Welcome to the news for April.
Weather wise it has been quite sunny but with a cool air flow. Mid March kicked started a lot of breeding activity and the cold end to the month will be a shock for some of the birdlife. Chiffchaff’s are being heard, Godwits are showing red and the Herons are off and running. Time to leave the woodburners and venture out into the spring light and longer days. Here are March’s highlights:
The numbers of Pinkfooted geese ebb away and the skies have been strangely quiet on the east coast. 2500 spotted on 6th slowly dropping to low hundreds mainly around the fields. Very few Greylag. 24 Light bellied Brent on 18th.
A single Sea eagle and the now usual 2 Stonechat on 2nd. Plenty Skylark, Linnet and Meadow pipit singing here all month, a lonely Red throated diver offshore on 11th.
Leuchars Airfield: A lovely low flying Short eared owl here on 14th, great ground for this bird. Plenty linnet and 4 Song thrush on the same day.
The pools have been drying out due to the work on the pipes, however 5 Snipe and 2 Reed bunting setting up on 15th. 11 Whoopers have again been present on the fields here all month.
WeBS (Estuary Count) 18th: The Spring passage is well on and numbers are fluctuating daily now.
A nice count of 14 Red throated diver, 2 Slavonian grebe, 24 LB Brent, 248 Shelduck, 82 Wigeon, and a good count of 114 Pintail. 6 Goldeneye and 82 Eider. Wader numbers were fair with 660 Oystercatcher, 71 Grey plover, 2060 Dunlin, 120 Black tailed godwit and 111 Bar tailed godwit, 476 Curlew and 1288 Redshank. A single Greenshank.
Recorded 2 out of 31 days they must be busy elsewhere.
2 Little grebe bobbing around early month. 2 Little egrets have been around all month, often spotted in the Motray by the road bridge. A pair of Gadwall on 19th. Goldeneye 14 on 8th and dropping. Peregrine has been recorded 6 days this month. 250 Knot on 28th. Peak count of 200 Black tailed godwit on 3rd. 25 LBB Gull on 18th. 13 Redwing outside the centre on 9th and single Razorbill dropped in on 10th.
Up on the feeders. A pair of GS woodpeckers, Long tailed tit, Treecreeper and up to 8 Tree sparrows. Some early butterflies are being spotted ,small tortoiseshell and peacock so far.
Bird of the Month
Black tailed Godwit
A simply stunning wader. Very elegant . Long straight beak with stilt-like legs, when seen in flight the striking black and white wing bars can be stunning if highlighted by a low spring sun. Often noted in small groups in. An Eden talisman bird and a good bird to catch on passage, just now they are changing from soft beige/grey to rusty red. A great time to spot them, but not for long, they will be heading north soon back to their breeding grounds in Iceland.
• Opening Hours 9am-5pm
• The Centre Park and Car Park: Work has started across the site, access is still possible, please follow site instructions to reach the centre.
• Visitor Handbook 2016: £1.
• Coble Pools: Work has begun on upgrading the pipeworks feeding the pools, the pools are a bit dry and will be until the flow is restored.
• Kincaple River Path: This was closed off due the pipeworks, this is now open again.
• Saltmarsh On The Fringe: Volunteers joined Clare planting out 100’s of new plants into various locations around the estuary. This is a major habitat restoration to regenerate the saltmarshes for the future. Well done to all who took part.
• Visitor Log Books: Feel free to write any comments regarding the reserve. Also please put birds sighted in the log book, its vital for our records which in turn aids our management. Thanks.
• Donations: Please keep the donations coming, the reserve relies on this support for projects such as the Coble pools upgrades, direct action to support birdlife. Thanks!
• Breeding Birds: It’s that time of year, please go carefully around the reserve and keep your dog on a lead around watercourses, grassland and where asked to do so. Thanks.