January 2021

A total of 76 species for the year

A total of 88 species by this time last year


A Marsh Harrier and the Hampton Purple Sandpiper (which came within scoping distance of the eastern end of the site) were added on 26th, followed by a Rock Pipit during a litter-pick on 28th and a Skylark the next day, ended the month.


The combination of mild, inoffensive weather and the restrictions of lockdown resulted in a very quiet period down at Long Rock. There were a few additions to the year list, not surprising so early in the year, with Reed Bunting on 9th, Grey Plover and Grey Wagtail on 10th and Teal and Buzzard on 11th. A group of four Knot along the beach on 18th was an unusual January record here despite the large numbers that winter in the Swale. This was the only addition in a period of 15 days.


Cloudy, cold with a light NW wind. A very quiet day with one Gannet east and one Shelduck west. Only three Snipe were visible in the Marsh Pool with a very high water level. Also noted were our first Long-tailed Tits of the year at the Obs, the male Stonechat and c12 Linnets briefly in the trees by the obs.


There was an adult Mediterranean Gull on the Marsh Pool, where there were also two Little Grebes and ten Snipe. A Common Scoter and a Lesser Black-backed Gull flew west, there were eight Red-breasted Mergansers offshore and five Kittiwakes flew east.


A Great Northern Diver and 20 Great Crested Grebes were offshore. There were three Little Grebes and nine Snipe on the Marsh Pool.


Cloudy, cold with a light NW wind. Three Gannets flew east, a flock of 11 White-fronted Geese flew west high over the sea and two Shelduck flew west. An immature Kittiwake also flew west. A Water Rail showed well on the usual bend along the middle brook and five Redwings flew west. The total for the year now stands at 61 species.


Cloudy and cold with a light NW wind. A Black-throated Diver flew west late morning, ducks included 20 Wigeon, a Shelduck amongst the Brent Geese, three Red-breasted Mergansers, a single Pintail and a drake Goosander. Waders included 20 Golden Plovers on the beach, ten Snipe on the Marsh Pool and a count of 72 Curlews on the fields behind the caravan park which was the highest this winter. A Guillemot flew east close inshore. Other birds noted included Kingfisher, Stonechat and a flock of 25 Linnets along the shingle ridge. A modest 52 species to start the year.