Trip Report: Levington Creek 6 April

Red Kite

A beautiful spring morning at Levington was enjoyed by those who came along.

Normally the highlights of a visit here are the waders and wildfowl but, on this visit, it was the birds of prey. Meeting at the car park, this started with a female Peregrine Falcon gliding over the trees. Proceeding down the east bank we had views of at least four Buzzards over the wood towards Nacton plus a Marsh Harrier quartering the reedbeds. The pair of Kestrels that nest locally were also active. A Sparrowhawk was noted from the Lagoons and on our return to the car park a superb male Red Kite was watched collecting nesting material in the adjacent field.

By contrast the waders and wildfowl were quiet, probably due to the very high spring tide and increasing southerly wind. A few Redshank, Curlew, Oystercatcher, Teal and Brent Geese were seen but little else.

These very high tides, which are increasing in number each year, totally flood the saltings which encourages the erosion rates of these prime habitats and means roosting areas for waders and wildfowl are covered so they have to move off, as well as decreasing the area available for roosting and feeding.

Several summer visitors were noted including a Swallow and around the car park, Blackcap, Chiffchaff and Cetti’s Warbler were all in full voice. Twelve Shelduck were holding one of their pre-breeding parliaments in the field near the car park, always a spring highlight of these handsome ducks as they parade to each other.

(Stephen Marginson)