A moment of sunshine during Storm Deidre

Excuse the pun but "Deidre me" its been wet this weekend. The storm hit us early on Saturday and my part of Wales has had a proper soaking. I almost thought I would never get out this weekend for a bird watch, but fortunately I did manage to fit in a quick visit this morning.

On arrival at Goldcliff Lagoons ( now come on, did you expect me to be anywhere else!) there was a band of blue sky with patches of red clouds indicating the sun was on its way.

I headed through the reserve intending to spend the time I had on the sea wall hoping that I could catch the sun rise. The tide was out and most of the usual waders that roost at the reserve had made their way out on to the mud.

The lagoons are now overflowing with water and looking much more habitable for the birds. There is a noticeable increase in the numbers of ducks. Wigeon numbers appear to be on rise and there seems to be more and more Shelducks.

As I neared the sea wall I looked across the reserve and watched a female Marsh Harrier quartering the Monks and Priory Lagoon before heading off in the direction of the Pill.

Standing on the sea wall a nice clear sunrise was looking promising. Its typical then, that just at this moment a cloud ended up obstructing the sun. As it turned out it looked quite atmospheric and eventually the sun cleared the clouds.

It was well worth the effort getting up early for it. The rising sun lit up the whole reserve a golden colour.

Sunrise at Goldcliff Lagoons

After the sun had risen and then rose behind a veil of clouds it was time for me to go bird watching in the hides for a short while.

On the sea wall to the far left of the hide was perched "Bosprey" the more white than brown resident Buzzard. It seems to love a particular spot on the boundary fence.

"Bosprey" on its favorite perch

The lagoons were quite busy with Canadian and Greylag Geese, ducks and the off Curlew but not a great deal else to write home about.

On my return journey through the reserve I stopped at the Redshank platform and enjoyed a chat with another regular birder. A Peregrine Falcon was perched on Monks Island. It was busy preening itself and generally content to perch and watch the bird residents. It looked in great condition.

Peregrine Falcon on Monks Lagoon Island


Shortly afterwards a female Marsh Harrier swept into the reserve over the Pill and clearly was interested in something on the ground between Becs and Monks. She did a little acrobatics and then dropped down onto it. She was not seen again whilst I watched. The spot she had landed was out of view but whatever was happening attracted quite an audience of Carrion Crows and Ravens.

Marsh Harrier female


I left before I could find out what she may have killed - perhaps it was an unfortunate duck.

The weather was beginning to turn so I finished off  strolling back to the car watching the winter thrushes that remain feeding in the hedgerows. The numbers of Redwings and Fieldfare have definitely reduced I wonder if we will see another wave of migrants to bolster their numbers.

I will end my weekly blog with a few more pictures from today. Even on a quiet day I never leave the reserve without something to savour afterwards picture wise.

The land of the rising sun.

A view from the wall.



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