent Goose was among the brents on Croft Marsh. On Tennyson's Sands were 2 Mediterranean Gull and 15 Avocet. Around were 11 Woodcock, a Brambling, 22 Redwing, a Bullfinch, a Chiffchaff, 11 Corn Bunting.

Green Woodpecker, 25th March 2018
Video - Stuart Ainsworth

24th March. The first singing Chiffchaffs of the year were noted in the Plantation, West Dunes and Aylmer. A Bullfinch was at Sykes Farm as was female Crossbill. Other birds around were 7 Pink-footed Goose, 3 Pintail, 2 Goldeneye, a Marsh Harrier (north), 61 Redwing, 4 Siskin, 11 Corn Bunting and a Yellowhammer.

23rd March. Highlights of the day were 2 Siskin and a female Brambling in the Plantation, 2 Bullfinch, Egyptian Goose, a Pale-bellied Brent Goose, 3 Buzzard, Merlin, adult Male Hen Harrier. 2 Short-eared Owls were seen hunting the saltmarsh in front of the Visitor Centre around 1700hrs.


Short-eared Owl, 23rd March 2018
Photo - Stuart Ainsworth
22nd March. A Serin was briefly at the feeding station mid-afternoon. The first Red Kite of the year was seen over Greenshank Creek. A party of 3 Crossbill were showing well in North Car Park. Other birds around were 2 Raven, a Woodlark, Chiffchaff, Jay, Redpoll, 15 Siskin, a Brambling, an Egyptian Goose (just about annual on the reserve) and 2 Water Pipit. Over the Old Saltmarsh were an adult male Hen Harrier, a Marsh Harrier and 2 Peregrine.

Male Common Crossbill, 22nd March 2018
Video - Stuart Ainsworth

Male Common Crossbill, 22nd March 2018
Photo - Stuart Ainsworth

Female Common Crossbill, 22nd March 2018
Photo - Stuart Ainsworth

21st March.
Highlights from around the reserve were a Tree Sparrow, Water Pipit, 19 Woodcock, 2 Stonechat, 10 Corn Bunting, Siskin, 2 Merlin, 9000 Knot and 1000 Bar-tailed Godwit. 10 Buzzard passing through. Male Hen Harrier, a Marsh Harrier and a Peregrine were seen on the Old Saltmarsh, a Grey Wagtail was found on the Steeping River and a Sand Martin headed north.
 The first Small Tortoiseshell butterfly of the year was on the wing near Mill Hill.

Small Tortoiseshell near Mill Hill, 21st March 2018.
Photo - Adrian Royle


Special Thanks to Friskney local Andy Rayment for the tip off about the Snowy Owl on Wainfleet Marsh which was relocated by Gib Birders later in the day.
Snowy Owl, Wainfleet Marsh 21st/22nd March 2018
Photo - Stuart Ainsworth