A cold, dry month (Philip Hurst recorded only 4 mm of rain in Chestfield this month) with a predominance of easterly winds. Despite these adverse conditions for Spring, the total of 95 species was one above the ten-year average for the month. The highlight was a Red-rumped Swallow seen by Geoff Racher on 6th (only the second record for the site).
A total of 122 species so far this year
125 species by the same time last year
Sunny, cool with a light northerly wind. One Great Crested Grebe and seven Shelducks flew west and a Canada Goose was also seen. Ten Mediterranean Gulls, including one flock of eight birds, and two Common Terns flew east. Waders were one Ringed Plover on the shingle ridge and five Sanderlings and 21 Turnstones on the beach. Bird of the day, however, was a Merlin which appeared to have snatched a small wader off the beach then circled high over the sea pursued by two crows. Also six Sand Martins and a House Martin flew west.
Sunny, cool with a fresh northerly wind. Four Gannets and two adult Mediterranean Gulls flew east and there were ten Sanderlings on the beach. Three House Martins were hawking along the east bank.
A Water Vole was seen along the middle brook.
There were five Canada Geese on the beach, two Barnacle Geese flew south and three Common Scoters flew east. A Great Spotted Woodpecker was in the sewage works and a male Yellowhammer, briefly on the beach before flying off east, was new for the year. There were also “decent” number of Sand Martins and Swallows on the move between 8 and 9 am, before the NE wind strengthened.
Sunny, warmer with a light NE wind. There were two Great Crested Grebes offshore whilst waders included three Ringed Plovers roosting on the groynes and three Sanderlings and a Curlew were on the beach. Two Lesser Whitethroats were singing along the east bank between the Elm Wood and the Obs. Another addition the the year list. A Jay was heard calling behind the Obs and the Greenfinch continues to display along the east bank.
Sunny, cool with a moderate NE wind. There was one Great Crested Grebe on the sea, a pair of Shelducks on the Marsh Pool and a Hobby, that skimmed east low over the caravan park, was new for the year. Waders included a couple of flocks (18-20) of Bar-tailed Godwits flying east offshore and two close inshore, two Whimbrels, a Curlew and a vocal but invisible Greenshank which was also new for the year. Six Mediterranean Gulls flew east and there were two Common Terns offshore.
Not a month for butterflies but a Small White was seen.
Sunny with a light to moderate easterly wind. A Red-throated Diver flew west, two Fulmars flew east, one high inland, and there were two Great Crested Grebes on the sea. 18 Shelducks flew east and a pair was on the Marsh Pool. Waders included three Ringed Plovers, five Sanderlings, a Dunlin and a Curlew on the beach, 11 Whimbrel, nine flew east and two rested briefly on the shingle ridge, and five Oystercatchers. Five Common Gulls flew east, two Sandwich Terns flew east and two were on the buoys, and four Common Terns flew east. A female Ring Ousel that flew south from the scrub was new for the year. Five Swallows flew west, a Meadow Pipit was in song in the grassland and a Greenfinch was in display flight over the churchyard.
Waders included a Bar-tailed Godwit on the beach and four Snipe on the Marsh Pool. Two adult Kittiwakes flew west and a few Sandwich Terns were offshore. A male Wheatear was on the shingle ridge and four Blackcaps were noted.
Sunny, cool with a light NE wind. Three Whimbrel flew south and a breeding plumage Golden Plover was roosting with Turnstones between the groynes. Surprisingly, it remained for some time without being disturbed. Five immature Common Gulls, a Sandwich Tern and ten Common Terns flew east. A Greenfinch was singing in the churchyard and along the east bank.
Foggy at first then freshening NE wind, cold. A Fulmar and four Sandwich Terns flew east. Waders included three Ringed Plovers, 12 Sanderlings, a Dunlin and 65 Turnstones on the beach. Also, a Curlew flew west and a Whimbrel was heard calling.
Cloudy, cool with a light NE wind. A Red-throated Diver and two Shelducks flew west and a Great Crested Grebe was on the sea. Waders included six Sanderlings, a Curlew and 35 Turnstones on the beach, five Whimbrel west but best of all a Ruff and a Bar-tailed Godwit west (both additions to the year list). 12 Sand Martins and four Swallows flew west, a male Wheatear on the shingle ridge was only the second of the year, after one on March 26th, and a Willow Warbler uttered a snatch of song by the bluethroat bush.
Sunny, cool, with a light NE wind. A Great Crested Grebe was on the sea, a Fulmar flew east and six Shelducks landed on the Marsh Pool. Waders included a single Oystercatcher east and two Ringed Plovers, ten Sanderlings and 30 Turnstones on the beach. A total of 31 Mediterranean Gulls flew east during the morning including only one immature. A Skylark flew NW over the Obs, five Sand Martins included three flying west west and one Swallow flew west. Two Blackcaps and a Chiffchaff were also noted.
Bird of the day was a summer plumage Black-throated Diver west. Three Sand Martins and two Swallows were also seen and two Turtle Doves were reported by Birdguides but with no confirmatory information has been obtained.
Sunny periods, cool with a moderate NE wind. A Fulmar flew and a pair of Teal west, a Greylag Goose flew east and a pair of Shelducks on the Marsh Pool. Waders included a single Lapwing flying NW, four Ringed Plovers displaying to each other on the beach, six Sanderlings and 29 Turnstones on the beach and five Curlews west. A Skylark landed on the beach, four Swallows flew west, there were three Whitethroats in the area and a count of 55 Carrion Crows.
Sunny periods, cool, light NE wind. A Red-throated Diver flew east, a drake Red-breasted Merganser seen and four Shelducks flew east, two west. Waders included our first three Whimbrel of the year and six Sanderlings and three Redshanks on the beach. The Whitethroat was still in the bluethroat bush and a Blackcap and a Chiffchaff were singing in the Elm Wood. No longer a breeding species here, but a male Reed Bunting was also seen.
A Common Whitethroat in the bluethroat bush was new for the year. Also, there were three Blackcaps, a female Reed Bunting and four Redpolls flew west.
Sunny and cool with a light westerly wind. A Red-throated Diver and a Gannet flew west and there were six Great Crested Grebes offshore. Two Shelducks and 33 Common Scoters, in flocks of 25 and eight, flew east. Waders included a single Oystercatcher on the beach and a flock of c20 flying west, a Dunlin west and 12 Sanderlings on the beach. Two adult Mediterranean Gulls flew east and four Sandwich Terns flew west together. A change to a westerly wind encouraged some vis mig with nine Swallows, 13 Meadow Pipits, a Yellow Wagtail, 24 Goldfinches and 34 Linnets west. A Skylark flew low over the grassland.
Cloudy, cool with a moderate NE wind. A Red-throated Diver and a Gannet flew east and a Great Crested Grebe was offshore. Two Shelducks and the drake Eider flew west. Waders included two Ringed Plovers and three Sanderlings, and two Snipe on the Marsh Pool. Ten Common Gulls and three Sandwich Terns flew east. Two Stock Doves were seen and a Chiffchaff was singing in the Elm Wood.
Some vis mig with a Sand Martin, 12 Swallows and two House Martins west whilst a Mistle Thrush and three Siskins, also west, were additions to the year list.
Sunny periods with a light SW wind. A Red-throated Diver, in partial breeding plumage, and a Great Crested Grebe were on the sea, three Mute Swans and seven Canada Geese flew west and five Common Scoters flew west. A Red Kite, that came in off the sea at 9.45 am and headed SE inland, was our first of the year and a Buzzard circling over the football pitch was not welcomed by the local gulls. Waders included 12 Sanderlings and a Dunlin on the beach with two Snipe still on show in the Marsh Pool. Some vis mig with a Sand Mattin, eight Swallows, a Meadow Pipit, three Rooks, a Greenfinch, three Goldfinches and 23 Linnets on the move. Meanwhile, a Goldcrest at the Obs was another addition to the year list.
Sunny, cool with a fresh NW wind. Waders included 16 Sanderlings on the beach and 30 Redshanks on the Marsh Pool. Some vis mig with four Swallows and a House Martin, 14 Meadow Pipits and two Yellow Wagtails, 12 Goldfinches and 95 Linnets – all west. Both House Martin and Yellow Wagtail were new for the year as was a Red-rumped Swallow hawking around the Obs briefly, before flying on west. Only the second record for the site and seen by Geoff Racher after the usual crew had all departed!
Two Brent Geese on the sea were the first noted this month and a a pair of Wigeon were also noted. Eight Mediterranean Gulls flew east in one flock and there was a westerly movement of Common and Lesser Black-backed Gulls.
A Willow Warbler was singing, a Greenfinch, yet to settle for the breeding season, flew around over the football pitch. In the afternoon, there were “a good few” Swallows and two Sandwich Terns were seen.
Cloudy and cold with a fresh NE wind. There were five Sanderlings and a Dunlin on the beach and eight Snipe on the Marsh Pool. There were also two Stock Doves on the Marsh Pool and three Redpolls were also noted.
Cloudy, cold with a moderate to fresh NE wind. Not the weather one would wish to start the month with. Two adult Mute Swans were resting on the beach where they remained for some time. One Red-throated Diver and two Great Crested Grebes were offshore and waders included three Sanderlings on the beach and four Snipe on the Marsh Pool. A Sand Martin and six Swallows flew west, two Redpolls flew west and a Willow Warbler sand intermittently in the bushes opposite the Obs.