Saturday 1 August 2020

Saturday 1st August

Both high tides received coverage and yesterday's adult summer-plumage Curlew Sandpiper was present on the morning tide only. Another Green Sandpiper rose from the estuary early morning and departed south. An impressive 11+ were seen at one site at the top end of the estuary this morning. Other waterbird counts in the estuary were 570 Oystercatcher, 376 Curlew, 182 Canada Goose departed from roost shortly after dawn; 142 Redshank, 118 Dunlin, including a plain orange and yellow coded '4U3' from Wales; also 57 Whimbrel, 67 Ringed Plover, including a metal Norwegian-ringed individual, 12 Mute Swan, ten Greenshank, eight Great Black-backed Gullfive Little Egretfive Bar-tailed Godwit, three Knot, three Common Sandpiper, a Turnstone, a Mallard, an adult Grey Heron and the Slavonian Grebe. Along the railway embankment were two Stock Dove.
Welsh-ringed Dunlin - Lee Collins
The wader island aka 'woodhenge' hosted 72 Sandwich Tern, including a yellow colour-ringed Irish individual; four Common Tern, again an all-red billed bird were present, and presumably yesterday's adult Roseate Tern present on the morning tide only.

Along the beach tideline 27 Sanderling and some of today's 20 Mediterranean Gull (3 juvs, 2 fs, 1ss, 14 adult) accompanied 305 Black-headed Gull, as did two Common Gull. And as the tide ebbed further to expose Pole Sands, Bull Hill and and mudflats, c.1685 Herring Gull descended to loaf.

Just 13 Gannet offshore, nine Common Scoter and three Manx Shearwater offshore. In the early evening at this of the year, Kittiwake return with prey from their daily commute hunting out at sea to feed their near fledged young at the Straight Point colony. It's not uncommon for skuas to exploit this opportunity, so can be a good time of day to look out for them but can be distant and whilst a dark phase Arctic Skua was identified, another skua harrying a Kittiwake was either Pomarine or Arctic.

The pair of Mute Swan with their two cygnets and a Little Grebe were on the Main Pond; at least a dozen Reed Warbler, including young were still being fed on this and at other ponds on site.

Overhead, ten Swift, nine Swallow, two House Martin, an unseasonal Golden Plover and a Yellow Wagtail. Two of four Raven flew SW and nine of the 13 Lesser Black-backed Gull seen today flew south in the first obvious autumn movement of this species.

A mixed feeding flock boosted numbers in the bushes where counts were of 19 Blue Tit, 15 Chiffchaff, 12 Stonechat, nine Blackcap, five Long-tailed Tit, four Whitethroat, three Willow Warbler, three Great Tit, three Collared Dove, two Sparrowhawk, a Great Spotted Woodpecker, a Song Thrush and remarkably still here, the juv Redstart first seen on 18th July.   

juv Redstart - Lee Collins
On Warren Point a single flock contained c.240 Starling and two Kestrel hovered overhead.

Wildlife news:Red-tipped Clearwing Synanthedon formicaeformis a 'National Scarce B' was a new species for the site. Butterflies on the wing were one or two Red AdmiralClouded Yellow and Brown Argus, plus regular species GatekeeperCommon Blue and Small White. One of the two Emperor Dragonfly hunted behind the hide.
Red-tipped Clearwing Synanthedon formicaeformis - Alan Keatley

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