November 2022

A total of 169 species so far this year

A total of 166 species by this time last year

23rd

Cloudy, rain from 8.30-10.30 am, light SW wind. Two Black-throated Divers and a Slavonian Grebe were close inshore by the skate park and the two duck Eider were offshore. Waders included 16 Golden Plovers flying west low over the sea, the “resident” Grey Plover and 12 Snipe on the Marsh Pool. There were 18 Great Black-backed Gulls on the beach and an Arctic Tern, amongst the feeding Black-headed Gulls offshore, flew off west. Other birds included an un-ringed Rock Pipit at the mouth of the brook two Chiffchaffs along the east bank and a single Snow Bunting between the groynes within our territory!

22nd

Sunny with a light southerly wind. A great morning on the sea with four species of grebe including one Red-necked Grebe, two Slavonian Grebes and, rarest of all, only our sixth record of Black-necked Grebe. A Little Grebe in the brook made it all five grebes! Also on the sea were two Black-throated Divers, a Great Northern Diver, two duck Eider and two Red-breasted Mergansers. A ringtail Hen Harrier which flew south over the caravan park at 8.09 am was new for the year. A Black Redstart dropped into the bushes opposite the Obs at 11.30 am and other birds noted included two Buzzards, a Chiffchaff and a Goldcrest.

21st

Cloudy with a light southerly wind. A Great Northern Diver was fishing off the Obs heading west as it went. A Red-necked Grebe flew west at 11.40 am. One Shelduck flew west, four Tufted Ducks flew west at 10.35 am, a Common Scoter flew west and another four were on the sea and two drake Red-breasted Mergansers were offshore. Waders included 160 Lapwings west, 44 Sanderlings on the beach, 30+ Snipe flushed anonymously from the Marsh Pool and c20 Redshanks on the Marsh Pool. One Little Gull was offshore in amongst a flock of feeding Black-headed Gulls and six Sandwich Terns flew east. Other birds noted included a Grey Wagtail and a Redwing.

19th

Cloudy, moderate NW wind. Conditions reasonable for a sea watch. The most significant movement was of Little Gulls with a total of 125 west during the morning. One Great Northern Diver, seven Shelducks, five Wigeon, 65 Teal, four Mallard, a Pintail, a redhead Goldeneye, four Red-breasted Mergansers and three redhead Goosanders flew west. Also, 13 Lapwings, two Arctic Skuas, c40 Kittiwakes and three Sandwich Terns flew west. A Razorbill was seen offshore and two Avocets circled over the beach before heading west. Other birds noted included a Rock Pipit at the mouth of the brook, but this individual was unringed, 20 Linnets along the shingle ridge and the three Snow Buntings to the east.

Rock Pipit – Andy Taylor

18th

Cloudy, moderate westerly wind. There were 20+ Gannets offshore, a flock of 23 Common Scoters flew west, a flock of 40 flew west then east and two female/immatures were on the sea. There were only two adult drakes in total. A redhead Goldeneye was on the sea early morning and a redhead Goosander was in the remnant brook and later on the sea. Waders included a Grey Plover, 80 Sanderlings and 12 Dunlin between the groynes and ten Snipe and 42 Redshanks on the Marsh Pool. Three Little Gulls flew SW over the church and four flew west over the sea, 58 Kittiwakes flew west and three Sandwich Terns were offshore. Other birds included Great Spotted Woodpecker, Rock Pipit and Grey Wagtail, and a Black Redstart and the three Snow Buntings towards the coastguard cottages.

Photographs were taken of the Rock Pipit and they revealed that it had been colour-ringed. It was a Norwegian ring but, unfortunately, the ring was part-hidden and could not be clearly read. We can safely assume that this was a Scandinavian Rock Pipit!

Rock Pipit – Geoff Burton

16th

A Black-tailed Godwit flew west over the beach. The Grey Plover was also present.

15th

Cloudy, rain from 9.30 am, moderate SW wind. There were two Red-throated Divers, five Common Scoters offshore and three Little Egrets and one Grey Plover on the beach. Sandwich Terns continue their late seasonal presence with four offshore today. Other birds noted included Kingfisher and Grey Wagtail, three Stonechats, the Cetti’s Warbler, 20 Linnets and the three distant Snow Buntings.

14th

A foggy morning revealed very little but Andy’s afternoon WEBS count was more productive. A Red-necked Grebe off the caravan park was new for the year whilst a raft of duck off the Obs included three Shelducks and nine Shoveler. A Woodcock came in off the sea and a drake Mandarin Duck was on the Marsh Pool. The wader count included 87 Sanderlings and 67 Turnstones.

Mandarin Duck – Andy Taylor
Kingfisher – Andy Taylor

13th

At the eastern end of the site, a Black Redstart was seen amongst the pigloos and an increase to three Snow Buntings was noted.

11th

Sunny periods, mild, moderate SW wind. Two Red-throated Divers, five Great Crested Grebes and a fishing Gannet were offshore. The redhead Goosander was on the tidal ponds early morning and along the shoreline later. Waders included six Golden Plovers and a Grey Plover on the beach, 18 Sanderlings on the mudflats and a flock of 20 Curlews heading across to Studd Hill. Two Sandwich Terns and a Razorbill wee also seen offshore. Other birds included a Little Grebe in the brook, Rock Pipit by the brook outflow, three Stonechats, two Chiffchaffs, a Brambling, a Goldfinch, three Siskins and a Redpoll west and a Corn Bunting in the grassland bushes.

Goosander – Arnie van Orsouw
Stonechat – Geoff Burton

10th

Sunny, light SW wind. A redhead Goosander was present close inshore early morning. Our first significant movement of Woodpigeons occurred at first light with 1,750 flying west and with nine Stock Doves also noted. Waders included 34 Oystercatchers on the beach on the incoming tide, three Golden Plovers and a Grey Plover west, 25 Sanderlings on the beach including our long-staying individual which was keeping itself separate from the flock, seven Dunlin and a flock of seven Curlews heading for the Studd Hill roost. There were 14 Great Black-backed Gulls on the tidal ponds and one Sandwich Tern. Other birds noted included one Skylark west, a Grey Wagtail on the skate park puddles, two Bramblings, a Greenfinch, seven Siskins and three Redpolls west and a party of six Corn Buntings also west.

A Small White butterfly was also noted.

Woodpigeons – Andy Taylor
Goosander – Andy Taylor

9th

Sunny, mild, light SW wind. The Great Northern Diver was again off the Obs and there were also two Red-throated Divers. Four Little Egrets were on the beach and roosting along the east bank and another two flew west over the sea. Two redhead Red-breasted Mergansers were “snorkelling” close inshore. A female Merlin flew over the beach by the skate park early morning. Waders included 25 Oystercatchers and seven Sanderlings on the beach, three Lapwings and four Knot west and five Snipe and 31 Redshanks on the Marsh Pool. Three Mediterranean Gulls flew west, and adult Lesser Black-backed Gull and a juvenile begging for food were on the Marsh Pool, there was an increase to 14 Great Black-backed Gulls on the beach, one Sandwich Tern offshore and a Razorbill was on the sea close inshore. Other birds noted included a Kingfisher, three Skylarks, eight Siskins and a Reed Bunting west, two Chiffchaffs and a Goldcrest by the Obs and the two Snow Buntings were on the beach between the caravan park and the coastguard cottages.

The biggest surprise of the day was a Clouded Yellow butterfly which flew by the Obs. Our first and an extremely late addition to the butterfly list for the year of 23 species.

Red-breasted Mergansers – Geoff Burton
Merlin – Andy Taylor

8th

Birds noted included a Rock Pipit, two Grey Wagtails, four Stonechats and four Lesser Redpolls flew west.

7th

Cloudy, mild, moderate SW wind and showers. Our first returning Great Northern Diver showed well close inshore by the Obs. There were c160 Brent Geese on the beach. Waders included 41 Ringed Plovers and 18 Dunlin roosting between the groynes and ten Snipe and 16 Redshanks on the Marsh Pool. Two Sandwich Terns were still offshore and other birds noted included single Song Thrush and Redwing, two Reed Buntings, the two Snow Buntings visible to the “east” and there was a light movement of Chaffinches.

Great Northern Diver – Andy Taylor

5th

A much quieter day with only our third single Mistle Thrush of the year. Also noted were one Shelduck, a Kingfisher and a Great Spotted Woodpecker, two Swallows and a Goldcrest.

4th

Sunny with a fresh to strong northerly wind. We have been waiting all autumn for weather conditions conducive to a bit of sea-watching. Not a classic but the best so far and probably the last. Most significant was the movement of skuas with four Pomarine Skuas, including a light-phase adult compete with “spoons”, 11 Arctic Skuas and 16 Great Skuas (far more than we’ve seen throughout the season) and a continuous stream of Kittiwakes, c1,500. Also on the move were six Wigeon, three Teal close inshore, a flock of 20 Pintail, two Common Scoters, a lone Little Gull and five Razorbills. Other birds noted included an immature male Peregrine close inshore, five Skylarks, a small movement of Chaffinches and three Redpolls.

2nd

Sunny with a light southerly wind. A Slavonian Grebe, on the sea east of the tidal ponds, was the first of the season. There were also three Red-throated Divers and six Great Crested Grebes offshore. Waders included 81 Ringed Plovers, 95 Sanderlings and six Dunlin roosting between the groynes. An adult Kittiwake was on the sea close inshore. Other birds included a female Marsh Harrier south over the area at 9 am, three Redpolls west and a phylloscopus warbler with an interesting call was too elusive.

Weather conditions certainly favoured the appearance of Pallid Swifts and there were good numbers in the country including one seen and well photographed by Andy the previous day nearby on the Tankerton slopes. Whilst walking by the skate park in the afternoon, Andy saw a lone flying Swift fall to earth in the grass; the Pallid Swift of the previous day. He put it in his hat (not sure whether he was still wearing it) and took it home to look after it.

Pallid Swift – Andy Taylor

1st

Cloudy, showers nearby, fresh SW wind and a bit cooler. There were three Red-throated Divers and five Great Crested Grebes offshore, Gannets were fishing offshore, a redhead Red-breasted Merganser west at 11.35 am was the first of the season. Waders included a Grey Plover on the beach, two Lapwings south, nine Sanderlings on the beach including the one with a damaged wing and 4 Snipe and 18 Redshanks on the Marsh Pool. There were three Little Egrets on the beach, two Sandwich Terns offshore and a Razorbill flew west. Other birds noted included a Rock Pipit and two Chiffchaffs and two Goldcrests at the Obs.

Grey Plover – Geoff Burton