Sunday 20 December 2020

Sunday 20th December

Apart from the incessant pervasive cacophony of yapping dogs all day, it was lovely out with a lighter than predicted westerly, prolonged sunshine and temperature that rose to just shy of 11°C. The conveniently timed and moderately high morning tide additionally leant to the favourable conditions for waterbird counts in the estuary and a full set (except Herring Gull) was achieved. The run down was - 1,592 Dunlin, 760 Oystercatcher with another 57 in Eastdon Fields; 188 Dark-bellied Brent Goose, 172 Knot, 169 Grey Plover, 124 Shelduck, 100 Bar-tailed Godwit, 47 Common Gull, 48 Teal, 42 Common Snipe plus a Jack Snipe in the saltmarsh; 39+ Turnstone, 38 Redshank, 35 Ringed Plover, 31 Cormorant, 29 Black-headed Gull, 20 Curlew, half of which dropped in from foraging on Eastdon Fields; just 15 Wigeon, 12 Great Black-backed Gull, ten Sanderling, eight Red-breasted Merganser, six Canada Goose, four Shag, four Great Crested Grebe, three Greenshank, three Little Egret, two Grey Heron, a Kingfisher and the Slavonian Grebe joined up with a Little Grebe.

The highlight was yesterday's ♀/imm Scaup, which was again present in the estuary corner and moved further out so may be possible to see, at times, from publicly accessible viewpoints. 

A perplexing large larid stood on Finger Point was momentarily thought to be a 4 or 5 cy Yellow-legged Gull but on closer inspection was considered to be a hybrid of sorts, perhaps Herring Gull x Lesser Black-backed Gull.

Close offshore, another ten Great Crested Grebe, a few Gannet, the Great Northern Diver again close off Warren Point with the ♂ Eider, and a Red-throated Diver.

The Siberian Chiffchaff was calling in Entrance Bushes and likely the same bird seen near the hide, exactly 1 km NNE away, where twice seen before so this bird does range.  In addition, six regular type Chiffchaff, and also in the trees and scrub were ten Long-tailed Tit, eight Blue Tit, four Great Tit, three Goldcrest, two Bullfinch, a Coal Tit, a Chaffinch and a Great Spotted Woodpecker. A flock of nine Cirl Bunting took advantage of an abandoned tee on part of the golf course not in play today due to flooding. Other notables were six Stonechat and two each of Scandinavian Rock Pipit (un-ringed) and petrosus Rock Pipit and a Water Pipit at an inaccessible location; a Sparrowhawk, a Song Thrush and a Rook overhead. 

Wildlife news: a Common Seal swam almost up as far as Eales Dock, flushing some duck; and a Buff-tailed Bumblebee was disappointed to land on a blue flag that wasn't a flower, though many plants do still remain in bloom.

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