Tuesday, 7 February 2023

Tuesday 7th February

A day of two halves with dense freezing fog most of the morning, clearing to a bright sunny, if not warm, afternoon. By the time the fog had lifted the tide had gone out, so it was not possible to make any meaningful estuary counts although at least one Greenshank was particularly vocal.

Elsewhere 105 Dark-bellied Brent Geese were feeding on the beach at low tide, 19 Great Crested Grebe were offshore, four Shoveler were on the Main Pond and in Greenland Lake, 16 Skylark, three Redwing and a Snipe.

Wildlife News: Insects were more active than of late in the sunshine, with the first butterfly of the year on the wing, a Red Admiral. Other species new for the year included Seven-spot and Pine Ladybird, several Gorse Shieldbug, a Sea-spurrey weevil Hypera arator and new for the Recording Area, the rove beetle Actocharis readingii. This minute, flightless species, (less than 2mm) is confined to coastal areas of the south west so its presence here has presumably been long-overlooked.

Hypera arator - Alan Keatley

Gorse Shieldbug - Alan Keatley

Pine Ladybird - Alan Keatley

Sunday, 5 February 2023

Sunday 5th February

The Dartford Warbler reappeared by the Visitor Centre briefly with 11 Skylark and single Redwing, Kestrel and Sparrowhawk on site, four Teal, three Shoveler and two Little Grebe on the Main Pond and three Red-throated Diver and the two Eider offshore.

Skylark - Elizabeth Mulgrew

Saturday, 4 February 2023

Saturday 4th February

Offshore first thing a roosting flock of just 11 Red-breasted Merganser, this winter's peak count (cf. 204 in Dec 2000), also present five Red-throated and three Great Northern Diver, 36 Great Crested Grebe (cf. 132 in Jan 2018), five Common Scoter and the two immature male Eider.

Elsewhere 143 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 32 Wigeon and a Greenshank were in the estuary at low tide, with 319 Black-headed, 70 Common and a Mediterranean Gull. In the bushes three Great Spotted and a Green Woodpecker, three Goldcrest, two Redwing and a Chiffchaff, with two male Shoveler on the Main Pond.

Thursday, 2 February 2023

Thursday 2nd February

A low tide visit saw 99 Dark-bellied Brent Geese on the mudflats with another 28 feeding at Langstone Rock with a Greenshank in the estuary and offshore a mobile flock of 61 Common Scoter, 15 Great Crested Grebe and three Red-throated Diver.

Elsewhere four Shoveler were on the Main Pond with 15 Greenfinch, 12 Long-tailed Tit and 10 Redwing in the Entrance Bushes and a flock of 51 Goldfinch west overhead.

Oystercatcher - Alan Keatley

Tuesday, 31 January 2023

Tuesday 31st January

Three Red-throated Diver flew south early morning with 21 Great Crested Grebe, five Razorbill and the two immature male Eider also offshore. Elsewhere 10 Meadow Pipit and two Stonechat in Greenland Lake hinted at some movement, with two Shoveler on the Main Pond, a mobile Grey Wagtail and, roaming with 11 Long-tailed Tita Chiffchaff.

Few birds in the estuary on the low tide with 75 Dark-bellied Brent Geese on the mudflats and a pair of Red-breasted Merganser off Cockwood. 

Euselis incisus - Alan Keatley

Wildlife News: The temperatures continue to limit the number of flying insects, but other invertebrates could be found with the first Nursery Web Spider Pisaura mirabilis of the year, a nymph of a grass leafhopper Euselis incisus and several Paederus littoralis, a predatory rove beetle. Three Grey and the Common Seal were again hauled out on the barge in the estuary. 

Nursery Web Spider - Dean Hall

Paederus littoralis - Alan Keatley

Monday, 30 January 2023

Monday 30th January

A Dartford Warbler seen early afternoon along the Back Path is presumed to be the same elusive bird seen earlier this month. 

Sunday, 29 January 2023

Sunday 29th January

The two juvenile Spoonbill were on Finger Point at high tide with 150 Teal, 82 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 57 Turnstone, 55 Redshank, 50 Shelduck, 27 Ringed Plover, 11 Wigeon, five Greenshank, three Avocet and single Black-tailed Godwit and Kingfisher also in the estuary. A Sparrowhawk was the only disturbance on today's tide.

Elsewhere a welcome increase to 17 Red-throated Diver offshore, with 80 auk sp., 28 Great Crested Grebe, 10 Common Scoter, six Red-breasted Merganser and the two immature male Eider, whilst two Shoveler, two Water Rail and two Little Grebe on the Main Pond, single Chiffchaff and Goldcrest in the bushes and two Rook and a Grey Wagtail overhead.

Wildlife News: The three Grey and single Common Seal were in the estuary.

Saturday, 28 January 2023

Saturday 28th January

In the estuary two paragliders illegally flushed the birds both before and during high tide, those flushed included 1,340 Dunlin, 216 Teal, 188 Bar-tailed Godwit, 166 Grey Plover, 108 Knot, 67 Shelduck, 52 Snipe, 47 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 30 Ringed Plover, 29 Sanderling, 10 Wigeon, four Greenshank, three Avocet and the two Spoonbill.

Two immature male Eider were offshore with 34 Great Crested Grebe, seven Razorbill, five Red-breasted Merganser, five Common Scoter and three Red-throated Diver. Elsewhere three Water Rail and two Shoveler were at the Main Pond, two Goldcrest, a Chiffchaff and a Redwing were in the bushes and a Cetti's Warbler was again the Buffer Zone.

Friday, 27 January 2023

Friday 27th January

The two Spoonbill were on Finger Point over the high tide with counts from the estuary including 1000+ Oystercatcher, with 47 colour-ringed birds recorded, 172 Teal, 153 Curlew, 146 Grey Plover, 86 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 56 Shelduck, 26 Ringed Plover, 12 Turnstone, 10 Wigeon, five Greenshank and three Avocet.

Elsewhere 14 Great Crested Grebe were offshore and the first Pheasant of the year was on the Golf Course.

Cirl Bunting - Dave Jewell

Thursday, 26 January 2023

Thursday 26th January

The two juvenile Spoonbill made a return visit over the morning tide with 20 Sanderling, three Avocet and a Black-tailed Godwit also noted along with over 50 different colour-ringed birds. The Sandwich Tern was flying strongly in the morning, but it was later found on the beach being attacked by gulls and despite being taken into care, may have met its end.

Elsewhere the first Buzzard of the year was over the Entrance Bushes, 20 Great Crested Grebe were offshore an a male and two female Shoveler were on the Main Pond.

Oystercatcher - Alan Keatley

Ringing News: The two Oystercatcher above, JP & KN, have spent much of the winter feeding in Greenland Lake. Ringed here in Oct 2021 there is still much to learn from these birds. 

Wildlife News: Three Grey Seal were again hauled out on the barge this afternoon.