Saturday 19 October 2019

Saturday 19th October

Given a respite after eight straight days of rain and showers, before dawn observers assembled on the dune ridge and looked skyward, encouraged by the calmer, dryer conditions. Movement began slowly then picked up with the day's highlight through at 08:30, the site's ninth Richard's Pipit. It called a few times and passed by so low to suggest it may have taken off from Greenland Lake before flying off southwest. An impressive 391 Jackdaw flew WSW (the site's eighth highest count, all higher counts were also in October); also on the move with some birds having dropped in for a while were 66 Pied/White Wagtail, 55 Goldfinch, c.50 Meadow Pipit, 26 Skylark, 14 Rook, seven Song Thrush, five Chaffinch, two Lesser Redpoll, two Siskin and a Golden Plover circled around before it then flew off south.  The abundance of bird-life drew in the interest of a single Peregrine and a Sparrowhawk, but the semi-resident male Kestrel ignored being harried by Linnets and concentrated on hovering in its hunt for voles.

The Cetti's Warbler was calling from the Main Pond and another was tentatively reported in bushes, which otherwise supported only two Reed Bunting, two Blackcap and a Chiffchaff, in addition to the usual Cirl Buntings.  There was nothing to report at sea. A couple of Water Rail squealed from the Main Pond reed-beds.

During the late morning high tide, the Warren Point roost sites, The Bight and estuary corner supported 955 Wigeon, 386 Redshank, 322 Curlew, 236 Dark-bellied Brent Goose, 171 Teal, 120 Black-tailed Godwit (a red flag and multi-colour-ringed bird was likely from an Icelandic scheme); 55 Bar-tailed Godwit, 49 Turnstone, 26 Cormorant, 19 Knot and 16 Dunlin, although an additional 147 decided instead to roost on the railway embankment north of Cockwood Harbour and outside the recording area. Also present were 15 Great Black-backed Gull, 14 Greenshank, 12 Mute Swan, five Little Egret, four Grey Heron, four Sanderling, three Mediterranean Gull, three Sandwich Tern, the pair of escapee Black Swan, two Red-breasted Merganser, a Great Crested Grebe, the resident Slavonian Grebe, a Ringed Plover, a Ruff and a late Whimbrel

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