Lincolnshire Coastal Country Park bird sightings

Marsh Warbler

Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust's Coast and The Wash Assistant Warden, Richard Doan, has been keeping a tally of the bird species that visited the coastal area from Chapel North Sea Observatory to Sandilands in the past 12 months.

A total of 217 bird species were recorded in the area during the year, which is quite a spectacular total. To put this into perspective, very few areas within the county (or country) manage to record more than 200 bird species over one year. Gibraltar Point is the only exception to this within Lincolnshire, which records on average 220-230 species per year. 

Furthermore in 2020 the  area hosted three national rarities which include Great Snipe at Sandilands, Caspian Tern at Huttoft Pit and Little Bittern again at Huttoft Pit. These species require submission forms to be sent to the British Birds Rarity Committee (BBRC) for confirmation. These three species alone make the area the most productive in Lincolnshire during 2020 in terms of rare bird species.

Pair of Marsh Harriers
Pair of Marsh Harriers at Sandilands in Lincolnshire
Pair of Marsh Harriers

In addition to these, the area also hosted three breeding species specially protected under the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981. These species include Marsh Harrier (two breeding pairs at Anderby Creek and Chapel Pit which fledged four chicks between them), Barn Owl (breeding around Huttoft) and Cetti’s Warbler (10+ breeding pairs spread throughout). The Cetti’s Warbler breeding density is possibly the highest in Lincolnshire.

Female barn owl chick
Female barn owl chick
Female barn owl chick

A fourth species in the form of a Marsh Warbler held a territory at Wolla Bank Reedbed, which was very exciting; again to put this into perspective the UK hosts fewer than five breeding pairs on an average year. The Marsh Warbler remained in the area setting up a strong territory for six days over June; on the last day it was observed in the coastal scrub showing strong signs of breeding activity. If this isn’t exciting enough, a second bird was later found singing at Chapel Six Marshes. These could very possibly have been a pair (males and females both sing) but unfortunately no nests were confirmed.

Whooper Swan in flight
Whooper Sswan in flight
Whooper Swan in flight

Add to this: wintering roosts of Red-throated Diver (of national importance), roosting starlings (peaking at 120,000 birds at Chapel Six Marshes), herd of Whooper Swans and numerous skeins of Pink-footed Geese. Spectacular migration spectacles of thousands of passerines, waders and seabirds during the spring and summer. High breeding densities of Sedge and Reed Warblers throughout.

Reed Warbler
Reed Warbler
Reed Warbler
" I have no doubt that future habitat management in selected areas could also establish breeding Bittern and Bearded Tit. Both of these species are also specially protected under schedule one of the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981."
- Richard Doan, Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust's Coast and The Wash Assistant Warden
Bearded tit
Bearded tit
Bearded tit