Sunday 23 August 2020

Sunday 23rd August

Present for its sixth day, the Melodious Warbler was again the highlight for a steady trickle of visitors and it performed well at times in its favoured area of brambles just beyond the timber-clad flood wall; it also twice uttered a sparrow-like chatter call.  A remark on Twitter from a visitor about the helpfulness of birders to each other to see this bird was widely applauded.  

The bushes received good coverage but no counts and no scarcer migrants were reported today. More remote parts of the reserve supported c.75 Linnet, eight Stonechat and three Wheatear. Overhead, only c.10 Swallow, two House Martin and single Sand Martin and Swift continued a poor run of hirundines this autum

The fresh westerly was not conducive to seawatching which only produced a few Gannet and Kittiwake, six distant Manx Shearwater, four Common Scoter (another remained in the estuary) and two Fulmar. Most of the 26 Lesser Black-backed Gull today were offshore and flew south.

During the high tide, as usual nearly all of the
 314 Curlew, 87 Redshank, 19 Mute Swan, 17 Whimbrel, 15 Mediterranean Gull, 14 Little Egret, 11 Greenshank, nine Bar-tailed Godwit, three Black-tailed Godwit and single Grey Heron and the Slavonian Grebe roosted on the Railway Saltmarsh or floated beside the railway embankment.  The 265 Dunlin, 145+ Ringed Plover, five Turnstone, ten Sanderling and three Knot were along the beach and in The Bight; as usual most of the 794 Oystercatcher, 26 Cormorant and c.20 Great Black-backed Gull roosted on Finger Point.  Perched on and around the posts of the 'wader island' were 42 Sandwich Tern and six Common Tern.  Also present were four mobile Common Sandpiper and a Green Sandpiper was reported calling as it flew over the site. As the sand-banks became exposed on the dropping tide, an impressive count of c.1,460 Herring Gull congregated before the kite-surfers then arrived.

Wildlife news: lots of Autumn Lady's-tresses still in flower in Crocus Compound and Greenland Lake.

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