Top of the Bill at Goldcliff

Adult Spoonbill

 At this time of year you just never know what may turn up at Goldcliff Lagoons. I must admit ever since I started visiting the reserve which now feels like an age ago I have rarely left the lagoons having not seen something really good.

There is usually something to shout about - a "Top of the Bill" bird. Well, today that top bird was a pair of Spoonbills.

These magnificent looking birds were late to the party today and did not make an appearance until mid-morning.

I had arrived at dawn today and was soon joined by my fellow birding friend Hugh Gregory on the Redshank Platform.

We enjoyed a catch-up and watched the dawn together with another birder who joined us.

A stoic looking wildlife photographer

The sun breaks through

Sunrise from the Redshank Platform

Monks Lagoon was quite busy today considering it was low tide. A female and male Marsh Harrier swept in at first light and caused some chaos on the reserve. A Peregrine was also seen doing its best to intimidate the bird residents.

There was quite a brisk wind and some of the waders were sheltering on Monks Island. The flock consisted of Redshank, Dunlins and Black Tailed Godwits. I did not see the Spotted Redshank today.

The wader flock

We walked to the seawall and braved the wind. The tide was right out and the foreshore was very quiet. Priors Lagoon had twelve Avocets floating on it. The water levels have gone incredibly high after all the rain we have had this week so there was not a great deal of waders on the banks throughout the reserve.

I was hoping to see some Wheatears today but drew a blank so I decided to find some shelter in the seawall hide. It was good to catch up with some of my birding friends from Bristol, Cardiff and Kevin Wood.

The birds are that away!

Whilst we were catching up, Kev spotted a Brent ( Pale Bellied) Goose drop in on Becs Lagoons which was a nice spot.

Brent Goose (Pale-Bellied)

The goose ended up being just about the most exciting bird I had seen all morning so after an hour or so with no sign of anything else turning up I ended up walking back around the reserve - with some friends to keep me company.

Eventually, we reached the Redshank Platform again and Hugh called me over excitedly to tell me the stars of today's show had arrived - the Spoonbills.

Big thanks to Hugh as I had no idea they had dropped in.

Another good morning and I really enjoyed the company of everyone today.


  1. Cracking top photo of the ad. spoonbill in breeding plumage. I'll share that on twitter if that's Ok with you.


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