Sunday 12 July 2020

Sunday 12th July

Another weekend day with blazing hot sunshine again attracted out visitors in vast numbers to engage in activities that were not always compatible with the internationally important wildlife interests of this site, nor of each other, with both offshore swimming and jet-skiing close inshore going on. Local birders and Habitat Mitigation Officers were kept busy with offers of friendly and helpful advice to the public.

Some birding was also possible today and on the neap noon tide there was c.450 Black-headed Gull, 299 Curlew, 254 Oystercatcher and 70 Sandwich Tern (including 17 juveniles) with yellow-ringed 'K0D' as a pullus at Lady's  Island, Co. Wexford, Ireland in 2018.  Also 68 Redshank, 50 Mediterranean Gull, 13 Sanderling, 11 Mute Swan, 11 Whimbrel, nine Dunlin, eight Cormorant, eight Bar-tailed Godwit; five Little Egret, four Great Black-backed Gull, four Ringed Plover, three Common Sandpiper, the pair of Canada Goose with their three goslings.  Two Goosander continued to fish in the shallows.  The two unringed Roseate Tern were the same birds present here yesterday.  Also present were singles of Teal, Grey Heron, Lesser Black-backed Gull and the resident Slavonian Grebe, which given its legendary status was respectfully tolerated as it swam within the regal flotilla of swans down the estuary.

Offshore was quiet with single figures of Gannet and a Great Crested Grebe. Over the past few weeks, the skyline has been dominated by two huge and towering cruise ships - Carnival Magic (305 metres long) and Carnival Valor (292 metres long). Both have now left our waters, bound for Zeebrugge and Weymouth Bay, respectively with skeleton crews aboard.

Overhead, the autumn's first Sand Martin and a particularly early adult male Yellow Wagtail.

Wildlife news: a Golden-ringed dragonfly delighted a number of visitors behind the hide.  Butterflies seen today included lots of Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown, Common Blue, Small Skipper; a few Small White, Speckled Wood, two Holly Blue high in the canopy of Entrance Bushes and a Peacock

Golden-ringed Dragonfly behind hide - Dave Jewell

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