The new habitats on Peto's and Share Marsh are filling up with a range of migrating birds which are stopping off to feed. Green, common and wood sandpipers can be seen feeding along the muddy edges of the scrapes and pools, adding to the beautiful soundtrack of the marshes with their distinctive calls. Sandpipers can be identified by their distinctive bobbing motion, similar to that of a pied wagtail. Green sandpipers are being spotted most days on Peto's Marsh at the moment, mostly seen on their own feeding along the scrape edges, calling loudly as they fly off looking like an oversized house martin. Green sandpipers rarely nest in the UK and are dissimilar to many of our common breeding wader species because they nest high in trees, using old birds nests and squirrel dreys. Other birds to see on the marshes include a great white egret, which has been seen regularly on the original scrape, and little ringed plover and little grebes which are still being seen regularly from the new Peto's hides.
The new boardwalk through Sprats Water will soon be open and just in time to get close up views of young buzzard and sparrowhawk cruising through the air calling loudly to their parents. Birds of prey are often their most obvious at this time of year, the young birds being less secretive as they call loudly whilst taking their early flights and still pestering their parents for food. A few weeks ago preparations were being made to attract hobbies to nest in this area of the reserve again, an artificial nest has been installed high in a tree overlooking the miniature broads with a nest camera ready in place. Fingers-crossed hobbies decide to breed next year in this desirable residence. Nest cameras have also been installed in a barn owl box and kestrel box, now home to jackdaws and stock doves, but come spring these cameras should hopefully make great viewing from the new visitor centre with a coffee and slice of cake.