Eden Estuary Newsletter May 2016
Welcome to the news for April.
It’s been windy, and winter briefly returned late April stunting the grass growth and bringing a chill to both breeding birds and reserve visitors alike.
The site is humming now with evidence of breeding. It’s a great time of year full of youth and hope for a warm and prosperous summer. Many birds are arriving and departing and the scene is a changing one. The best time of year for catching that odd combination of summer and winter birds together.
Here are April’s highlights;
All over the reserve signs of breeding are obvious, Skylarks singing, Stonechat clicking, Shelduck pairing up, and plenty nest building. The Herons are well into their breeding and doing well with 12 apparently occupied nests on 13th.
: A pair of Stonechat, 2 pairs of Reed bunting and a single Wheatear on 20th. 9 singing Skylark, 9 Meadow pipit displays and the Stonechat pair holding nest material on 27th. Offshore 6 Gannets and 7 Terns and good numbers of Eider too.
Motray and Guardbridge:
Tree Sparrow, Reed bunting, Willow warbler, Yellowhammer, Collared dove, House martin and Sand martin all picked up here on breeding survey on 27th. It’s all go.
The pools have been drying out due to the work on the pipes which is still ongoing. Skylark, Reed bunting and Linnet in good numbers, a lovely calling Golden plover in full summer plumage hanging around the pools late April. 2 Whooper swan hanging on on 27th and an Osprey offshore on 28th.
A pair of Teal, 3 pairs of Tufted duck a single Little grebe and a hunting SE Owl all around the pools on 18th. Offshore 39 Red breasted merganser.
WeBS (Estuary Count) 15th
: The number of wildfowl and waders are dropping now, 151 Shelduck, 42 Pintail, 115 Common scoter, 7 Guillemot and on the wader front, 475 Oystercatcher, 190 Knot (our passage group) 595 Redshank and only 24 Black tailed godwit. 19 Sandwich tern noted and 2 Little egret all added to an interesting count.
Recorded on 2nd only, word is still positive from the nest site.
2 Little Egret recorded up to 23rd. 2 GC Grebe on 19th and 2 Fulmar on 28th. Earlier in the month were a nice 89 Whooper. Osprey first noted with 2 on 19th. Single Kestrel on 15th Peak of 50 Black tailed godwit on 19th and a single Greenshank mid month. The feeders are doing well in supporting the breeding and Tree sparrow, GS Woodpecker and Goldfinch were amongst the gaggle.
Bird of the Month
A stunning bird in its breeding plumage. The simple short call and fluttering flight more at home on the high moors, it was a lovely sight at the Coble pools last week of April. Unlikely to hang around but a joy to experience.
• Opening Hours 9am-5pm
• The Centre Park and Car Park: Work continues across the site, access is still possible, please follow site instructions to reach the centre. Park on Main Street.
• Visitor Handbook 2016: £1.
• Coble Pools: Work continues on upgrading the pipeworks feeding the pools, the pools are a bit dry and will be until the flow is restored. Hopefully by early May.
• Visitor Bird Records: please put birds sighted in the log book, it is vital for our records which in turn aids our management plan for the site. Thanks.
• Donations: Please keep the donations coming, the reserve relies on this support for projects such as the Coble pools upgrades. Thanks!
• Breeding Birds: It’s that time of year, please go carefully around the reserve and keep your dog on a lead where asked to do so. Thanks.
• Volunteering: If you love the Fife countryside and would like to give something back, why not sign up as a volunteer. It’s a varied activity list and there’s something for all ages and abilities. Call Meg on 01592 656080.
• Sister Sites: Birnie and Gaddon Lochs, Craighall Den, Lomond Hills and Lochore Meadows are all worth a visit just now. Make a day of linking some of Fife’s best birding spots.