November 2019

                                             167 species so far this year                                              168 species by this time last year 

The second month with an above average total of species, 104 compared with a ten year average of 100.8. The annual total of 167 species will also prove to be an above average year (163.8 species over the last ten years.  Otherwise, November was not a particularly exciting month but Hen Harrier, Red-necked Grebe and Long-tailed Duck were amongst the six additions to the year list. 


Sunny, calm at first then a light easterly wind. 35 Red-throated Divers flew east, four Shelducks flew west, a Velvet Scoter flew east at 10.45 am and five Red-breasted Mergansers were noted offshore. Waders included a Grey Plover on the Hampton flats, three Lapwings on the Marsh Pool and a Bar-tailed Godwit west.  Four Skylarks flew over the area, there were three Chiffchaffs and a pair of Reed Buntings feeding on the coastal path.

Male Sparrowhawk – Andy Taylor


Sunny, cool with a light northerly wind. A flock of 18 and a group of three Common Scoters flying west were all female/immatures whilst another flock of 12 on the sea included four drakes. There were 21 Golden Plovers on the beach (few have been seen there this winter). They flew off west. Other waders included five Sanderlings on the beach, two Lapwings on the Marsh Pool and a dozen Snipe flushed from there by a dog walker. Bird of the day was a juvenile Pomarine Skua which circled high over the beach before heading on east. Other birds noted included a Great Spotted Woodpecker, two Chiffchaffs and two Reed Buntings.


Cloudy, moderate westerly wind. A Shelduck, two Common Scoters and a Red-breasted Merganser flew west. Waders on the beach included 58 Ringed Plovers, 40 Dunlin and a Bar-tailed Godwit, 30 Golden Plovers flew west whilst 28 Snipe were flushed from the Marsh Pool and the two Lapwings and 18 Redshanks were still there. Other birds noted included a Grey Wagtail by the sluice, the male Stonechat and a Jay.



Cloudy, steady light rain, moderate SE wind, mild. Five Red-throated Diver and five Great Crested Grebes were offshore. There were 95 Brent Geese on the beachwhilst waders included 70 Ringed Plovers, a Grey Plover and 15 Sanderlings on the beach and two Lapwings and 22 Redshanks on the Marsh Pool. Numbers of Great Black-backed Gulls had risen to 38 with five immatures.


Cloudy and mild with a light SE wind. There were ten Great Crested Grebes and three Red-breasted Mergansers offshore. Waders included the single Grey Plover on the beach, a flock of 50 Lapwings heading west, as well as the two on the Marsh Pool, 55 Dunlins roosting on the beach between the groynes and c60 Curlews in flight over the caravan park fields. Two adult Lesser Black-backed Gulls  on the beach did not include the “odd” Plough lane resident and 27 Great Black-backed Gulls on the beach included only one immature. Two Little Gulls flew east and a Peregrine flew south beyond the caravan park.  The usual supporting cast included a male Kingfisher along Coot Strait, a Grey Wagtail, the pair of Stonechats, two  Chiffchaffs, 18 Linnets over the shingle ridge and a female Reed Bunting in the bushes opposite the Obs. Last, and definitely not least, the Snow Buntings were present on site for their fifth day.


The two Snow Buntings were again on the beach between the groynes.


Cloudy with a light SE wind, milder. There were seven Great Crested Grebes offshore, a redhead  Red-breasted Merganser, a Great Skua and a Razorbill flew east and a Shag appeared close inshore by the Obs. A Chiffchaff and a Goldcrest were in the churchyard and the two Snow Buntings were on the beach.


The two Snow Buntings were on the beach again. Other birds seen included a male Peregrine and a female Great Spotted Woodpecker.


Cloudy, murky, light SE wind, cold. There were 60 Brent Geese on the beach, two Teal and a pair of Shovelers were in flight offshore and four Velvet Scoters flew east at 9.30 am. Waders included a Grey Plover, a Knot, 17 Sanderlings and a Bar-tailed Godwit were on the beach and two Lapwings were on the caravan park fields. Two Snow Buntings finally wandered onto our site on the beach between the groynes; a welcome addition to the year list. Other birds included a Grey Wagtail, a Fieldfare, two GoldcrestsChiffchaff and six Linnets.

Snow Bunting – Geoff Burton

Snow Bunting – Andy Taylor

Fieldfare – Andy Taylor


Sunny and cold with a light SE wind. One Red-throated Diver flew east and there were eight Great Crested Grebes offshore. There were 60 Brent Geese on the beach and two Velvet Scoters flew east at 11.20 am. Waders included a Grey Plover, 17 Sanderlings, 15 Dunlin and a Bar-tailed Godwit on the beach and two Lapwings and three Snipe on the Marsh Pool.  A Kingfisher was fishing from the little pier and later occupied the tray on the pole in the marsh and fished from there.

Kingfisher – Geoff Burton


Andy’s brief visit left little to report save for one surprise. We had been promised, some time ago,  that new trees would be planted around the football pitch. They have; a variety of eucalyptus trees. Non-native and vulnerable to strong winds. Not a good replacement for the mature, ivy-covered trees felled by the Council earlier this year!


Sunny periods, cold  with a fresh NW wind. Another onshore wind encoraged the movement of wildfowl; two White-fronted Geese flew NW, six Shelducks, a duck Wigeon, a duck Pochard, two Common Scoters and a drake Goldeneye close inshore, flew west. Waders included 220 Lapwings west and 11 Sanderlings on the beach. Two Great Skuas and a Guillemot also flew west. Other birds included 20 Fieldfares and a few Redwings west, with one of the latter along the east bank, a Chiffchaff along the east bank, a Goldcrest in the Elm Wood, a Jay along the upper brook and a Brambling heard calling over the scrub.


Arnie recorded four Snow Buntings at Hampton in the late afternoon and one (possibly of these) just east of our recording area. Hopefully, they will linger and wander a bit.


Cloudy and calm. A total of 84 Red-throated Divers were recorded offshore (mostly in flight). Two Gannets and three Red-breasted Mwergansers flew east.  35 Lapwings flew NW. A Kingfisher was fishing in the pools left on the beach at low tide. Two Chiffchaffs and three Goldcrests were also noted.


Cloudy, cold with a fresh northerly wind. The strong onshore wind encouraged a few ducks to move including a drake Long-tailed Duck which flew east and then, shortly afterwards, flew strong and high to the NW (a new bird for the year). Other ducks included 15 Shelducks, eight Pintail, six Shovelers  and six Eiders heading west, three Common Scoters, two Velvet Scoters, three Red-breasted Mergansers and a drake Goosander heading east.  Another new addition to the year list came in the form of a Red-necked Grebe which flew west close inshore. Singles of  Arctic Skua and Great Skua flew west, Little Gull and Kittiwake were noted and a Guillemot flew east.

Visibilty was pretty poor and so four large white birds heading west on the horizon remained unidentified. However, we later heard that Matt Hindle had seen a party of four Great White Egrets flying west at Reculver at 7.43 am that morning. The timing was right for our birds and very frustrating for a species only ever recorded here twice.


Cloudy, showers, light SE wind. There were eight Great Crested Grebes offshore, 63 Brent Geese on the beach and a Red-breasted Merganser flew east. Waders included 28 Oystercatchers on the beach, two Lapwings on the beach and the Marsh Pool, c30 Sanderlings flying east along the beach and two Snipe on the Marsh Pool. Three Grey Wagtails were seen and a Goldcrest was in the churchyard.


There were two Snipe, 22 Redshanks, a Lapwing and a Little Egret on the Marsh Pool. Two Stonechats were seen and a Song Thrush (few seen recently) was in the scrub.


Sunny, cold with a moderate SW wind. One Red-throated Diver flew west, there were 24 Brent Geese on the beach and four Teal flew west. A Marsh Harrier flew west over the sea. Waders included 53 Ringed Plovers roosting between the groynes, 15 Sanderlings roosting on the shingle ridge, a party of nine Grey Plovers flying west, single Lapwings on the beach and the Marsh Pool, 22 Redshanks on the Marsh Pool, a Snipe circling over the area and heading SE and 40 Curlews circling over the caravan park fields. Four Redwings flew south over the area and a Shore Lark flew west along the beach.


A flock of nine Shovelers and a Wigeon flew west. A drake Red-breasted Merganser was on the sea, a Guillemot showed well and some Golden Plovers and Lapwings flew west.


Sunny with a light SW wind. A Great Northern Diver, which flew west at 7.35 am, was the first of the season. Two Red-throated Divers and a Great Crested Grebe were also seen. Three Little Egrets included one flying west over the sea, 11 Common Scoters flew east and a Little Grebe was along Coot Strait. Waders included a Grey Plover and six Sanderlings on the beach and there were three Snipe and 16 Redshanks on the Marsh Pool. A Sandwich Tern continues to linger offshore. A Redwing was perched up in the scrub at Lang Court. Four Chiffchaffs were along the east bank, a Goldcrest and three Long-tailed Tits were by the sewage works entrance. A small movement of c50 Chaffinches flew west.


A female type Black Redstart flew west landing on the wooden steps by the Obs. The Little Grebe was still on the Main Pool.  Two Little Gulls flew west. There were six Chiffchaffs along the east bank.

Black Redstart – Andy Taylor


Sunny periods with a light SW wind. The Little Grebe continues to reside on the Marsh Pool. An  adult Mediterranean Gull was on the football pitch early morning with Black-headed Gulls. Four Shelducks flew west and an immature Little Gull was feeding offshore amongst a flock of Black-headed Gulls. There were 21 Great Black-backed Gulls (20 adults) on the beach; a typical increase as winter approaches. There were three Chiffchaffs along the east bank.


Sunny, cool and a light NW wind. One Red-throated Diver flew west and five Great Crested Grebes were offshore. There were 43 Brent Geese on the beach, 40 Common Scoters (predominantly female/immatures) flew east and three Wigeons flew west. A drake Goosander flew east over the area and the caravan park and, later,  a redhead flew west over the beach. Waders included 40 Sanderlings, a Bar-tailed Godwit flying east and 21 Redshanks on the Marsh Pool. Three Kittiwakes flew east and a Sandwich Tern was offshore. Vis mig included three Skylarks, a Rock Pipit, six Siskins, a flock of 15 Redpolls and two Reed Buntings all heading west. A Chiffchaff was along the east bank and a Goldcrest in the churchyard.

Goosander – Andy Taylor


More activity with a NW wind. Three Red-throated Divers and three large auk sp flew east and 13 Little Gulls and four Kittiwakes flew west. An Avocet landed briefly on the beach, a Kingfisher was in Coot Strait, a male Black Redstart flew west at 11.10 am (an unlikely candidate for vis mig) and two Bramblings flew west in  a party of Chaffinches.


Cloudy with a light southerly wind. A Little Grebe on the Marsh Pool was the first of the season whilst a second was found along the middle brook. A Water Rail (also new for the season) along the middle brook ran for shelter under the east bank bushes. One Red-throated Diver flew east, three Great Crested Grebes were offshore, a party of eight Common Scoters flew east and a single drake flew west. There were two Little Egrets on the tidal ponds and a Lapwing and 14 Mallard on the Marsh Pool. Other waders included ten Sanderlings on Hampton flats and a Bar-tailed Godwit on the beach. One Sandwich Tern was fishing offshore and three larger auks flew east. Other birds included a female Kingfisher along the middle brook, a Great Spotted Woodpecker in the Elm Wood and sewage works, three Grey Wagtails, a pair of Stonechats, a Chiffchaff along the east bank and  six Long-tailed Tits in the churchyard


Cloudy with a fresh southerly wind and heavy rain from 10 am. The bird of the day was a Yellowhammer (our first of the year and a rarity here in recent years). It circled the Obs at 8.20 am before heading west. The duck Wigeon was again on the Marsh Pool and there were 17 Sanderlings and a Bar-tailed Godwit on the beach. Two Razorbills flew west at 9.30 am. One Skylark and seven House Martins flew west and there were six Long-tailed Tits and a Goldcrest in the Elm/Scout Woods.


Cloudy, light southerly wind. There were two Red-throated Divers and two Great Crested Grebes offshore and four Little Egrets on the tidal ponds. There were 46 Brent Geese on the beach, four Shelducks flew west, a Wigeon joined 20 Mallards on the Marsh Pool and three Teal flew over the area. However, birds of the day were two ringtail Hen Harriers (a new species for the year) which flew west over the sea at 10.50 and 11.25 am. Waders included 45 Oystercatchers, three Sanderlings and a Bar-tailed Godwit on the beach and a Snipe in the Marsh Pool. Seven Little  Gulls flew south over the caravan park. Other birds recorded included a Great Spotted Woodpecker, a pair of Stonechats, a Fieldfare, a Chiffchaff, Goldcrest, two Long-tailed Tits and a Jay with a reasonable total to start the month of 55 Species.

Lesser Black-backed Gull – Geoff Burton