A total of 86 species for the month was well above the ten year average of only 77 species and, of those ten years, only 91 species in 2012 was better. Clearly, the cold spell was responsible for this. However, the year total of 90 species is still below the ten year average of 92.5 species. Furthermore, no species have been seen this year that was missed in 2020.
A total of 90 species so far this year
95 species by this time last year
The last week continued in the same vein. A pair of Gadwall flying west and a Chiffchaff at the Obs on 22nd were new for the year but there were no more additions by the end of the month. A Black-throated Diver and six White-fronted Geese flew east and the Water Rail made another of its infrequent appearances on 22nd, a Marsh Harrier flew west and there was a first post cold-spell show of a Kingfisher on 23rd, a raft of 16 Red-breasted Mergansers were draped around the red buoy on 24th and the only Gannet of the month was seen on 28th.
With the cold spell over, we returned to the scraps of the February doldrums. There were five unremarkable additions to the year list with a Stock Dove and a Rook heading west on 16th, a Greenfinch singing along the east bank on 17th and two Mute Swans and two Greylag Geese on 20th. Otherwise, a lone White-fronted Goose flew west on 13th, there were two sightings of Great Northern Divers, on 15th and 21st, and a count of 18 Snipe on the Marsh Pool on 19th.
There were two Wigeon on the tidal ponds, a drake Teal in the brook and 14 Red-breasted Mergansers offshore. 20 Golden Plovers were scattered over the beach and a single Redwing was by the scout hut.
A Black-throated Diver was on the sea. There were 60 Golden Plovers spread across the beach and 50 Lapwings and 40 Knot flew east. Six Teal were noted. Also, eight Skylarks, 44 Fieldfares flew west and 14 Redwings were in the area. A single Corn Bunting at the mouth of the brook was new for the year.
The drake Shoveler on the Marsh Pool had made way for a duck, there were three Teal in the brook and ten Golden Plovers on the beach.
The cold weather continued to provide interesting birds. A Barnacle Goose that had joined the Teal and Shoveler on the Marsh Pool a new bird for the year and in a surprise location. There were 30 Snipe scattered around the area and a lone Jack Snipe was in the brook. Other waders on the beach, included 30 Lapwings and three Knot. Other birds reacting to the conditions were a flock of five Skylarks, a single Fieldfare and 11 Redwings.
Wildfowl were on the move with 15 Shelducks, 22 Wigeon and 14 Pintails heading west. Pride of place, however, must go to a Spotted Redshank which had joined the roosting Common Redshanks on the Marsh Pool. A first for the pool but the third year running it as been recorded in the early months of the year. A drake Shoveler was also present on the pool (another addition to the yearlist). A Rock Pipit was seen in the brook.
The start of a cold period with easterly winds and snow. A Woodcock (always a possibility in this weather) was found at the eastern end of the beach and flew into the grassland. Also noted were four Teal, two Grey Plovers and an adult Kittiwake.
The quiet weather continued into February. There was a good count of 27 Redshanks on the Marsh Pool on 1st, a flock of 90 Lapwings flew west on 2nd and a Jay was an addition to the year list on 4th.