A compilation of the past few days sightings. We would have updated yesterday but our access to broadband was disrupted!
Nacreous or Polar Stratospheric Clouds from Monday evening. As we go into February we can still expect plenty of classic winter birding with big numbers of Whooper Swan and general wildfowl. We can expect the first Avocet to return mid month, the earliest they have returned is the 9th of February. Perhaps a few sightings of scarcer geese among the Pink-footed Geese returning from Norfolk and in recent years Bittern has been seen.
Difficult birding condition on Monday and Tuesday with winds gusting to 50 mph. There was a few people out and about and surprisingly Barn Owl was seen sheltering along the fence line looking towards the Janet Kear Hide from the United Utilities Hide. Possibly 3 Peregrine certainly a pair seen both days and today. At least two Barn Owl out today continuing a run of excellent close sightings from the Ron Barker Hide. Tawny Owl still present after a few days no show. At least 2 Marsh Harrier, 4+ Common Buzzard, Sparrowhawk and Kestrel.
Waders include 2000+ Lapwing, 50+ Ruff, c.20 Golden Plover yesterday, 13 Oystercatcher, a few Black-tailed Godwit and 3 Common Snipe with the later showing below the Kingfisher Hide. Two Raven again today and just off the reserve on Curlew Lane a flock of c100 Rook and a few Jackdaw. Big numbers of Teal, Mallard, Shelduck and Wigeon with smaller numbers of Pintail, Shoveler, Gadwall, Pochard and Tufted Duck. Two drake Goldeneye regularly on the Mere.
The Ross s Goose still on the Mere. Other sightings included Water Rail again from the Kingfisher Hide, at least 6 Siskin feeding in Alders close by and a few Redwing along the Nature Trail. Grey Wagtail inside the Waterfowl Gardens.
Unconfirmed sightings of Brambling (Janet Kear) and Willow Tit (Kingfisher Hide) both very brief views from the persons reporting these so they were not 100% confident
Currently over 12000 birds on the reserve of 60+ species!