On Monday the 1st. I took a walk alongside the railway at 'Prospect Field' finding a chiffchaff, a couple of blackcaps and a whitethroat, otherwise fairly quiet. Moving west to Seasalter I found 3 wheatears,, 1 whinchat, 1 reed warbler and a buzzard high in the sky, plus just off the beach 3 wigeon.
On the 2nd I visited the high tide roost where I met Mark Chidwick who had seen a kittiwake earlier, about the only bird the northerlies swept in, rather disappointing sea watch in the morning with only 24 scoter. Also present that evening was a common sandpiper and 254 ringed plovers etc. and another surprise was 1 adult Med gull plus 3 juvs.
On Friday another visit to Prospect Field which was very quiet so onto Seasalter finding 43 grey plovers still in their breeding plumage, a juv. common gull, 16 bar-tailed godwits, 2 wheatears, a buzzard, 81 ringed plovers just west of the 'huts' and a kingfisher flew across from the dyke system and landed on a breakwater, something I've not seen for several years.
Juvenile/1st winter Common Gull
Late afternoon a message about a red-necked phalarope at Oare saw me over there pretty quick. Also, a late juv. cuckoo made an appearance plus all the other goodies that we expect to see at Oare.
A very distant red-necked phalarope at Oare
Today, Saturday, I first went to Wraik Hill finding 9 blackcaps, mainly females, 2 lesser whitethroats, a couple of chiffchaffs, lots of blue tits and a sparrowhawk. I also went to see how the proposed cutting even further into the scrub this winter might affect the breeding birds, especially the nightingales which I feel may not return if this work is carried out. However, a lot of flowers were evident along the rides which should provide insects for any breeding birds next year.
It was high tide when I arrived at the seafront so a walk into the plots revealing 2 whinchats but little else. It was good to see the pair of swans had raised their seven youngsters without mishap. Further on by the Sportsman PH a flock of c.160 goldfinches was coming down to drink from the dyke just to the west on the LNR, one of the largest I've seen for several years. Over the sea a few hirundines were flying east strangely, normally its west but in the mist who knows. A lone wheatear was all I could find plus several linnets and mipits near the huts and as the tide left the beach 3 Sandwich terns flew east and 1 juv barwit landed close to the beach. Just opposite the Sportsman in the field and on the wires/seawall c.1500 starlings were going crazy feeding on the abundant and annoying flies.
A successful upbringing!
Juvenile Bar-tailed Godwit