Saturday 18 July 2020

Saturday 18th July

A Green Sandpiper that dropped into the saltmarsh behind the golf course for 15 minutes and departed high south at 05:20 was the first record in nearly two years. The growing flock of now 368 Oystercatcher include the return of 'H7', last seen here in Feb and was the bird that made the epic over-night journey to Co. Antrim from Dawlish Warren in Feb 2019. Max waterbird counts for the morning and evening tides were 274 Curlew, 97 Redshank, 43 Canada Goose, 35 Whimbrel, 19 Little Egret (the highest and only two-figure count here this year), seven Cormorant, six Shelduck, five Mute Swan, four Bar-tailed Godwit, three Dunlin, two each of Ringed Plover, Greenshank, Sanderling and Common Sandpiper; a Turnstone and the Slavonian Grebe.

Hundreds of Black-headed Gull on the morning tide included German colour-ringed 'XL10' and 'X2J7'; white colour-ringed '
26V3' from Hosehill Lake, Berkshire where ringed as a chick in April 2016; and colour-ringed '2RCJ' from Pitsea, Essex ringed in April 2016. Heat haze limited some ring reads but of the 73 Mediterranean Gull present there were two Belgian white colour-ringed birds '3VTR' and '3LL4'; and French colour-ring 'RE61'. The age classes of these Mediterranean Gulls was 22 juv, 9 fs, 12 ss and 30 ts/ adult. The masses of gulls also contained five Great Black-backed Gull, two Lesser Black-backed Gull, one ss Common Gull and a juv Yellow-legged Gull. At least 78 Sandwich Tern included the regular returning Welsh red colour-ringed 'KDB' and a Spanish white colour-ringed 'M9L'. Also in The Bight and on 'woodhenge' seven Common Tern and an adult Roseate Tern.
Roseate Tern on 'woodhenge' - Lee Collins
part of the large post-fledged Starling flock - Alan Keatley
A Stock Dove was along the Railway embankment. The bushes and dunes were comprehensively searched. A juv Buzzard perched in trees behind Crocus Compound was unusual; a Sparrowhawk carried prey off site and one of juv Kestrel was still on Warren Point where also the resident two non-breeding Raven can usually be found. 

Other notable totals were c.200 Starling, c.75 Linnet, 17 Magpie, 15 Goldfinch, 12 Greenfinch, ten Blackcap, eight Stonechat, seven Chiffchaff, six Whitethroat, some Cirl Bunting, three Willow Warbler, a singing Coal Tit and an early autumn arrival of a juvenile Redstart briefly. 
Water levels on the Main Pond have dropped substantially with still enough for 11 Mallard and an Aylesbury Duck. One or two ducklings from three broods in various stages of development trailed their parent birds among the emergent vegetation.

Just ten Common Scoter and five Gannet offshore. Swarms of gulls ascended in the evening to prey flying ants and a loose flock of 120 Swift drifted over west.

Wildlife news: a Broad-bodied Chasera Red Admiral
and a Short-tailed Field Vole sprinted across one of the fairways.  New for the year were European Beewolf Philanthus triangulum and Pantaloon Bee Dasypoda hirtipes.

European Beewolf Philanthus triangulum (left) and Pantaloon Bee Dasypoda hirtipes (right) - Alan Keatley

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