Latest News

Work Party Dates:

6th April 2019 – 2 pm

7th May 2019 – 6 pm

4th June 2019 – 6 pm

2nd July 2019 – 6 pm

6th August 2019 – 6 pm

3rd September 2019 – 6 pm


11th February 2019 – Two photographs added – Oystercatcher and Reed Bunting – by Tony Burbery

8th March 2019 – Record updated.

22nd February 2019 – Photograph added.


Ringing Records

The details of the colour-ringed Redshank from previous years, which was back at Marsh Lane on the 23rd February (and has been seen on and off since), left leg: metal over orange, right leg: orange over orange, are as follows.

It was ringed as an adult at Thorney Island, Chichester, on the 17th October 2015 where it was seen again between the 26th February and the 13th March 2016. Between the 19th March and 20th June 2016 it was at Marsh Lane and again 13th March to 29th May 2017 and 11th March to 16th June 2018.

The yellow ringed Black-headed Gull, 2DXJ, was ringed by the North-Thames Gull Group as an adult at Pitsea Landfill Site, Essex, on the 8th March 2014. It has subsequently been reported four times since, all from Marsh Lane, as follows: 12th February 2016, 7th January 2018 and 20th and 25th February 2019.

The Black-headed Gull, yellow TLT4 – Courtesy of Graham Rowling we have finally got the details back of this colour-ringed Black-headed Gull, seen at Marsh Lane on the 15th August 2015. It was ringed as a chick on the 17th June 2018 at Lake Druzno Nature Reserve, ZOLWINIEC, Gmina Markusy, Poland. This is in northern Poland about 35 miles east of Gdansk.

22 March 2019

Weather similar to the 21st, mostly overcast, light south-westerly wind.

Two Black-tailed Godwits came into Car Park Pool first thing this morning and were still present at 9 am.

21st March 2019

Mostly overcast, light south-westerly wind.

What was presumably Sunday’s first-winter Mediterranean Gull was present on Car Park Pool for part of the morning, along with just one Goosander. A Peregrine went over and there were at least five singing Chiffchaffs on site, two by the back gate, one on the stream and two on the Old Road (one either side of the car park gate).

20th March 2019

Sunny, mild and very spring like.

There was little out of the ordinary today with the only birds in the log being two Redshanks, four Shelducks, two Oystercatchers and three Common Gulls.

19th March 2019

Similar weather as the 18th, mild, sunny intervals, light south-westerly wind.

No records.

18th March 2019

Mild, sunny intervals, light south-westerly wind.

There were at least two Chiffchaffs singing along the Old Road this morning and three Common Snipe by the Dragonfly Pool. Seven Goosanders came in to Car Park Pool to preen and to roost in the afternoon. A Water Rail showed from the north causeway screen, at a similar time, and there were at least three Redshanks present. Five Pied Wagtails and four Meadow Pipits were feeding on the flood plain by the cattle feeder. There was still plenty of activity by the car park feeder including 22 Jackdaws, but Greenfinch numbers have dropped off and none was seen this morning.

Another colour-ringed Black-headed Gull was recorded, this time on Railway Pool, H1V12.


17 March 2019

Sunshine and heavy showers on an increasing north-westerly wind.

The first Little Ringed Plovers of the year were three that flew high overhead going east of the A452. There was also a first winter Mediterranean Gull on site and other birds included Water Rail, Cetti’s Warbler, two Redshanks, six Oystercatchers, 56 Lapwing, six Shelducks, five Goosanders, a fly over Raven, three Yellowhammers, 16 Reed Buntings, a third winter Greater Black-backed Gull and at least three Chiffchaffs along the Old Road.

In the evening, 18 Goosanders came in to roost of which four were males. Also, a Jack Snipe was flushed from the ditch by the back gate adjacent to the large gorse bush on the bank.

16 March 2019

Overcast, strong south-westerly.

There was an arrival of Chiffchaffs overnight with at least five today, four along the Old Road and one on the Causeway. Nine Goosanders included two males and there were eight Oystercatchers with four on each pool. Six Meadow Pipits and three Pied Wagtails were feeding on the flood plain and 12 Reed Buntings included six in the crop field and six on the car park feeders. There were also ten Chaffinches in the crop field and four at the feeders.

Other main counts today comprised two Mute Swans, two Greylags, 14 Canadas, six Shelducks, 263 Wigeon, 72 Gadwall, 38 Teal, 49 Shovelor, four Mallard, four female Pochard, 38 Tufted, 20 Cormorants, two Great Crested Grebes, six Little Grebes, a Water Rail on the Causeway, 16 Moorhen, 48 Coot, 50 Lapwing plus a further 26 in the field east of the A452, two Redshanks, a Snipe, 1100 Black-headed Gulls, six Common Gulls, eight Lesser Black-backed, ten Herring Gulls, three Yellowhammers at the car park feeders and at least 20 Common Toads in the Dragonfly Pond.

The Cetti’s Warbler was again on site though this time at the north end of the Car Park Pool.

15 March 2019

Remaining windy from the north-west but dry with sunny intervals.

In the evening there were six Shelducks, six Oystercatchers, one Redshank, three female Goosanders and at least three Yellowhammers present.

14 March 2019

Showery, cold, west, north-westerly wind.

In the showery and windy conditions the only records were of a pair of Redshanks (including the colour ringed bird) one Yellowhammer, three Lesser Black-backed Gulls, two Common Gulls, two Herring Gulls and six Oystercatchers.

13th March 2019

Cool, north-westerly wind, sunshine and showers.

There was nothing out of the ordinary first thing and a number of the birds from the Reserve had moved down to the floods on the river by Patrick Bridge, where most of the Wigeon and Teal were either feeding or roosting on the raised areas of grass between the floods.

In the evening, in failing light, an Otter was seen briefly to swim across the north causeway bay and there were 20 Goosanders roosting on Car Park Pool ( five males and 15 females).

12th March 2019

Wet, windy and cold.

No records.

11th March 2019

Mostly overcast, windy and some showers.

At the cattle feeder on the flood plain, at the north end of Car Park Pool, there was 17 Pied Wagtails and a Meadow Pipit this afternoon. There is a Chiffchaff along the Old Road by the muck heap, a Sparrowhawk hunting the concrete road and 400 Starlings came in to roost.

On the pools, counts were as follows: two Mute Swans, 56 Shoveler, 36 Cormorants, 62 Gadwall, 15 Tufted, five Shelduck, three Goosanders, 37 Teal and, on the islands, one Greater Black-backed Gull, two Herring Gulls, two Lesser Black-backed Gulls and a Redshank.

10th March 2019

Overnight rain, continuing into the morning, brightening later, windy from the west.

Gulls today included both the adult and a first-winter Greater Black-backed along with seven Common Gulls. There were four Shelducks (three males and a female) on Railway Pool and eight Pochard on Car Park Pool. Ten Goosanders during the afternoon including an adult male.

Other counts included 65 Shoveler, seven Oystercatcher, Kingfisher, Cetti’s Warbler and Water Rail in the causeway bay, a pair of Ravens displaying over Siden Hill Wood, Siskin and Meadow Pipit over and three Little Egrets and 42 Cormorants.

9th March 2019

Some showers, but mostly dry, breezy from the west. Rain in the evening and overnight.

Wigeon remain in good numbers with 302 today and there were also reasonable numbers of Gadwall (79) and Shoveler (68).

Waders included six Oystercatchers, 120 Lapwing (including seven east of the A452), four Snipe at the Dragonfly Pond, a colour-ringed Redshank and a Jack Snipe which was flushed from the crop field by the work party.

Black-headed Gulls are in significant numbers now, taking up breeding territories with 1350 counted. Eight Common Gulls included a German ringed individual and there were, in addition, five Lesser Black-backs, three Herrings and the adult Greater Black-backed Gull.

100 Fieldfares were east of the A452 and, other counts today, were as follows: five Mute Swans, 76 Greylags, four Canadas, two Shelduck, 21 Teal, five Mallard, seven Pochard, 26 Tufted, 32 Cormorants, three each of Little Grebe and Great Crested Grebe, one Heron, ten Moorhen, 42 Coot, a female Goosander and a Cetti’s Warbler in the Reedbed.

Nine attended the work party with the following work undertaken; another area of Reedbed was cut and raked. The sluices were removed to lower the water tables and the area of bank opposite the back gate which was removed for the island re-gravelling was re-seeded with wild flowers. There was also a litter pick undertaken of the Old Road and thanks to those who attended.


8 March 2019

Sunny start, quickly clouding over, south westerly wind.

Nine Pochard, eight Common Gulls and four Oystercatchers were the early counts this morning.

The Caspian Gull recorded for the 27th February has been withdrawn.

Other birds today included a Peregrine Falcon over, eight Oystercatchers, a pair of Goosanders and a Shelduck.

Both Kestrel and Buzzard were recorded, the former hunting the Railway Pool margins and the Buzzards (two) feeding in the crop field.

7th March 2019

Cold, with rain showers.

Today’s best bird was a Jack Snipe which showed in front of Car Park Hide in the afternoon. The adult Greater Black-backed Gull was joined by two Herring Gulls, three Shelduck, six Pochard and a Common Gull. There were six Meadow Pipits recorded and four Yellowhammers around the feeders.

6th March 2019

Mostly overcast with heavy showers.

The only records today were of a Red Kite south at 10 am, an adult Greater Black-backed Gull on Car Park Pool and two male Goosanders there.

5th March 2019

Mostly cloudy, south-westerly wind.

No records.

4th March 2019

Sunshine and showers, south-westerly wind.

North of Car Park Pool by the cattle feeder there were 12 Pied Wagtails and five Meadow Pipits on the flood plain whilst, nearby, along the concrete road, there were a pair of Long-tailed Tits, ten Teal on the pool itself, a Skylark, a Green Woodpecker and Song Thrush.

Five Little Egrets feeding around the margins of Railway Pool and there was a hybrid Duck on site, possibly a Mallard / Shoveler. The car park feeder was again pretty active with, amongst other things, seven Goldfinches and five Chaffinches.

In the north causeway bay there were three Dabchicks, with two males fighting over a female.


3rd March 2019

Periods of rain and increasingly windy as storm Freya blew through.

Little change really from yesterday, with eight Oystercatchers, three Goosanders, six Herring Gulls and two each of Little Egret and Snipe, whilst a Raven flew over.

2nd March 2019

Mostly sunny, south-westerly wind.

Further signs of spring this morning included several clumps of Frogspawn in the Dragonfly Pond (where there was also a Jack Snipe) and several Coltsfoot in flower on the causeway.

There are still plenty of Ducks on site and, for example, Wigeon numbers are holding up well but Teal have dropped to just single figures which suggests that they either depart for the breeding areas abroad earlier or perhaps include a higher proportion of breeders from Scotland.

The full counts today were: four Mute Swans, 35 Greylags, seven Canadas, 300 Wigeon, six Teal, 60 Gadwall, six Mallard, 80 Shoveler, nine Pochard, 25 Tufted, four female Goosanders, 33 Cormorants, five Little Egrets, two Herons, four Great Crested Grebes, five Little Grebes, 12 Moorhen, 30 Coot, seven Oystercatcher, 260 Lapwings, five Snipe, 850 Black-headed Gulls, ten Common Gulls, five Lesser Black-backed Gulls, four Herring Gulls, two Redshank and both Chiffchaff and Grey Wagtail around the muck heap on the Old Road.

1st March 2019

Sunshine and showers, south-westerly wind.

No records.