A total of 171 species so far this year
169 species by this time last year and by the end of the year
Cloudy, very mild, fresh SW wind and light rain. Five Red-throated Divers and a Shelduck flew west and there were three drake Red-breasted Mergansers offshore. Waders included the “resident” Grey Plover and 60 Golden Plovers flew west low over the sea. Other birds included a Song Thrush singing from the bushes opposite the Obs, a Goldcrest at the Obs, the Cetti’s Warbler in the brambles near the car park, a flock of 14 Goldfinches around the changing rooms and 12 Linnets along the coastal path. A quiet, fairly unpleasant end to the year.
Sunny with a moderate SW wind. There were four drake Red-breasted Mergansers offshore but only one Red-throated Diver and no Great Crested Grebe was seen. The redhead Goosander was again in the remnant brook and later flew by east. Waders included 70 Golden Plovers west over the sea, 22 Sanderlings along the beach and at least 18 visible Snipe on the Marsh Pool where a Little Grebe and the juvenile Moorhen still reside. Other birds noted included a Rock Pipit in the remnant brook, a male Stonechat, two Chiffchaffs and five Goldfinches.
Sunny with a light westerly wind. Two Shelduck flew west and eight drake Red-breasted Mergansers were offshore but only single Red-throated Diver and Great Crested Grebe were noted. Waders included 33 Oystercatchers on the incoming tide and 30 Redshanks on the Marsh Pool. A Little Grebe was also on the Marsh Pool and the Water Rail, if was indeed the same bird last seen on November 30th, was seen briefly from the wooden bridge by the sewage works. Other birds noted included the Cetti’s Warbler, heard in the brambles near the car park and a Chiffchaff and two Goldcrests along the east bank.
A Brown Rat showed well on the banks of the middle brook.
Cloudy with a light SW wind. There were nine drake Red-breasted Mergansers offshore, a redhead Goosander was in the remnant brook early morning (presumably though not necessarily the bird last seen on 5th) and a pair of Velvet Scoters flew west at 10.38 and back east about 15 minutes later. An increase in Brent Geese with 98 on the beach. The drake Shoveler was again on the Marsh Pool for its fourth day. Waders included 77 Ringed Plovers and 48 Dunlin roosting between the groynes, the Grey Plover on its usual post, there were two Lapwings on the beach and ten flew west out at sea and 18 Snipe were on the Marsh Pool. Other birds noted included one Skylark west, the male Stonechat, Cetti’s Warbler, Chiffchaff and two Goldcrests, ten Linnets and a Reed Bunting.
Cloudy, mild, shower, light SW wind. There were 10+ Red-throated Divers and seven Great Crested Grebes offshore and 33 Brent Geese along the shoreline. The drake Shoveler was still on the Marsh Pool, and briefly on the sea. There was also a Little Grebe, a juvenile Moorhen and 20 Snipe on the Marsh Pool. Other birds noted included a single Skylark west, two Meadow Pipits, a Grey Wagtail and a pair of Stonechats around the mouth of the brook, a Chiffchaff at the Obs and two Long-tailed Tits.
Cloudy, mild, light southerly wind. Quiet times with more interest on the Marsh Pool than the sea. There were two Little Grebes, a Little Egret, two drakes and a duck Teal, seven Mallards, a drake Shoveler and 21 visible Snipe on the Marsh Pool. A few Red-throated Divers and six Great Crested Grebes, including one in full breeding plumage, and 34 Brent Geese which flew down to Hampton. Other birds noted included a male Stonechat, Cetti’s Warbler and Chiffchaff and ten Linnets.
Sunny, much milder with a light northerly wind. There were six Red-throated Divers offshore but only a single Great Crested Grebe was noted. There were just four Brent Geese offshore on the high tide. Two drakes and a duck Teal, a Little Grebe, a juvenile Moorhen and at least 12 Snipe were visible on the Marsh Pool. One Grey Plover flew west and another was on the beach. Other birds noted included a male Stonechat, a Chiffchaff and a Goldcrest along the east bank, four Goldfinches in the churchyard and along the east bank and a female Reed Bunting in the scrub.
Clouding over, cold still with a light SW wind. An immature Spoonbill flew west at 8.40 am and east at 9.40 am; our first December record for the site. A flock of seven Goosanders, a drake and six redheads, flew west at 8 am and two Red-breasted Mergansers were seen offshore. Waders included 200+ Lapwings and five Golden Plovers west. Other birds noted were a Grey Wagtail, three Song Thrushes, three Redwings, two Chiffchaffs and there was a reappearance of the male Lesser Spotted Woodpecker in the Elm Wood. This is the first to be seen for a second day; the previous records were in July 1995, February, June and November 1998, June 2005 and September 2020.
The feeling of a quiet morning was rudely interrupted when a male Lesser Spotted Woodpecker flew out of the sewage works over the Obs then flew along the brook where it was heard calling but not seen again. Apart from a report from a visiting birder when the Wryneck was present in September 2020, this is the first record here since 2005. With the decline of this species in the county, albeit its stronghold is in the nearby Blean Woods complex, this was a big surprise. It was seen by three of the lucky, but hard working, regulars. Other birds noted included a pair of Gadwall west, a Peregrine hunting waders over the beach, 40 Kittiwakes west, a Rock Pipit and a Greenfinch.
Five Gadwalls flew west, two drake Pochards flew east then back west, and two Teal and five Red-breasted Mergansers were on the sea. A few Lapwings flew north, the Cetti’s Warbler was noted again and a Goldcrest was along the east bank.
A Cetti’s Warbler was seen near the changing rooms. Presumably, the long-staying bird that has been remarkably silent in the last couple of weeks.
Cloudy, some snow cover. There were five Great Crested Grebes offshore and seven drake Red-breasted Mergansers offshore, six Teal lingered along the shoreline and reduced numbers of Brent Geese, only 28, were on the beach. There were 33 Oystercatchers on the beach, the usual Grey Plover resting on the groynes and another flew west. Other birds included Kingfisher and Grey Wagtail, a Skylark came in off the sea, a Chiffchaff and a Goldcrest were in the Lang Court pines and a Snow Bunting circled over the beach calling.
Sunny, hard frost, calm. There were nine Great Crested Grebes, four Eiders, an immature drake and three ducks, and three Red-breasted Mergansers offshore, a Gannet and a flock of 20 Teal flew west and a Great Northern Diver flew east. A Cattle Egret flew west at 11.50 am and a female Marsh Harrier also flew west. Waders included 34 Oystercatchers on the beach on the incoming tide, a Grey Plover on the beach and 55 Sanderlings along the shoreline by the Obs. The Sanderling “put up with” being chased persistently by a dog whilst the owners looked on. They did return but at what cost in energy spent! Other birds noted included a female Kingfisher, male Great Spotted Woodpecker in the Elm Wood and the pair of Stonechats lingering around the Obs.
Sunny, cold with a light NW wind. The cold weather appears to have quietened things down so far. A Black-throated Diver was seen on the sea off the Obs before it flew off east. 12 Common Scoters flew east and a Shelduck and a drake Red-breasted Merganser flew west. The immature Little Gull was seen again offshore and also further east at Hampton. Other birds included a Rock Pipit and the pair of Stonechats hanging around the Obs.
Sunny, cold (-1 to 3 degrees C), light NW wind. There was a Shelduck, a flock of 17 Teal and two Common Scoters west whilst a small group of Brent Geese included a plain brown bird, paler underneath, of the same size and presumably just a colour variation. There were also four drake Red-breasted Mergansers offshore. Four species of raptor were seen; an immature Marsh Harrier flew west, Sparrowhawk and Kestrel, and a Peregrine circling high to the SE. Waders included a Grey Plover and 56 Sanderlings on the beach and 84 Dunlin roosting between the groynes. A flock of c40 Curlews were in the air over Studd Hill. An immature Little Gull was lingering offshore. Other birds noted included Kingfisher and Great Spotted Woodpecker, one Skylark west, two Rock Pipits, a pair of Stonechats at the Obs, four Chiffchaffs, a Goldcrest and the ever scarcer Greenfinch.
Cloudy, cold (3.5 degrees C on leaving), moderate NW wind. Two Mute Swans that flew west low over the sea were our first since August, nine Shelduck flew west, two Common Scoters flew east and there were five drake Red-breasted Mergansers offshore. Waders included 40 Ringed Plovers, 28 Sanderlings and nine Dunlin roosting between the groynes, a single Grey Plover on the beach and c50 Golden Plovers west low over the sea. An adult and immature Little Gull flew west close inshore. Other birds included two Little Grebes in the brook, Kingfisher and Great Spotted Woodpecker, two Grey Wagtails over the Obs and two Snow Buntings seen in flight several times over the coastal path.
There were three Red-throated Divers, a Great Northern Diver and three Red-breasted Mergansers offshore, two Gannets offshore and a Chiffchaff was also noted.
Cloudy, cold, light NE wind. There was one Great Northern Diver and three drake Red-breasted Mergansers offshore, c12 Common Scoters flew west and the redhead Goosander was on the Marsh Pool. Wades included a Lapwing which landed briefly on the shingle ridge, 26 Curlews which flew towards Studd Hill and 13 Snipe and 31 Redshanks on the Marsh Pool. Two Kittiwakes flew east. Other birds included two Rock Pipits chasing each other around the mouth of the brook, two Chiffchaffs and a Goldcrest.
Cloudy, cold with a light NE wind. There were two Great Northern Divers offshore, a Red-necked Grebe flew east with two Great Crested Grebes (an excellent comparison) and a Gannet flew west with a bright yellow “shawl” draped over its back (later seen in some distress at Faversham Creek). Three Shelducks and six Wigeon flew west, three duck Eiders offshore flew east, five Red-breasted Mergansers flew east close inshore and the redhead Goosander flew up the brook. A Purple Sandpiper which flew east close inshore, our first for two years, is likely to be the bird subsequently settled at Hampton. There were 40 Sanderlings on the shoreline, a single Bar-tailed Godwit was the first for some time, and 21 Snipe on the Marsh Pool. Five Little Gulls, including three immatures, 15 Kittiwakes flew east and a Sandwich Terns flew east. Other birds included a Kingfisher, two Chiffchaffs and a Goldcrest at the Obs.
Two Great Northern Divers, a Red-necked Grebe, three Wigeon, a Teal and two Eiders.
Cloudy with showers and a light NE breeze. There were two Great Northern Divers, a Red-necked Grebe and three Slavonian Grebes offshore. Six Shelducks and two Gadwall flew east, a Velvet Scoter and 17 Common Scoters flew east, there were two drake Red-breasted Mergansers offshore and the redhead Goosander was along the middle brook with Mallards. Waders included a Grey Plover, Sanderlings included the “injured” bird and there were 18 Redshanks on the Marsh Pool. Five Little Gulls flew west and eight Kittiwakes flew east. Other birds noted included one Little Grebe, a Kingfisher and a Chiffchaff.