The Last Few Hours of Daylight at Lackford Lakes

Angela Lord

The following is running commentary taken from various wildlife guides scattered around the Kingfisher trail on Sunday 13th January 2019 during our Bedtime at Lackford event.

2pm – Bedtime watch begins

2:10pm Black-headed gulls start arriving at the sailing lake.

2:17pm 100 Lapwing seen at Bernard’s hide. Also a gulp of cormorants!

2:22pm A Goldeneye touches down on the sailing lake

2:23pm Shelduck at Bernard hide

2:30pm Now 3 Goldeneye on the sailing lake

2:37pm  50 cormorants on the island on the sailing lake

2:41pm  A small group of teal close to Bernard’s Hide

2:47pm  A redwing is keeping us company at the viewing platform

3:00pm  A steady flow of gulls across the sailing lake

3:05pm  The first pair of reed buntings arrive near viewing platform

3:05pm  Peregrine over Bernard’s hide in pursuit of a lapwing

3:22pm  A muntjac deer swam across in front of the viewing platform

3:24pm  A scattering of gulls now across the sailing lake

3:27pm  A lesser black-backed gull was seen circling among the other gulls

3:35pm  About 300 reed buntings altogether near the platform at the sailing lake

3:44pm  A water rail was heard in the reedbed in front of the viewing platform

3:47pm  Kingfisher at Bernard’s Hide

3:49pm  Several thousand gulls now over the sailing lake

3:51pm  Murmuration of about 300 starlings over the sailing lake

3:54pm  Little egret flew west to roost somewhere

3:55pm now 80 cormorants in trees at back of sailing lake, bedding down for the night

3:55pm  last visit of the day from the long-tailed tits to the feeders at the centre before heading off to find a place to spend the night

3:56pm  starling numbers are increasing over the sailing lake – maybe up to 4000 birds across two groups

4pm both groups of starlings now merged over the sailing lake

4pm small numbers of starlings already went to bed in the reeds- getting an early night

4:03pm  gulls now flying around like a blizzard over the sailing lake

4:05pm thousands of gulls still flying in from the east to join the thousands already on the lake, some settling on the slough before moving to the sailing lake

4:08pm 200 starlings now circling high above the reeds in front of the centre

4.09pm more reed buntings continue to drop out of the sky to bed in the reeds

4.10pm The group of 200 starlings join those over the sailing lake

4.15pm  as the light fades over the sailing lakes, the gulls are showing up well on the sailing lake

4.16pm starlings have moved to the front of the centre – for a great display before drifting back towards the sailing lake

4.20pm starlings settled in tree at the back of the sailing lake – still waiting for bedtime

4.24pm Female mallard on Kingfisher post in centre pool – ready for a nights’ sleep!

4.26pm It is now quite dull but still can see a little so we are still watching the slough and viewing platform

4:30pm A tiny wren has just done an inspection of the viewing platform for a last-minute bedtime snack.

4:35pm The thousands of starlings quickly arrive from the sailing lake direction and disappeared into the reeds.

4:41pm darkness descends on the reserve.


This action towards the end of the day takes place daily during the winter months at the lakes.  It is normally best during January.

Gull roost at Lackford Lakes

Mike Andrews

Starlings 2 at Lackford Lakes

Angela Lord