Check in to the Brands Bay hide this month, as the falling tide exposes the mud, and you’ll be well entertained. Ducks and waders that have nested in northern latitudes arrive for the winter and, together with the residents, make a great show. Look for black-tailed godwit, dunlin and grey plover, some still in summer plumage. Whimbrel, greenshank and common sandpiper are ‘passing through’, all with distinctive calls that are easy to learn. Shelduck, pintail, wigeon and teal sift the mud for small snails or graze the vegetation and Brent geese will be back before the month’s end.
But don’t overlook the regular, everyday species. Redshanks for example are full of character; restless, bossy and bold. Their loud, piping alarm calls alert other birds of potential threats earning them the name ‘Sentinel of the Marsh’.