Naturelog: 7th May

Tuesday morning of our trip to Lincolnshire saw Sue and I at Gibraltar Point Nature Reserve just outside Skegness. This is a spit of land that projects out into the North Sea and thus is a stopping place for many migrant birds.

At the visitor’s centre, there are some Whale bones on display. These come from a Sperm whale which beached on the point in March 1985, was unable to be refloated and was eventually buried by the sand. A subsequent storm revealed the bones buried in the sand.

The first stop is Jackson’s Marsh, where a Eurasian Spoonbill is the star attraction. This once rare species is growing in numbers in the UK and is now breeding in some places.

Containing to walk north along the point towards Skegness I reach Tennyson sands where there are some Pied Avocets. A brief view of a Little Ringed Plover is all I got as it flew south down the point and was lost from view. In the reeds, I could just make out a drake Garganey, a migratory duck which comes to the UK in the summer to breed.

Turning east from here I make my way across the point to Mill Hill, stopping off on route to check the Mere and the Lagoon, two bodies of water within the marsh. The former has only some Black-Headed Gulls, but the latter has a Spotted Redshank in Summer plumage, which is a lovely sight.

On the walk across the marsh, I had seen Tree Pipit, Garden Warbler and Spotted Flycatcher as well as numerous Common Whitethroats. All are summer visitors to this country and probably feeding up before moving onto their breeding sites. The Flycatcher was very active and demonstrated well why it has this name with its acrobatic flights.

Common Whitethroat

Arriving at Mill Hill I was able to look out over the dunes towards the North Sea. I hoped to see some of the Little Terns that breed on the point but there was no sign. I now turned south and walked through the dunes. Eurasian Linnets, Common Whitethroats and a single Stonechat were in the dune vegetation.

Black-headed Gulls

After a walk along the edge of the salt marsh, I turned west again towards the Visitors centre. Across the salt marsh, a number of Eurasian Skylarks were singing and displaying. A very good days birdwatching.

Brant Goose [sp] (Branta bernicla)
Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
Garganey (Spatula querquedula)
Northern Shoveler (Spatula clypeata)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Eurasian Teal (Anas crecca)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Common Pheasant [sp] (Phasianus colchicus)
Little Grebe [sp] (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
Eurasian Spoonbill [sp] (Platalea leucorodia)
Little Egret [sp] (Egretta garzetta)
Common Buzzard [sp] (Buteo buteo)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Eurasian Oystercatcher [sp] (Haematopus ostralegus)
Pied Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta)
Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)
Little Ringed Plover [sp] (Charadrius dubius)
Eurasian Curlew [sp] (Numenius arquata)
Black-tailed Godwit [sp] (Limosa limosa)
Ruff (Calidris pugnax)
Common Redshank [sp] (Tringa totanus)
Spotted Redshank (Tringa erythropus)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Western Jackdaw [sp] (Coloeus monedula)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Eurasian Skylark [sp] (Alauda arvensis)
Barn Swallow [sp] (Hirundo rustica)
Sedge Warbler (Acrocephalus schoenobaenus)
Eurasian Reed Warbler [sp] (Acrocephalus scirpaceus)
Eurasian Blackcap [sp] (Sylvia atricapilla)
Garden Warbler [sp] (Sylvia borin)
Common Whitethroat [sp] (Sylvia communis)
Eurasian Wren [sp] (Troglodytes troglodytes)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Spotted Flycatcher [sp] (Muscicapa striata)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
European Stonechat [sp] (Saxicola rubicola)
Tree Pipit [sp] (Anthus trivialis)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)
Common Linnet [sp] (Linaria cannabina)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)

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