Return to the wall of gold


It was really good to be back on patch today and return to my favourite place. I arrived about thirty minutes before dawn and stood at the entrance to the reserve listening to the dawn chorus. The airwaves were alive with the sounds of birds. Since my last visit back in early March there are a few new songs being added to the chorus now. Chiff Chaffs , Blackcaps and Willow Warblers were banging out their greatest hits. The loudest of all were the Cetti's and Wrens. Blackbirds, Robins and  a distant Song Thrush could be heard. Adding to the dawn chorus was the percussion of a Greater Spotted Woodpecker drumming on a nearby tree.

Chiffchaffs can be hear throughout the reserve singing

As I started to walk into the reserve there was a loud "sploosh" in the reen near the car park and a Otter popped up its head, sniffed the air, looked at me and then slipped under the waters , swum through the tunnel under the path and headed off to the main ream. All I could see was the small bow wave on the surface of the water has it slipped away out of sight.

I visited the Greenshank Hide first ( Hide 1). What a joy it was to hear the calls of Avocets, Redshanks and Lapwings. Looking out onto Monks Lagoon the rising sun was starting to illuminate it all a warm orange colour.

I turned around and looked out of the door and a blood red fireball was starting its ascent into the heavens. Wow, it felt great to be back.

A very red coloured sun rise

To my left I saw two big white birds drop into the lagoon and was thrilled to see a pair of Great White Egrets. These big heron like birds seem to be make an appearance a lot more frequently now.

Great White Egrets

Scanning the reeds to the far right of Monks Lagoons I found a small flock of Redshanks. In amongst them were two Spotted Redshanks.

Spotted Redshanks

A nice flock of Black-Tailed Godwits is starting to form and some of them are turning into their fantastic breeding plumage.

Suddenly alarm calls reached a high crescendo and the Avocets were up mobbing a pair of Carrion Crows. A Marsh Harrier later came in quartering the lagoons and was given a hard time by the same crows. Quite ironic really.

A Marsh Harrier scraps with a Carrion Crow

I was joined by a couple of my birding friends and it was good to catch up and enjoy the birding together.

I decided to take a tour of the reserve and see how the reserve was fairing in general. The Redshank Platform was out of action as it is in the progress of having some repair work done - its in rather dismantled stated at the moment.

The Redshank Platform looking a little worse for wear

I picked out a single Ruff on Monks Island from Hide 2.

The Marsh Platform is looking in a sorry state and the repair work is in progress by the looks of things.

By the time I got to the seawall the sun was shining and it was warming up. It was good being back on the seawall. In the morning sun had lit the yellow lichen up and it really did look like a wall of gold.

Yellow Lichens that have turned the seawall gold.

The golden seawall

I was disappointed to not see a single Wheatear despite searching for some time. I carried on to the seawall and spotted the two Great White Egrets again on Becs Lagoon.

There was quite a flock of Shelduck on Becs and a small flock of Avocets that have started to pair up.

At one point a Peregrine Falcon came hurtling in and caused some mayhem before swooping away over the seawall.

Peregrine Falcon

On my way back it was good to see a Willow Warbler singing away in amongst the Hawthorn Blossom.

As usual Goldcliff delivered a great mornings birdwatch.

Hawthorn Blossom is looking beautiful

Species List

  1. Black-Tailed Godwits
  2. Avocet
  3. Spotted Redshank
  4. Redshank
  5. Lapwing
  6. Oystercatcher
  7. Ringed Plover
  8. Dunlin
  9. Great White Egret
  10. Little Egret
  11. Grey Heron
  12. Canada Goose
  13. Greylag
  14. Wigeon
  15. Mallard
  16. Teal
  17. Shelduck
  18. Gadwall
  19. Shoveler
  20. Coot
  21. Moorhen
  22. Mute Swan
  23. Lesser Black-Backed Gull
  24. Raven
  25. Carrion Crow
  26. Magpie
  27. Blackbird
  28. Blue Tit
  29. Great Tit
  30. Cettis Warbler
  31. Willow Warbler
  32. Chiff Chaff
  33. Wren
  34. Peregrine
  35. Marsh Harrier
  36. Wood pigeon
  37. Great Spotted Woodpecker
  38. Skylark
  39. Blackcap
  40. Cormorant
  41. Kingfisher
  42. Mallard
  43. Pheasant
  44. Tufted Duck
  45. Goldfinch
  46. Collared Dove


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