Friday 5 April 2024

Friday 5th April

A one hour 15min seawatch early morning saw 74 Sandwich Tern, c60 Guillemot, 35 Gannet, eight Fulmar, four Red-throated Diver, three Kittiwake and two Common Scoter head SW, with a Great Northern Diver offshore and two Manx Shearwater S early evening.

A Guillemot found exhausted on beach by Groyne 2 was killed by spaniel early morning. Local dog-walkers had intervened to initially protect the Guillemot, grabbing the dog and returning it to the owner. He however refused to put his dog on a lead and it ran off again, evading onlookers and killing the Guillemot. The owner was unconcerned, explaining he was training the spaniel as a gun dog! The relevant authorities have been informed and hopefully will take appropriate action.

The afternoon tide again saw a decent gathering of at least 124 Sandwich Tern, most either feeding in the estuary or roosting around The Bight. Amongst the waders a few new migrants with counts including, 181 Oystercatcher, 55 Curlew, 20 Bar-tailed Godwit, 16 Knot, nine Redshank, six Ringed and five Grey Plover, four Whimbrel, four Greenshank, two summer plumaged Dunlin and a Sanderling.

Also in the estuary, 22 Dark and seven Pale-bellied Brent Geese, seven Eider and pairs of Teal and Red-breasted Merganser.

Elsewhere the first two House Martin of the year flew W across the estuary with seven Swallow and two Sand Martin. Grounded migrants included six Wheatear, four Willow Warbler and three Blackcap.

Year list addition:

129. House Martin

Ringing News: Three of the Sandwich Tern in The Bight were new colour-ringed birds, from The Netherlands, Ireland and Spain. The latter is only the second Spanish recovery for the Warren and the 10th for the UK. 

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