2023 started with a warm but overcast day with occasional showers and dropping winds. The conditions combined with a mid-afternoon tide helped the year list off to a good start with 85 species recorded on site.
Seawatching from first light saw some early movement following strong winds overnight; heading south 153 Kittiwake, 60 Gannet, 20 Razorbill, seven Guillemot and a Fulmar, with three Great Northern and two Red-throated Diver in the bay and three Eider off Warren Point.
The Spoonbill remained in the estuary, although it roosted at Bowling Green Marsh over high tide, before returning, also from upriver two Avocet and a pair of Egyptian Goose. Counts included 1390 Dunlin, 769 Oystercatcher, 319 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 174 Grey and 39 Ringed Plover, 144 Bar and a Black-tailed Godwit, 91 Shelduck, 82 Teal, 51 Wigeon, 42 Turnstone, 11 Sanderling, six Greenshank, just four Red-breasted Merganser, three adult Mediterranean Gull and two Kingfisher.
Elsewhere a Cetti's Warbler was in the flooded Entrance Bushes, as was a Redshank, with 17 Long-tailed Tit, four Redwing, three Chiffchaff and two Goldcrest on site, five Shoveler on the Main Pond, a Grey Wagtail was in Dead Dolphin Wood, 14 Skylark and the only wintering Linnet were in the Bight and a preroost gathering of 500+ corvids on Bull Hill, included at least 100 Rook and 50 Jackdaw.
Wildlife News: A BSBI New Year Plant Hunt found a total of 25 species in flower (cf. 46 in 2022). This is higher than expected as many 'regulars' such as Bramble, sow-thistles and evening-primroses had succumbed to a combination of the December frosts and recent heavy rain. Highlights were single Thrift and Sea Spurge, with Gorse, Groundsel, Red Dead-nettle and Annual Meadow-grass the only species out in any numbers.