109 species so far this year
105 species by this time last year
A total of 84 species in March was close to the ten-year average whilst the first quarter total of 109 compared with 103.1 as the ten-year average. A quiet month (a preponderance of cool weather or calm sunny weather doesn’t encourage migration) with Swallow, Sand Martin and Little Ringed Plover the only early summer migrants. Some warm spells during the month encouraged butterflies on the wing with seven species recorded.
Sunny periods, cold, strong northerly wind. An adult Kittiwake, 24 Common Gulls and three Lesser Black-backed Gulls flew west and a Little Ringed Plover, which flew west by the Obs at 9.12 am, was new for the year and our second earliest record after one on 24th March 2006. Also, a Red-throated Diver and a Common Scoter flew east.
Cloudy, light NE wind with some light rain. Five Great Crested Grebes were offshore, an adult Gannet was fishing offshore, eight Wigeon and four Common Scoters flew east, a pair of Red-breasted Mergansers flew east close inshore and there were six Brent Geese on the beach. Waders included five Oystercatchers, one Ringed Plover, 14 Sanderlings, two Snipe and a Redshank on the Marsh Pool and 11 Turnstones. A group of five Little Gulls flying east were new for the year. Two hirundines, one definitely a Sand Martin, flew east over the shingle ridge. Another addition to the year list.
Cloudy, cooler and a light NE wind. There were three Red-throated Divers, five Great Crested Grebes and a Red-breasted Merganser offshore, a Gannet offshore and seven Shelducks west and 20 Brent Geese on the beach. A Bar-tailed Godwit on the shoreline off the Obs early morning was our first of the year and other waders included eight Ringed Plovers, 20 Sanderlings, a Dunlin, and four Snipe and a Redshank on the Marsh Pool. A Swallow, which zipped west by the Obs at 10.35 am, was a second addition to the year list, a Blackcap sang unseen along the east bank and a male Reed Bunting was in the scrub.
Sunny with a light easterly wind. There were two Great Crested Grebes offshore, two Greylag Geese flew west and there were 22 Brent Geese on the beach. Waders included seven Ringed Plovers, 47 Sanderlings in the east bay, with a single Dunlin, five Snipe on the Marsh Pool and two Redshanks.
A late morning visit produced a Red Kite drifting west at 12.12 pm (our third of the year) and also a Buzzard.
Butterflies noted were Comma, Small Tortoiseshell, Brimstone and Small White.
Sunny at first but the mist rolled in off the sea at 8 am. There was one Red-throated Diver and three Great Crested Grebes offshore and 19 Brent Geese on the beach. Waders included three Ringed Plovers on the beach, 44 Sanderlings along the shoreline and seven Snipe visible on the Marsh Pool. Other birds included two singing Chiffchaffs and a party of five Jackdaws over the beach.
Sunny, warm, calm. A very quiet morning but two Canada Geese on the sea, which flew off west, were a new species for the year. The drake Shoveler was present for its third day on the Marsh Pool and there were a pair of Red-breasted Mergansers on the tidal ponds. There were three Ringed Plovers on the beach.
The warmth brought out Small Tortoiseshell and Peacock butterflies and a smart Black-edged Bee-fly near the entrance to the sewage works.
The drake Shoveler was present for a second day on the Marsh Pool and two Red-breasted Mergansers were offshore.
A Large White was our seventh species of butterfly for the year and two Brimstones were also seen.
Sunny, calm with a hard frost. There were four Red-throated Divers and five Great Crested Grebes offshore, c30 Brent Geese on the beach and a drake Shoveler was present on the Marsh Pool (a pair flew west in the afternoon). Waders included seven Oystercatchers on the shingle ridge, 31 Sanderlings in the east end bay but only one Dunlin, 14 Snipe on the Marsh Pool, two Curlews and two Redshanks and 62 Turnstones roosting between the groynes (107 counted in an afternoon WEBS count). Other birds included a Chiffchaff singing along the east bank and two Greenfinches.
Sunny, cool, moderate NE wind. A Fulmar flew east (only the second record of the year after one on 17th January), one Red-throated Diver flew east, two adult Mute Swans flew east low over the Obs, two Shelducks flew west, a Great Crested Grebe was offshore and there were 45 Brent Geese on the beach. Waders included ten Oystercatchers and 41 Sanderlings on the incoming tide. A Chiffchaff was in song in the Elm Wood.
Sunny, mild with a light SW wind. There were three Great Crested Grebes offshore and 72 Brent Geese on the beach. Waders included ten Oystercatchers at high tide, 29 Sanderlings along the shoreline, three Dunlin and 20 Snipe on the Marsh Pool.
A Red Admiral was our sixth butterfly species of the year and Small White was also seen.
Cloudy, cool with a light easterly wind. One Red-throated Diver, three Great Crested Grebes, a duck Eider and five Red-breasted Mergansers were offshore. Three Common Scoters flew east and 75 Brent Geese were on the beach, resting on the sea at high tide. Waders included eight Ringed Plovers roosting between the groynes, 18 Sanderlings on the beach and four Redshanks and 11 Snipe on the Marsh Pool.
A flock of 22 Pintails flew east, four Common Scoters flew east and there was a Jay in the churchyard.
A Comma was our fifth butterfly species of the year.
Sunny with a light southerly wind. There were c10 Red-throated Divers, six Great Crested Grebes and three Red-breasted Mergansers offshore, three Greylag Geese flew east and 68 Brent Geese on the beach. Waders included c30 Sanderlings along the shoreline and 16 Snipe on the Marsh Pool. Three adult Mediterranean Gulls were on the football pitch early morning. Other birds included a Meadow Pipit in song in the grassland, two Chiffchaffs and two Reed Buntings.
Sunny with a light SE wind. Two Red-throated Divers and two Great Crested Grebes were offshore, a Gannet and two Shelducks flew west and there were 128 Brent Geese on the beach. Waders included 19 Ringed Plovers roosting between the groynes and 106 Sanderlings along the shoreline and roosting on the caravan park culvert. Other birds included one adult Mediterranean Gull west, a Chiffchaff and a Greenfinch and a Skylark soaring over the fields beyond the caravan park.
Sunny, mild with a light SE wind. There were two Red-throated Divers, five Great Crested Grebes, a duck Eider and a Red-breasted Merganser offshore, 129 Brent Geese on the beach and an adult Gannet flew east. Waders included 83 Sanderlings along the shoreline and 13 Snipe on the Marsh Pool. Other birds included two adult Mediterranean Gulls east, two Buzzards, a Water Rail along the upper brook, two Chiffchaffs and three Reed Buntings. A male Stonechat in the scrub was likely to be a migrant as the wintering pair had not been seen since 24th February.
The mild sunny weather brought out our first flush of butterflies with a pristine Small Tortoiseshell, two more ragged Peacocks, a male Brimstone and a Small White.
Sunny periods, milder with a light southerly wind. There were three Red-throated Divers, eight Great Crested Grebes (all in summer plumage) and two Eiders offshore, two Velvet Scoters landed on the sea behind the tidal ponds, but they soon soon disappeared and a Shelduck flew west. There were 67 Brent Geese on the beach and a single Grey Plover. A female Marsh Harrier flew east over the tidal ponds.
A Black Guillemot, presumably the one last reported here on January 25th and still in winter plumage, flew east at 9.15 am. A duck Wigeon was on the Marsh Pool.
Sunny periods, cold with a light easterly wind. One Great Crested Grebe, a duck Eider and three Red-breasted Mergansers offshore and c150 Brent Geese on the beach. Waders included a Grey Plover and 48 Sanderlings on the beach and a Lapwing heading SE inland. Other birds included a Meadow Pipit in song flight in the grassland, eight Linnets on the shingle ridge and a male Reed Bunting in the scrub.
Cloudy, cool with a moderate northerly wind. A drake Pochard which flew west at 9.43 am was new for the year, four Gadwall flew west at 10.13 am, there were five Red-throated Divers, two duck Eiders and six Red-breasted Mergansers offshore. A long string of 280 Cormorants flew east distantly offshore. A single Stock Dove flew SE over the area.
Sunny and calm. Two Great Northern Divers offshore, looking west towards the Street, at least six Red-throated Divers and ten Great Crested Grebes, three drake Red-breasted Mergansers and a drake Shelduck offshore and three Common Scoters west. Waders included an Avocet which flew west along the shoreline was new for the year. It seemed to be landing but, presumably, thought better of it, for the usual reasons. There were 23 Snipe visible on the Marsh Pool. Other birds included three Mediterranean Gulls, two Chiffchaffs, a Greenfinch and a Reed Bunting.
There were 17 Red-throated Divers, the three duck Eiders and two Red-breasted Mergansers offshore. Two Gannets flew east and there were two Mediterranean Gulls on the beach.
Cloudy, calm and misty. There were eight Great Crested Grebes, a duck Eider and a drake Red-breasted Merganser offshore. There were 107 Brent Geese on the beach. Waders included 24 Oystercatchers on the beach and 15 Snipe on the Marsh Pool. A Water Rail clambering into the bluethroat bush was unexpected. Possibly a migrant rather than the wintering individual from the middle brook. A Rock Pipit was in the remnant brook.