Thursday 15 October 2020

Thursday 15th October

Some years it happens just once and only a few times in others, the species list threshold for what constitutes a great day here is eighty. With 82 species recorded today, this was the highest total so far in 2020 and was a total infused with quality birds. Low elevation visible migration from pre-dawn continued until late morning with highlights of 19 Crossbill (four flocks) that flew NE, vocal and close enough that bright red males were visible without optics. Not annual, records exist in 12 of the past 20 years and this count was the second highest ever here. Continuing an exceptional influx this autumn, 11 Coal Tit with a flock of nine later followed by two progressed NE through the site, briefly alighting on tree-tops as they moved through. Again, views were insufficient to determine race. 

Other totals were 205+ Goldfinch, 85+ Siskin, 81 Meadow Pipit (most NE), 24 C
haffinchmost of the 22 Skylark (W), 20+ Greenfinch, 14 Linnet, 13 Lesser Redpoll, ten Pied Wagtail (W), three Rook, two Swallow (NE), one of two Common Snipe (in off the sea), two Grey Wagtail (W), and one Lesser Black-backed Gull (S) and a Brambling, the first of the year and a species that was absent here last autumn.

The mixed flock of 12+ Long-tailed Tit, some tits and three Goldcrest contained some of the eight Chiffchaff on site; and also in woods and bushes, three Blackcap (mmf). Other migrants were six Reed Bunting (highest count for nearly two years) and two migrant Song Thrush.

The morning tide was foregone due to action overhead and the only species noted was a large flock of Cattle Egret. A return to cover the evening spring tide found a site record count of 31 Cattle Egret stood in the saltmarsh and estuary corner before most moved into fields as the tide rose.

Many hundreds of Teal and Wigeon assembled in the estuary corner and other counts made were c.1,050 Oystercatcher, 338 Curlew, 263 Redshank, 219 Dark-bellied Brent Goose, c.200 Dunlin, 74 Turnstone, 47 Knot, 38 Bar-tailed Godwit, 29 Canada Goose, 28 Grey Plover, 25 Mute Swan, 12 Great Black-backed Gull, ten Shelduck, nine Greenshank, eight Little Egret, four Grey Heron, two Mallard, two Sanderling, singles of Pintail, the same juv Little Stint, Black-tailed Godwit, Ringed Plover, Kingfisher and the Slavonian Grebe. The last recorded date this bird saw one of its own kind was on 9th March 2017, 1,315 days ago. 

At least five Rock Pipit indicated new birds. Two Water Rail, another Mallard and Kingfisher, and the elusive drake Shoveler was still on the Main Pond. Scans of the sea mid-afternoon revealed a raft of c.30 Common Scoter and 29 Gannet.

Also noted today, six Stonechat, five Cirl Bunting, two Kestrel, single Buzzard, Sparrowhawk, Great Spotted Woodpecker and a pale-looking Wheatear.

Wildlife news: a late Clouded Yellow on Warren Point; two Red Admiral and single-figures of Large White, Small White, Speckled Wood and Small Copper.  Sunny pockets attracted a few Common Darter and Migrant HawkerSquash-bugs sunned themselves on bindweed leaves; a worn Carder-bee and lots of Common Wasp.
Small Copper - Alan Keatley

Clouded Yellow - Alan Keatley

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