A total of 90 species so far this year
A total of 76 species by the same time last year
Sunny, cold with a strong NW wind. Excellent weather for September or October, not so much for January! Many Red-throated Divers were seen in flight offshore, apparently disturbed by the rough weather. One Great Crested Grebe and two Common Scoters flew west and two drake Red-breasted Mergansers landed on the sea. There was some movement of gulls with 14 Common Gulls, four Lesser Black-backed Gulls and 20 Kittiwakes heading west. Other birds noted included a Kingfisher and a Grey Wagtail along the brook, a Rock Pipit along the strandline and 64 Carrion Crows and two Jackdaws on the football pitch. The strong winds combined with a high high tide resulted in much flooding over the area and, at high tide, a flock of 134 Herring Gulls had gathered along the overflowing middle brook.
A pair of Mute Swans were seen to drop onto the Marsh Pool.
Sunny, mild with a light to moderate SW wind. Seven Great Crested Grebes (in groups of four and three) flew west and a flock of eight Shelducks flew east. Waders included 25 Ringed Plovers, 85 Sanderlings and 78 Dunlin roosting between the groynes and 37 Redshanks roosting on the Marsh Pool. A Rock Pipit was feeding along the edge of the remnant brook and the Water Rail was seen along the middle brook.
Four Pintail, our first this year, flew west with 14 Wigeon.
Cloudy, milder, light SW wind. A female Merlin flew west low over the sea. There was very little on the sea: a few Red-throated Divers, a Great Crested Grebe and a Red-breasted Merganser and a redhead Goosander that flew west at 10.15 am. Amongst the waders there were 61 Sanderlings along the shoreline and 100 Golden Plovers flew west. Other birds noted included an adult Lesser Black-backed Gull west, a Little Grebe on the Marsh Pool, the Water Rail along the upper brook, a Great Spotted Woodpecker and a Rock Pipit along the strandline by the Obs.
Cloudy with a light NW wind. There were 168 Brent Geese on the beach, a Shelduck flew west and 12 Red-breasted Mergansers offshore. A Black-tailed Godwit along the shoreline early morning was new for the year and a Grey Plover was also on the beach. Other birds noted included the Water Rail, a Kingfisher and a Grey Wagtail in the brook.
The weasel was seen again and appeared to be checking holes above the water line probably for Water Voles.
There were 43 Red-throated Divers, a Great Northern Diver, eight Wigeon, two Teal, 14 Red-breasted Mergansers and the Black Guillemot offshore. A Redwing flew around the marsh area.
A weasel was seen along the middle brook.
Cloudy, calm. A Great Northern Diver, the immature drake Goldeneye, 15 Red-breasted Mergansers and a Black Guillemot were offshore. Other birds included a Grey Plover on the beach and a Little Grebe in Coot Strait.
The Black Guillemot was reported off the caravan park in the afternoon.
Sunny, frost, light NW wind. Two adult Mute Swans flew west and another lingered close inshore. There were five Great Crested Grebes offshore, c200 Brent Geese and two Grey Herons on the tidal ponds. Two pairs of Wigeon flew west and four Red-breasted Mergansers were offshore. Other birds included a female Kingfisher along the middle brook, a Great Spotted Woodpecker in the Elm Wood and the Obs, the pair of Stonechats in the scrub with two Jays in the Elm Wood, new for the year. A Little Grebe was in the Coot Strait.
An adult Mute Swan and a duck Eider offshore and 44 Curlews were roosting on the caravan park football pitch. Other birds noted included a flock of 15 Fieldfares west, a Kingfisher and a Chiffchaff.
Sunny with a moderate SW wind. There were 170 Brent Geese on the beach and two Red-breasted Mergansers offshore. A Peregrine took a small wader off the beach. Three adult Kittiwakes that flew west were the first of the year. Other birds noted included the female Kingfisher, a Grey Wagtail, the pair of Stonechats, a Chiffchaff and two Long-tailed Tits.
The immature drake Goldeneye was again offshore, a drake Eider was also present, a Great Northern Diver and a Shag whilst the Black Guillemot also made another appearance. A Marsh Harrier and a single Rock Pipit were also seen.
An immature drake Goldeneye offshore and two Rock Pipits along the strandline at high tide were additions to this year’s list. Also present were 30+ Red-throated Divers and single Black-throated and Great Northern Divers.
Sunny with a light NW wind. There were seven Great Crested Grebes, a Gannet and two Red-breasted Mergansers offshore and 58 Brent Geese on the beach. The Water Rail was along the middle brook and the juvenile Moorhen below the sluice. Waders included 41 Ringed Plovers roosting between the groynes, 21 Sanderlings feeding along the shoreline and 15 Snipe and 15 Redshanks on the Marsh Pool. Other birds included two Meadow Pipits and the pair of Stonechats whilst an afternoon visit by Bob Gomes secured our first Fulmar of the year, west at 2.40 pm.
Thick fog lifted a little before resuming blanket coverage! Three Wigeon appeared close inshore. The Water Rail was in the brook below the wooden bridge. Other birds noted included a Grey Wagtail, the pair of Stonechats, a Song Thrush and three Long-tailed Tits in the Elm Wood.
Four Shelducks and 11 Common Scoters flew east and the three duck Eiders were again offshore. A Marsh Harrier flew NW and a group of 11 Meadow Pipits were assembled in a single tree.
Sunny, calm. A Great Northern Diver, the three duck Eiders, four drake Red-breasted Mergansers, a redhead Goosander and, in the perfect flat calm conditions, the reappearance of the Black Guillemot off the Obs at 10.20 am and then drifting east. An adult Mute Swan flew west and , amongst the roosting waders between the groynes, our first Knot of the year. Other roosting waders included a Grey Plover, 57 Ringed Plovers, 85 Sanderlings and 69 Dunlin. Other birds noted included a Skylark, three Meadow Pipits, ten Pied Wagtails along the strandline at high tide, a Song Thrush and Linnets.
Sunny with a light northerly wind. Wildfowl were the centre of attention today with a redhead Goosander close inshore and a flock of 11 White-fronted Geese flying west over the sea both additions to the year list. The three duck Eiders were also present but only two drake Red-breasted Mergansers were seen. 12 Red-throated Divers flew east, there were six Great Crested Grebes and three Gannets offshore. A Little Grebe was seen again in Coot Strait. Waders included 64 Ringed Plovers, 68 Sanderlings and 42 Dunlin roosting between the groynes and there were 25 Redshanks roosting on the Marsh Pool. Other birds noted included a Kingfisher, female Stonechat, Chiffchaff and two Long-tailed Tits.
A Great Northern Diver and the three duck Eiders were offshore and the Water Rail, seen along the middle brook, was another addition to the year list.
A Black-throated Diver off the obs, drifting west, and a Velvet Scoter on the sea west of the tidal ponds were both additions to the year list. Two Great Northern Divers were also offshore.
A Little Grebe along Coot Strait was a welcome addition to the year list as we had suspected the brook, which was the colour of milky tea, might have put them off their fishing. Soil, washing into the brook upstream, either from farmland or building works, or both is thought to be the cause. A Great Northern Diver was at the tidal ponds and another Marsh Harrier flew west.
Cloudy, light rain and a moderate SW wind. A Great Northern Diver, a Shag, the three duck Eiders and seven Red-breasted Mergansers were offshore. There were two Grey Herons on the tidal ponds, two Lapwings on the flats and a Marsh Harrier flew west low over the sea. Other birds noted included a Great Spotted Woodpecker along the upper brook, a Grey Wagtail by the sluice, the pair of Stonechats in the rose bush along the shingle ridge and ten Chaffinches in the bushes opposite the Obs.
A female Eider and seven Red-breasted Mergansers were offshore. 17 Golden Plovers flew west and a Grey Plover was again on the beach. Also seen were a Grey Wagtail and a Stonechat.
Sunny, hard frost (-1.5 C), light SW wind. A Pale-bellied Brent Goose flew east in a flock of Dark-bellied Brents. A Shag was within the tidal ponds, the three duck Eiders and four Red-breasted Mergansers were offshore. Waders included our first Grey Plover of the year, on the beach, and an early morning movement of 130 Fieldfares heading west included our first Redwing of the year. Other birds noted included a Kingfisher on the nest tray by the Marsh Pool, with a Kestrel perched above it, two Long-tailed Tits by the scout hut and 16 Linnets along the shingle ridge.
Two foxes were seen along the shingle spit as the tide came in. They were hunkered down to avoid the attention of the dog walking stream but eventually had to move with the incoming tide.
Sunny, cold, fresh NW wind. A Great Northern Diver, a Slavonian Grebe, two Shags, the three duck Eiders, three Red-breasted Mergansers and two Razorbills were offshore. However, with the strong NW winds, there was no sign of the Black Guillemot. Seven Wigeon flew west in the company of a drake Shoveler. Other birds noted included several additions to the year list: our first Stock Dove of the year flying west, three Fieldfares west and a Song Thrush sunning itself by the scout hut and a Reed Bunting in the bushes opposite the Obs. Also, a Grey Wagtail, Stonechat, Chiffchaff and three Long-tailed Tits.
The Black Guillemot was present for its fourth day. Gannet and Grey Heron were additions to the year list.
Cloudy, cooler, moderate SW wind. The Black Guillemot was still offshore. Other birds on the sea included a Great Northern Diver, a Shag, the three duck Eiders, seven Red-breasted Mergansers and a Razorbill. A Mute Swan flew east and two flew west and three Common Scoters flew west. 15 Snipe were visible on the Marsh Pool and an adult Mediterranean Gull was offshore. Other birds included the pair of Stonechats, a Chiffchaff calling at the Obs, a Long-tailed Tit in the Elm Wood and, unusually, two Jackdaws amongst the Black-headed Gulls on the Marsh Pool.
There were two Great Northern Divers, three duck Eiders and four Red-breasted Mergansers offshore and the Black Guillemot again showed well amongst the buoys. Other birds included an adult Mediterranean Gull, a Razorbill and a Grey Wagtail.
Cloudy at first then sunny, very mild with a light SW wind. A new year a new challenge and, with good watching conditions, a chance to make the most of it. On arrival, in addition to the three duck Eider and eight Red-breasted Mergansers that have been present for sometime, there were three Teal offshore and an unexpected duck Shoveler along the shoreline. At the eastern end of the site, two Great Northern Divers, a Slavonian Grebe and a Shag were welcome additions to the year list and searching from them later in the morning led to the discovery of a Black Guillemot feeding offshore amid a cluster of colourful buoys. Swalecliffe’s first twitch of the year and exactly six weeks since this bird, or possibly another, was seen at the site. Other ducks included four Shelducks and a pair of Wigeon west whilst waders included a a roosting flock of 97 Sanderlings and a flock of 20 Golden Plovers heading west low over the sea. Other birds included a female Marsh Harrier heading south, very slowly, an adult Mediterranean Gull on the Marsh Pool, a Guillemot close inshore, a Kingfisher and a Great Spotted Woodpecker, a Skylark and a Stonechat. The total of 60 species was best start to the year since 2011!