June 2021

137 species so far this year

133 species by this time last year

A total of 77 species for the month compares with a ten-year average of only 69.9 species and a maximum during that period of 76 species. This seems to belie the feeling of a struggling month which is backed up statistically with my own daily average of only 31.9 species compared with averages between 34.4 and 41.1 species during the previous ten year period. There were two additions to the year list which included a singing and typically elusive Marsh Warbler on 15th (our third after birds in June 2004 and July 2011). A Green Sandpiper on 28th was also new for the year.


Cloudy, cool with showers, light to moderate northerly wind. A very quiet end to the month. Three Curlews and an immature Common Gull flew west. 21 Swifts flew west and a Chiffchaff was calling along the east bank.


Cloudy, misty, calm. There were four Little Egrets on the beach. Waders noted were four Oysteratchers east, 16 Curlews and a Whimbrel west and a Green Sandpiper, our first this year, which circled over the area calling. There were eight immature Great Black-backed Gulls on the beach, a Sandwich Tern offshore. Six Swifts and a Swallow were also noted.


Sunny, calm. There were four Little Egrets along the shoreline, two Shelducks and a Curlew flew west. Two Sandwich Terns and two Common Terns were offshore.

Blackcap belting it out at the Obs – Geoff Burton
Female Sparrowhawk – Geoff Burton


Sunny, calm, warmer. A Brent Goose came in from the east and rested on the shoreline in front of the Obs. A Grey Heron flew over the area, a Shelduck flew east, two Curlews flew west and a Sandwich Tern was offshore. A Skylark flew over the grassland.


Sunny with a light NE wind. Three broods of Mallard were noted; one of c8 medium-sized and two of five and nine small ducklings. There were two Curlews, one flew west and one on the beach, six Sandwich Terns flew east and a Common Tern was also noted. Two adult Moorhens with a single chick were seen along the middle brook. One Sand Martin flew west.

Butterflies included a Red Admiral and Holly Blue and a Yellow Shell moth was also seen.

Moorhens – Andy Taylor
Red Admiral – Geoff Burton


Two Common Terns on the beach and a large party of schoolchildren there too.


Cloudy with a fresh NE wind and rain from 8.30 am. Two Fulmars, 12 Gannets, a Curlew and an adult Common Gull flew east. There were 12 Great Black-backed Gulls on the beach and five Swifts flew west.


Cloudy, cool, with a light northerly wind. A very quiet morning. A Fulmar flew west. Three Turnstones, only seven Great Black-backed Gulls, but including two adults, and four Sandwich Terns on the beach.

Sandwich Terns – Geoff Burton


Cloudy, calm, rain. There were eight Little Egrets on the Marsh Pool early morning, a flock of 14 Gadwall flew SE over the sewage works, later one was along the shoreline and a Mute Swan flew east over the skate park. Waders noted wee a single Oystercatcher east, a Ringed Plover and seven Turnstones on the beach. There were 34 immature Great Black-backed Gulls, a second calendar year Mediterranean Gull and a Sandwich Tern on the beach. A Skylark was seen in the grassland.


A Mute Swan flew over the sewage works and the church.


Cloudy with a light NE wind. In contrast to yesterday, this seemed like the essence of mid-June. A Grey Heron flew north over the sewage works, there were 26 Great Black-backed Gulls on the beach, including two adults, a Stock Dove circled over the Marsh Pool and a Meadow Pipit was noted. However, a second circuit of the site led to a reappraisal of the morning. A warbler singing from a clump of nettles sounded interesting although it was difficult to hear clearly above the chatter of House Sparrows. Also, it interspersed brief snatches of its song with long periods of silence. However, perseverance and an upgrade in its song quality, confirmed that it was our third Marsh Warbler. It continued to sing intermittently in and around the bluethroat bush well into the afternoon but only afforded one observer one brief view. Previous records were in June 2004 and July 2011; all typical late one-day jobs.


Sunny, warm , calm then a light NW wind. Unexpectedly, two Siskins were calling in the pines by Lang Court first thing; they flew off west. There was a raft of 19 Shelducks sitting on a flat calm sea, a drake Tufted Duck flew west at 6.05 am and a Greenshank flew west at 8.35 am. Other waders were a single Oystercatcher east and eight Turnstones on the beach. A gathering of 23 Great Black-backed Gulls on the beach included one adult. Four Sand Martins also flew west. A rather above average morning for the doldrums of mid-June.

Butterflies noted were Small White, Holly Blue, Small Heath and Red Admiral.


Sunny with a light westerly wind. Two Gannets flew east and a Mute Swan flew north over the area. A Fulmar and a Grey Heron were also noted. Seven Turnstones were roosting amongst the groynes and 18 Great Black-backed Gulls were roosting on the beach.

Butterflies noted were Small and Large Whites, Holly Blue, Red Admiral and Speckled Wood.

Turnstones – Geoff Burton


Sunny, very warm, light SW wind. One Great Crested Grebe on the sea, a Gannet flew west and there were two Little Egrets roosting along the east bank. There were two Sandwich Terns and two Common Terns offshore and a Skylark flew west low over the Obs.


Sunny, warm, light SW wind. One Great Crested Grebe on the sea and three Little Egrets included two roosting along the east bank. Three Mediterranean Gulls flew west, there were 17 Great Black-backed Gulls, including two adults, on the beach and three Sandwich Terns offshore. A Chiffchaff was singing at the Obs.

Butterflies included the first Small Heath of the year.


A quiet morning birdwise with a single Skylark west and a Reed Warbler also noted.

Most notable though unfortunately deceased, was a Smooth Hound shark, which appeared to be in good condition, stranded on the beach. This a fairly common shallow water shark but the first to be recorded at the site. It was to provide several days of nourishment for an immature Great Black-backed Gull. On a different scale, a Speckled Wood was seen in the churchyard. This common species has been rather scarce so far this year.

Smooth Hound – Andy Taylor
Reed Warbler – Andy Taylor


Sunny, calm, warm. There were three Great Crested Grebes on the sea, a Gannet flew east and five Mute Swans swam leisurely west. A pair of Shelducks were on the Marsh Pool, two Lapwings circled over the beach and a Red Kite drifted SW. A Sandwich Tern was offshore and two Swifts and three Swallows flew west.

Butterflies noted were Small and Large Whites, Holly Blue and a Red Admiral.

Great Black-backed Gull passing Southend – Geoff Burton


Five Shelducks flew west, three Mediterranean Gulls were noted whilst a Willow Warbler along the east bank was unusual at this time of the year.


Cloudy, cool with a light NW wind. There was one Great Crested Grebe on the sea, seven Gannets flew east and a group of seven Kittiwakes flew west. Waders noted were an Oystercatcher east and a Ringed Plover and ten Turnstones on the beach. Three Mediterranean Gulls flew west and there were 19 Great Black-backed Gulls on the beach. Other birds noted included two Stock Doves, which dropped onto the Marsh Pool, and four Swallows west.

Stock Dove – Geoff Burton


A quiet day but two Common Scoters and a Yellow Wagtail were noted.


A Common Sandpiper and eight Turnstones were noted and four Kittiwakes flew east. Other birds noted included a Hobby, a House Martin, three Jays and a Greenfinch.


Sunny and warm. There were two Great Crested Grebes on the sea and singles of Fulmar and Gannet flew east. Waders included two Avocets and two Sanderlings, eight Oystercatchers flying east, two Ringed Plovers on the shingle ridge and six roosting Turnstones. A Hobby zipped east through the scrub and over the caravan park and there were nine immature Great Black-backed Gulls on the beach. Other birds included a Stock Dove which dropped onto the shingle ridge, a Swift and a Swallow, a Grey Wagtail by the sluice and a Reed Warbler singing occasionally in the scrubland trees.

Butterflies seen were large and Small White, Holly Blue and presumably one of the last Orange-tips of the year. Jim Bloor reported seeing three Water Voles in the brook by the Marsh Pool.

Avocets – Andy Taylor

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