June 2020

A total of 133 species so far this year

134 species by this time last year

The total of 69 species for the month was significantly better than last year’s poorest performance of 63 but just under the ten-year average of 70.1 species. Only one species, Kittiwake, on the first of the month, was new for the year but the total for the first six months was only one less than last year and compares with a ten-year average of 133.7. Not bad considering the constraints we have been under. Of particular interest, was our second only June record of Great Skua which was seen on four occasions between 12th-27th of the month. Also, it appears that Meadow Pipits are breeding for the first time for several years; one of the species, along with Skylark and Reed Bunting, we had lost through the level of disturbance in their habitats.

The total of 16 species of butterfly by the end of the month is the same as this time last year. The only species it seems we will have missed because of lockdown is Orange-tip.


Cloudy with a moderate SW wind. A Great Crested Grebe was close inshore and single Gannets flew east and west. Two Ringed Plovers were lingering on the shingle ridge seemingly reluctant to be pushed off by dog walkers. 15 Turnstones were roosting between the groynes at the eastern end of the beach. One Sandwich Tern was fishing close inshore.

The total

Butterflies included a single Small Heath by the scout hut. A Brown Rat swam across the middle brook.


Sunny periods and a freshening SW wind. A Gadwall flew west close inshore at 6.20 am. A party of four Oystercatchers and a single Curlew flying west were the only waders of the day. A Hobby flew SE over the sewage works. Three Sand Martins flying west were, perhaps, a hint of Autumn.

The sun at the sheltered Obs proved a butterfly trap with nine species recorded including a Marbled White.

Little Egret – Geoff Burton
Marbled White – Andy Taylor


Cloudy, cooler with a moderate SW wind and a few showers. There were seven Little Egrets on the Marsh Pool at the early morning high tide. Singles Oystercatcher and Curlew flew west and there were 16 Turnstones on the beach as the tide receded. There was a fourth sighting of the Great Skua, which flew west at 8.20 am, an adult Mediterranean Gull flew west and four Sandwich Terns and two Common Terns flew east. An immature Peregrine was seen chasing a gull far offshore.


Sunny, very warm, light SE wind. There were four Little Egrets on the beach. A Curlew flew east and another flew west in the company of three Whimbrels; our first returning birds. A Ringed Plover and three Turnstones were seen on the beach.

Two or three Marbled White butterflies were the 16th species for the year (and 14 for the month).


Sunny, very warm and a light southerly wind. The quietest of hot summer days was enlivened by a Lesser Whitethroat singing in the scrub. This was interrupted by a dog walker passing through the scrub and the Lesser Whitethroat was not heard or seen again. This former regular breeding bird was only recorded three times this Spring, in late April. Otherwise, an Oystercatcher flying west was the only wader, there were three immature Great Black-backed Gulls on the beach and a party of Long-tailed Tits again by the Obs.

Fortunately, there was some non-avian distraction in the form of butterflies, though none new for the year, and our first Burnet Moth, a Six-spot and a Silver Y.

Six-spot Burnet – Geoff Burton


Sunny, warm with a light southerly wind. A single Great Crested Grebe flew west and a flock of c50 Common Scoters, breaking up in the heat haze, flew east. Waders were two Ringed Plovers and just two Turnstones. Two Great Spotted Woodpeckers, at least one was a juvenile, dropped into pine corner. A Hobby zipped through the area in hunting mode and 42 Swifts flew west.

The Moth Finder General located a new moth for the area in the guise of a Dotted Fan-foot. New for the site and, seemingly, a rare moth in these parts. A Painted Lady just west of the skate park was our 15th species for the year.

Meadow Pipit – Geoff Burton
Dotted Fan-foot – Andy Taylor
Painted Lady – Geoff Burton


The Great Skua was seen again at 8.50 am chasing gulls.


Sunny periods, warm with a light SW wind. A party of six Gannets flew west and two singles flew east. A Curlew, five Mediterranean Gulls and a Sandwich Tern flew west. There were four Little Egrets and 12 Turnstones on the beach. Five Swifts flew west and ten Long-tailed Tits, the first this month, appeared at the Obs.

A good morning for butterflies with eight species recorded, including two Commas, the first seen here since March.

Long-tailed Tit – Andy Taylor
Chiffchaff – Andy Taylor
Comma – Geoff Burton
Comma – Andy Taylor


Sunny, warm with a light SW wind. Four Gannets and three Sandwich Terns flew east. Five Lapwings flew west to the south of the church, there were three Curlews on the beach and another flew west, and there were 14 Turnstones (seems quite a stable group) on the beach. 12 Swifts flew west and there were five Pied Wagtails ( a pair of the football pitch and a female with two juveniles on the beach between the groynes.

A Shaded Broad-bar was in the long grass near the bluethroat bush.

After yesterday’s rain, the first since the shingle ridge’s makeover a month ago, it was interesting to see where the water in the brook would go.

The brook’s exit strategy – Geoff Burton

The brook was full of water but could not follow the route set out for it by the Council and so the water was seeping through the shingle and across the beach. Exactly as it had done before the recent intervention!


Cloudy, warm and calm. 23 Gannets flew east including a flock of 18. A Shelduck was on the shingle ridge early morning. Two Sandwich Terns were offshore and a Grey Wagtail flew out of the brook by the sluice.


Sunny and warm with a light SW wind. A Great Crested Grebe was on the sea, nine Gannets flew east and a Curlew flew west. There were 13 Turnstones on the beach and the Great Skua was seen again, briefly over the sea disappearing as it landed. A Grey Wagtail that flew east by the skate park was the first of the post-breeding period.


Sunny and warm with a light SE wind. There were three Great Crested Grebes on the sea that eventually flew off west. Four Gannets flew east and a pair of Shelducks were again on the Marsh Pool. Another appearance of a Ringed Plover on the beach (wondering what the Council had done to its home) and 14 Turnstones were roosting between the groynes. Two Stock Doves flew south from the beach.

A good morning for butterflies, six species, including our first Small Heath on the path near the bluethroat bush and Large Skipper at the Obs. Also good to see two Water Voles in the brook by the wooden bridge (note to the Environment Agency, they are still here!).

Water Vole – Andy Taylor


On an afternoon visit Andy found a Great Skua resting on the beach. It flew around a bit before heading off north. Only our second June record after one in 2007.

Great Skua – Andy Taylor


Cloudy, cool with a moderate NE wind. A Fulmar and 11 Gannets noted and a pair of Shelducks were on the Marsh Pool. Two Curlews flew east, the first of the retu rning birds, and nine Turnstones were on the beach. An adult Peregrine snatched a Starling (no rosy future there) from the football pitch. An adult Kittiwake flew east, three Sandwich Terns flew west and three Common Terns flew east. A Hobby was also seen.


Cloudy and cool with a light SW wind. One Fulmar and four adult Mediterranean Gulls flew west. Waders were represented by a party of five Oystercatchers flying east and 18 Turnstones on the beach. One Sandwich Tern was fishing offshore. About 50 Swifts flew west and a group of 40 were feeding low over the area around the Marsh Pool with two House Martins in attendance. A male Yellow Wagtail was on the football pitch and a juvenile Greenfinch was noted in the Elm Wood.


Cloudy, freshening northerly wind, some light rain. A Fulmar flew west over the area, six Gannets flew east and a party of 12 Common Scoters flew west. There were 17 Turnstones on the beach, one Oystercatcher and four Mediterranean Gulls flew west. Three Swifts and two Swallows also flew west.


Sunny with a freshening westerly wind. Two Marsh Harriers, an adult male and an immature, flew west over the sea and a Hobby flew east over the estate. One Lapwing flew west and six Turnstones were on the beach. A steady early morning movement of Swifts amounted to 495 birds and two Swallows and five House Martins also flew west. A Kingfisher which flew from the brook into the sewage works was earlier than our usual post-breeding arrivals.

A Red Admiral and Holly Blue butterflies were noted by the Obs and a Meadow Brown behind the scout hut was our first of the year ( on the same date as our first last year).

Meadow Brown – Geoff Burton


Cloudy and cool with a fresh northerly wind. At another time of the year such conditions are favourable but today we had to be content with three Gannets flying east and three Common Scoters flying west. Eight Mediterranean Gulls were noted and 55 Swifts flew west.

The carefully crafted shingle ridge is already on the move. The narrow trench created only a few weeks ago to guide the brook to the sea has already been filled.

Not quite flows the brook – Geoff Burton


Cloudy and calm. There was a Great Crested Grebe on the sea,a Gannet flew east and a Shelduck flew west. Waders were represented by a single Ringed Plover on the shingle, a Redshank which flew south having been disturbed from the marsh area and 30 Turnstones between the groynes at the eastern end of the beach. There were eight Great Black-backed Gulls on the beach – an adult and seven immatures.


Arnie reported a Grey Heron present at 9.10 pm!


Sunny and warm with a light NE wind. Two Great Crested Grebes, three Gannets and two adult Mediterranean Gulls flew west, three Shelducks, eight Oystercatchers and six Sandwich Terns flew east but the birds of the day were two adult Kittiwakes that flew west and were an addition to the year list. A single Ringed Plover was on the shoreline and 26 Turnstones was a good count as there have been no June records here for the last two years. In addition two Stock Doves were seen on the beach briefly, a Yellow Wagtail was heard calling and a Reed Warbler was chuntering away unseen along the east bank. A total of 44 species was a respectable start to the month.

Our first Small Tortoiseshell butterfly of the year, and tenth species, was seen at the Obs.

Small Tortoiseshell – Geoff Burton