Oystercatcher numbers increased again and individuals colour-ringed here in Feb 2018, but absent over the summer, were among those being re-sighted today. Also among those Oystercatchers returning (seen yesterday) were individuals from older ringing schemes here, ringed in 1997, 1992 and the oldest in 1989 – 29 years ago! These are impressively long-lived birds.
Other counts within the recording areas of the estuary included c.985 Black-headed Gull, 540 Oystercatcher, 272 Curlew, 153 Redshank, 78+ Sandwich Tern, 48 Dunlin, 25 Whimbrel, 22 Great Black-backed Gull, seven Ringed Plover, five Bar-tailed Godwit, four Common Gull, three each of Little Egret, Black-tailed Godwit, Greenshank and Knot, single Shelduck, Turnstone and Lesser Black-backed Gull, and the resident Slavonian Grebe.
In the evening, four Swift and c20 Swallow joined gulls and terns anting overhead. A juv Peregrine flew through and from the largely ignored bushes two Willow Warbler were heard in passing.
A Belgian ringed Mediterranean Gull - Lee Collins