Saturday 21 November 2020

Saturday 21st November

Comprehensive and sustained coverage in conditions conducive to observations enabled collation of a solid set of counts and an impressive day-list of 79 species. However, disturbance to the site's entire assemblage of estuarine waterbirds was caused by a kayaker and persons scaling over fencing with warning signs.  On these occasions, local birders and patrolling staff weren't able to intercept to educate them, as is normal practice. 

The first hour of light was spent sea-watching, which was productive with 215 Kittiwake, c.120 Gannet, c.80 auk spp that comprised of both Razorbill and Guillemot; 12 Great Northern Diver, 11 Red-throated Diver, 37 Common Scoter, seven Great Crested Grebe and three Fulmar.

After the disturbance events, birds settled down and the ebbing mid-morning tide received a lot of attention.  A full run-down of counts were c.825 Oystercatcher (so missing c.200 somewhere); 520 Black-tailed Godwit arrived from the direction of Starcross to feed along the receding waterline opposite Railway Saltmarsh; at least two were colour-ringed, one was ringed on the Axe Estuary and another was apparently ringed on the Humber Estuary; 1,486 Dunlin, 315 Wigeon, 313 Teal, 137 Redshank, 130 Dark-bellied Brent Goose, 124 Grey Plover, 107 Black-headed Gull, 82 Knot, 68 Bar-tailed Godwit, 66 Turnstone, including six below Langstone Rock; 38 Common Gull, 37 Ringed Plover, 21 Cormorant, 14 Curlew, ten Sanderling, ten Greenshank, eight Red-breasted Merganser, eight Shag, including a few offshore, six Canada Goose, five Mute Swan, five Little Egret, a few Common Snipe, just four Great Black-backed Gull, two Lesser Black-backed Gull, two Grey Heron, two Kingfisher, another Great Crested Grebe, the drake Eider and 'Herbert' the Slavonian Grebe. A Peregrine also briefly spooked the waders.

On Main Pond, three Shoveler, at least of couple each of Moorhen and Water Rail, another Mute Swan, a trilling Little Grebe, the resident female Mallard and the now regular drake farmyard duck-thing. 

Through the wooded area and with some that roamed up site nearly a far as the hide, a flock of 26 Long-tailed Tit 'carried' a number of other birds that included some of the ten Chiffchaff of which one presumed Scandinavian Chiffchaff P. c. abietinus, eight Goldcrest, seven Blue Tit, two Great Tit, a Coal Tit and the Firecrest was vocal and showy along Butterfly Ride. Also two Great Spotted Woodpecker, two Song Thrush, two Bullfinch and a Sparrowhawk. Scattered throughout, most as small feeding flocks and some on the bird-feeders, 36 Goldfinch, 31 Greenfinch, 16 Linnet, six Meadow Pipit, six Cirl Bunting, four Chaffinch and three Siskin. Two Raven flew over Warren Point; five Stonechat; and at least one of the Rock Pipit on site was a Scandinavian Rock Pipit but was not seen well enough to determine if it was ringed. 

Firecrest - Alan Keatley

A Jay that flew toward the site landed in trees along the landward side of the railway line was, sadly, just outside of this strictly observed site boundary; the last individual to make it on site was back in Oct 2018.

Wildlife news: a little above average for the time of year at 12°C, a few bumblebees and single hoverflies Eupeodes luniger and a Syrphus ribesii were active and still quite a few flowers in bloom.

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