Good Friday Birding at Goldcliff Lagoons


It was a real wader fest this morning. The weather at day break was very cloudy and there was absolutely no sun rise at all, which was a little disappointing. However the great birding soon made up for the poor showing of the sun. I had to brave a very bitterly cold wind which really was bone chilling and eye watering but there was lots to enjoy today.

The incoming tide had pushed a lot of birds in to the reserve. There were hoards of Shelduck. Priors Lagoon was hosting at day break a flock of about eighty Avocets. As I walked around Priors I soon sighted the Bean Goose which was showing well in front of the Marsh Platform on the water.

I settled for a while in the sea wall ( Avocet) Hide and watched Becs Lagoon. There was a big flock of Black Tailed Godwits. Many of them are looking splendid and sporting various levels of their brick red breeding plumage. I scanned them as thoroughly as I could for that ringed bird I saw last weekend. In regards to that ringed bird I had an update from the ringers and with the partial ring information ( the left leg) they could tell me it has been rung in Iceland. Would be great to get the right legs rings as being armed with that information we will be able to learn a great deal more about the birds history.

The Godwits were eventually joined  by the flock of Avocets and I gave them the same scrutiny. I found one bird that has coloured rings on both legs with letters and digits. I will be making some enquires concerning this bird also.

Becs Lagoon was particularly busy and it now seems to be the preferred spot for the waders this spring.

There were good numbers of Redshanks, Lapwings that looked like they have paired up and have started mobbing the crows and there were also a couple of Oystercatchers.

I got to see my first Wheatears of the year at the rear of the sea wall hide and perched up on a nearby fence was a Pied Wagtail.

The only raptor I saw all morning was a Buzzard that at one point circled over Priors Lagoon as if it was a Marsh Harrier. In doing so it caused quite a bit of panic.

I was joined by a friendly birder who pointed out to me that he had seen three Garganey Ducks on Priors Lagoon. Later I went back to the Snipe Platform and all three of these migratory ducks showed well albeit at a distance. The White Fronted Goose also came into view for a while. A few birders reported also seeing a Brent Goose in with the Canada Geese that as usual are legion on the reserve.

From Hide 2 I was very pleased to see a small flock of twenty or more Dunlins that had been joined by a single Ruff. I love capturing flight shots of the Dunlins as they fly so fast and it feels like quite an accomplishment some times to manage to freeze them a in a frame as they hurtle through the sky in tight formation.

After several hours on the reserve it was time for me to leave and find somewhere to warm up. A great start to the bank holiday weekend.

Todays bird list

  1. Shelduck
  2. Redshank
  3. Lapwing
  4. Dunlin
  5. Ringed Plover
  6. Little Ringed Plover
  7. Ruff
  8. Curlew
  9. Black Tailed Godwit
  10. Avocet
  11. Garganey
  12. Gadwall
  13. Shoveler
  14. Mallard
  15. Teal
  16. Wigeon
  17. Tufted Duck
  18. Bean Goose
  19. Greylag
  20. White Fronted Goose
  21. Canada Goose
  22. Starling
  23. Carrion Crow
  24. Magpie
  25. Little Egret
  26. Buzzard
  27. Cormorant
  28. Reed Bunting
  29. Skylark
  30. Wheatear
  31. Chiff Chaff
  32. Lesser Black Backed Gull
  33. Pheasant
  34. Coot
  35. Woodpigeon
  36. Swallow
  37. Sand Martin


  1. Superb! Looking forward even more to this Saturday (apart from the cold!!)

    1. Thanks John and I have been down again this evening!

  2. Glad you had a great day. Looks like I need to return soon after my first freed from lockdown visit last week. Enjoy your weekend.


Post a Comment

Popular Posts