Sunday, 8 November 2020

Sunday 8th November

Humid, warm, overcast and with a light southerly, these balmy conditions were in sharp contrast to that of just two days ago when the weather was characterised by frosts, clear skies and a bitter cold northerly.

From early morning passage was noted offshore and later in remarkably clear and calm conditions, there were a few rafts of Wigeon, 105+ Gannet (flew S), 21 Common Scoter, singles and small flocks of mixed auks; six Great Northern Diver, four Great Crested Grebe, three Red-throated Diver and a Kittiwake.

Overhead visible migration was virtually non-existent with one flock of 140 Woodpigeon (SW), 85 Redwing departed NW & NE at dawn; 23 Jackdaw (NE!), 13 Siskin (NE), six Chaffinch (NE), three Song Thrush (NE), two Rook, two Skylark, a Golden Plover (S.

The late morning tide continued the cycle toward neaps and noticeably fewer waders than yesterday, partly due to the exposure of some of Cockle Sands and -   what is an increasingly rarified event these days - that area was not disturbed by kite-surfers. Some reduced counts then were c.675 Dunlin, 497 Oystercatcher (plus c.270 on Cockle Sands); 123 Dark-bellied Brent Goose, 61+ Redshank, 40 Knot, 35 Ringed Plover, 32 Grey Plover, 30+ Turnstone, 28 Bar-tailed Godwit, 27 Shelduck, 22 Cormorant, 20+ Canada Goose, ten Greenshank, nine Sanderling, seven Curlew, three Mute Swan (yesterday's newly arrived immatures), another two Great Crested Grebe, two Little Egret (another far out at sea and ten more foraged in Eastdon Fields); a Whimbrel, a Red-breasted Merganser, a Little Grebe, the Slavonian Grebe and the usual drake Eider. Wigeon and Teal were not counted due to boat disturbance from Eales Dock.

On the Main Pond, 13 Mallard departed pre-dawn; three Shoveler, Water Rail, another Little Grebe also. In the woods, eight Goldcrest, six Chiffchaff (all P. c. collybita) single-figures of tits including a Coal Tit, two Lesser Redpoll and single Great Spotted Woodpecker, Green Woodpecker and Bullfinch. A feverishly active flock of 30 Long-tailed Tit gained height NE from Windmill but was probably the same flock seen back in the village some time later. Around the Greenland Lake area, a mixed flock of c.70 Goldfinch, c.30 Greenfinch, c.20 Meadow Pipit and c.10 Linnet; also two Reed Bunting and a Kestrel. Also on site, c.70 Starling near the shops, six Stonechat, six Cirl Bunting and a Raven on Warren Point.

The exceptional run continues and with 80 species recorded today is the twelve date in 2020 with 80 species, which equals the annual record set in 2010 when such records began.

Wildlife news: two Water Vole swam about in the Main Pond and another 'plop' was heard in Entrance Pond.

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