February 2020

                                                  92 species so far this year                                                                                        89 species by this time last year

15th

A redhead Goosander was flushed from the brook near the Marsh Pool by  a dog!

14th

Sunny with a light SW wind. A calm day in between storms Ciara and Dennis. There were 13 Red-breasted Mergansers offshore but only c30 Brent Geese on the beach. Bird of the day was a Red Kite which flew west offshore  at 11.55 am. New for the year, and unusual in the winter months, although birds were also reported from Worth Marshes and Sevenscore that day. Little else to report but a Chiffchaff was on the edge of the Scout Wood and two Greenfinches were along the upper brook; both species now being recorded regularly again.

12th

Sunny with a fresh SW wind.  Three Shelducks and a duck Pintail flew west and there were five Red-breasted Mergansers offshore.  An adult Lesser Black-backed Gull flew west. A Stock Dove which flew west low over the scrub was our first of the year. Also noted were Kingfisher, Stonechat, two Chiffchaffs and ten Linnets.

11th

Andy’s reward for his refurbishment activities at the Obs was a good view of our resident, but elusive, Firecrest.

10th

Sunny and mild with a fresh SW wind. A Great Northern Diver flew west and a Gannet flew east. There were five Red-breasted Mergansers offshore, waders included 66 Sanderlings and an adult Mediterranean Gull flying west along the beach settled on the Marsh Pool  amongst the Black-headed and Common Gulls. Scarce so far this year, a Jackdaw flew east over the scout hut, a flock of 20 Goldfinches flew along the east bank and there were ten Linnets.

8th

Sunny with a light SW wind. There were 23 Great Crested Grebes offshore. A Great Northern Diver flew off west, there were three Wigeon lingering close inshore, nine Red-breasted Mergansers offshore and c100 Brent Geese on the beach. Other birds included a Kingfisher, three Stonechats (two males and a female) along the coastal path, a Chiffchaff calling in the Elm Wood and six Linnets which included one singing on the beach between the groynes at the eastern end.

A Water Vole swam across the middle brook.

Ringed Plover – Geoff Burton

6th

Sunny, calm with a light frost. The Great Northern Diver was off the eastern end of the beach. Two Shelducks flew west, two Common Scoters flew east and there were 14 Red-breasted Mergansers offshore. Waders included 132 Sanderlings on the beach on the outgoing tide and 22  Redshanks roosting on the Marsh Pool. Other birds included a Skylark calling but unseen as it flew west, a female Blackcap in the Elm Wood, 45 Carrion Crows on the shingle ridge at high tide, a Greenfinch “wheezing” in the trees along the upper brook and a male Reed Bunting in the grassland.

5th

Sunny periods with a light NW wind.  A Great Northern Diver lingered off the Obs, two Shelducks flew west and a flock of 20 Common Scoters flew east. There were three Blackaps, two males and a female in the Elm Wood (an unusually large nunber for winter here) and, finally, three Greenfinches along the east bank and the upper brook were the first this year. They should be regular from now on.

Greenfinch – Geoff Burton

3rd

Sunny and mild with a moderate SW wind. There were 120 Brent Geese on the beach, about ten Gannets and a Shelduck flew west and there were five Red-breasted Mergansers offshore. Waders included a record count of 141 Sanderlings on the beach, 39 Ringed Plovers on the beach,  40 Golden Plovers flying west and eight Snipe flushed from the Marsh Pool (dog walker). The Water Rail was seen along the middle brook. A Skylark flying west by the Obs was our first of the year. A Firecrest showed well in the Elm Wood and a Grey Wagtail appeared by the Obs.

1st

Sunny and mild (10-12.5 degrees C), with a moderate westerly wind. Two Red-throated Divers, five Great Crested Grebes and only one drake Red-breasted Merganser noted offshore. Waders included 42 Sanderlings on the beach, the three Lapwings on the Marsh Pool and a single Golden Plover flying west over the sea. Two Little Grebes were in the brook below the sluice. Other birds included a Kingfisher, a male Stonechat, four Long-tailed Tits, 25 Goldfinches, four Linnets and a female Reed Bunting.

A modest 41 species to start the month.

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