The bench up on the south-east corner of Island Pit has become our favourite stop for coffee and home-made flapjack. It ended up being a slow walk up there. A redwing on the dead tree opposite the Hayden Hide was enjoying the rays of sunshine and, unusually for the species, stayed there for as long as we wanted to watch it. We heard and saw many more as we walked up. However, where are the fieldfares?  I’ve only seen one on the reserve so far this Autumn/Winter. Lots of wigeon and goldeneye on Heronry South and the small birds were on Peter’s Field, including a brambling, amongst the chaffinches.

We bumped into Jackie, who visits regularly and takes lots of lovely photos, by Wash-Out Pit. She said there was a great white egret on Island Pit. She also told us about the redpoll she’d seen yesterday near the Moorings and how it was only when she downloaded at home, that she realised what it was. The many uses of photography! 

So, onto Island Pit with the hope of seeing the great white.  I started to organise coffee as Mike looked through his binos. He said I’d better come and look! In the far corner, there was the great white sitting on a fallen tree on the edge of the water in the sunshine and to its’ left a heron, above it a little egret and to the right a cormorant!  I don’t think I have seen them all so close together before. I then set to, to take some photos though the scope with my phone and a male and female goosander swam through! In my excitement, the photo was terrible, but the memory brilliant!  Even better, there was a green sandpiper to the left of all this.

It will be interesting to see the results of the WeBS at the end of the month, if the weather stays cold and frosty.

More birds are being drawn in, in the recent days of frosty mornings, as feeding becomes more difficult for them. We tend to see an increase in the number of goldcrests on the reserve during winter months.  Some of these may be ones that have migrated from Northern Europe.  They are the lightest bird to fly over the North Sea. Firecrests also migrate in smaller numbers.  We do not usually see them on the reserve.  However, in the last couple of days, one was reported in Rory’s Wood. Other small birds are also visiting the reserve. Chaffinches, a bird I do not see in my garden these days, linnets and a few brambling are to be seen around Peter’s Field.

Don’t forget, please let us know your wildlife sightings at Paxton Pits either by email: or write them in the wildlife sightings book in the Visitor Centre. The Visitor Centre volunteers will show you where the book is and make you a hot drink at the same time.

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