High tide and low water attracts the waders

I was away on the weekend so did not have chance to fit in a visit to Goldcliff Lagoons.

Instead I visited yesterday evening at high tide and spent a few hours in the heat and sunshine. The whole reserve is sun baked. All three lagoons have very low water levels with some areas completely dried up and baked solid.

As a result of the sun evaporating the water , the lagoons are shallower and full of fish and invertebrates. The drought has concentrated the bird food supplies and as a result causes the birds to congregate and take advantage of the easy pickings.

Little Egrets were every where. I have never seen so many on site. I counted 8 of these beautiful birds. There were also 4 Grey Herons stalking the waters and surrounding undergrowth.

The Herons were scaring the waders  and causing them to freak out when two of the big birds approached them. A flock of Black Tailed Godwits took to the air in fright at their approach.

There is now an incredible amount of Black Headed Gulls. They are gathering increasingly in bigger and bigger flocks where they spend a great deal of time roosting on the baked mud. A Lesser Black Backed Gull turned up with what I think is an immature LBG and they both looked gigantic against the other birds who kept a very wary eye on them.

The pair of Black Swans were back onsite and paddling away in Lagoon 2.

The Dunlins and Redshanks were feeding together at lagoon 2 in large numbers. In amongst them I spotted a lovely coloured Knot in breeding plumage.

There were also a number of Ruffs at Lagoon 2 mixing in with Dunlins, Redshanks and Lapwings.

A Buzzard patrolled the sea wall and sat on a few posts near Lagoon 2 for while eyeing up the waders but it sneaked off flying low towards the sea wall hide after surveying the scene for about 20 minutes.

A female Kestrel flew across the reserve. That's the first time I have seen a Kestrel at Goldcliff since the "Beast from the East".

I got treated to a big flypast of 12 Curlews. They came in well after high tide and landed in Lagoon 3.

The Black Tailed Godwits took flight a few times and on the last occasion flew quite close so I grabbed a few pictures as they did so.

Black Tailed Godwits

Little Egret

Flock of Black Tailed Godwits

4 of the Curlews

Pair of Black Swans

Knot in amongst the Dunlins

Panoramic view of Goldcliff at high tide,

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