July 2021

141 species so far this year

136 by the same time last year

A total of 78 species were recorded during the month which compares favourably with a ten-year average of 73.6 species but below the best of these years with 82 in 2015. The year total of 141 species also compares well with an average of 135.5 by the end of July. Four new species were added to the year list including an early Arctic Skua on 16th and our fifth record of Cattle Egret (all in the last four years) on 27th.


Sunny periods with a light westerly wind. Waders included one Oystercatcher on the beach, and another ten flying east, six Ringed Plovers and an influx of 81 Turnstones, many in breeding plumage, on the beach, two Whimbrel, one west and one on the shoreline which flew south courtesy of a dog walker, and the Common Sandpiper on the Marsh Pool. A Juvenile Marsh Harrier, which flew west over the sea at 11.10 am, was surprisingly our first since March 29th. Two Sandwich Terns flew west, a Stock Dove was over the area, two Swift, a juvenile Robin by the sewage works entrance and four dull-capped Blackcaps were along the east bank.

A total of ten butterfly species included Common and Holly Blues, Comma, Speckled Wood and Essex Skipper. Common Blue was, belatedly, our first of the year.

Comma – Geoff Burton
Common Blue – Geoff Burton


Sunny, moderate SW wind. Two Little Terns could be made out amongst a melee of gulls and terns offshore. Waders included four Ringed Plovers, the Common Sandpiper on the Marsh Pool and 20 Turnstones on the beach. Three juvenile Mistle Thrushes flying west landed in the trees along Swalecliffe Court Drive before heading west again across the football pitch (always a good bird to see here these days). A juvenile Willow Warbler was along the east bank and Blackcap and Chiffchaff were also seen.

Speckled Wood


Cloudy, light SW wind. There were three Little Egrets on the beach. Waders included 11 Ringed Plovers and 44 Turnstones on the beach and a Common Sandpiper was on the Marsh Pool. Three adult Mediterranean Gulls flew west and three Sandwich Terns and Common Terns were offshore. Two Stock Doves flew south off the beach, three Swifts flew west and a Willow Warbler was calling near the sluice.

Common Gull – Geoff Burton


A Cattle Egret flew west by the Obs at 7.55 am. A new bird for the year. The first was recorded in May 2018 but this is now the sixth record with singles in April and September 2019 and a juvenile and an adult in July 2020.


Cloudy, muggy, light NW wind. A Black-tailed Godwit present on the shoreline by the Obs early morning was an addition to the year list. Other waders included two Ringed Plovers, an adult Dunlin and 25 Turnstones on the beach, a Curlew east and a Common Sandpiper. There were three Mediterranean Gulls on the beach with 165 Black-headed Gulls and a single Common Gull, a Sandwich Tern east and a Common Tern west. Also noted were two Stock Doves and 15 Swifts.


Cloudy, rain shower, light southerly wind. 19 Mallard included a duck with five ducklings. Waders included seven Ringed Plovers and four Dunlin on the shingle ridge at high tide. A Whimbrel was heard calling as it moved west and two Greenshanks circled over the area before flying off high west over the Obs and 20 Turnstones were on the beach. There were three Mediterranean Gulls, including two juveniles on the beach, and an adult Common Gull.

Herring Gull chick on the roof of the church – Geoff Burton


A Jay was seen in the scrub.


Sunny, warm, light SE wind. One Gannet flew east. There were three Little Egrets with two on the Marsh Pool and roosting along the east bank. Waders noted were one Oystercatcher and 11 Whimbrel west, a Ringed Plover on the shingle ridge, a Dunlin and 26 Turnstones between the groynes. A Great Spotted Woodpecker and a Greenfinch were also noted.


Sunny, warm, calm. A Great Crested Grebe on the sea was the first of the month. Seven Gannets flew west and three flew east. A single Oystercatcher and a Sanderling were on the beach, and a party of five Common Sandpipers gathered there briefly, whilst an influx of 27 Turnstones were roosting between the groynes. An adult and a juvenile Mediterranean Gull were on the beach, an immature Common Gull flew south over the sewage works and the pair of Great Black-backed Gulls, and an immature, were also on the beach. A Stock Dove flew south by the Obs, a Yellow Wagtail was seen and, unusually for this time, a juvenile Rook flew west by the scout hut.

Nine species of butterfly included Painted Lady and Marbled White, a Shaded Broad-bar moth was seen and a Water Vole also made an appearance.


Sunny, very warm, light SE wind. Four Gannets flew east, one flew west. There were four Little Egrets on the Marsh Pool and a Grey Heron flew south. Two juvenile Shovelers that circled the area before landing on the Marsh Pool was an unusual occurrence at an unusual time of the year. There were also 12 Mallard on the Marsh Pool. Waders noted were a Ringed Plover on the shingle ridge, a Green Sandpiper heard calling and our first Turnstone of the month. There were two Mediterranean Gulls on the beach, one adult Common Gull flew west, numbers of juvenile Herring Gulls on the beach rose to 57, there were two adult and an immature Great Black-backed Gull on the beach and five Sandwich Terns flew west. Also, five Swifts flew west.

Eight species of butterfly were noted on this warm day which included our first Comma of the year and Marbled White.

Kestrel and departing Goldfinch – Geoff Burton
Comma – Geoff Burton


Sunny, warm, light northerly wind. Three adult Mute Swans flew east over the sea and a Grey Heron flew SE pursued by gulls. Five Oystercatchers flew east, four Whimbrel flew west and a Curlew was heard calling. There were three Great Black-backed Gulls on the beach, a pair and an immature, and a Sandwich Tern flew east. A Swallow came in off the sea.

Butterflies included our first Gatekeeper and Meadow Brown and Red Admiral.


Cloudy at first, sunny later, moderate northerly wind. An Arctic Skua, quite early for the site, flew west at 8.48 am. New for the year but little else moving although single Mediterranean Gull and Common Gull flew west. Waders noted were two Oystercatchers, one Ringed Plover, 14 Lapwing SE over the area, three breeding plumage Dunlin and a Redshank. There were ten Juvenile Herring Gulls on the beach.

Butterflies noted were Small White, Small Heath, Essex Skipper and a Marbled White.


Waders noted were one Ringed Plover on the shingle ridge, eight Lapwings, two Whimbrels and a Redshank. Also there were seven Kittiwakes, two Yellow Wagtails and a Chiffchaff was heard calling again.

Four Marbled Whites in the scrub was an exceptional count for the site.


A lone Brent Goose and 20 Common Scoters flew west, with three east. An adult Ringed Plover was on the shingle ridge and a Redshank on the beach. A Buzzard flew NW over the Obs and a Hobby west over the estate. Also, one Meadow Pipit flew west and a Chiffchaff was heard calling.

A brief view of a Marbled White and there were a few Shaded Broad-bar moths in the grassland.


There were eight Little Egrets on the Marsh Pool in the afternoon and seven Gadwall flew west at 6.45 pm.


Cloudy, some light rain, calm. There were five Little Egrets. Nine Whimbrel flew west, a party of six and three singles, one Curlew flew west and two were by the tidal ponds, and one Oystercatcher flew west. Seven Sandwich Terns flew east and two Common Terns flew west. Four Swifts flew west and at least three Blackcaps continued to sing.


Sunny periods, light southerly wind. Three Gannets flew east, there were seven Little Egrets, a Grey Heron flew west low over the sea and a flock of c20 Common Scoters landed on the sea. Waders were represented by singles of Oystercatcher, Ringed Plover and Curlew. Three adult Great Black-backed Gulls were chasing each other over the beach and one Sandwich Tern was offshore. Two Sand Martins and a Swallow flew west and a Chiffchaff was seen at the Obs and along the east bank.


A Hobby flew over the caravan park.


Sunny periods, moderate southerly wind. Three Gannets flew east, two Little Egrets flew west and three were on the Marsh Pool and there were four Sandwich Terns and a Common Tern offshore. Waders noted included a juvenile Ringed Plover and singles of Oystercatcher, Whimbrel and Curlew. Other birds noted included a Stock Dove, two Swifts, two Sand Martins and a House Martin west, a juvenile Pied Wagtail and a Chiffchaff.

Amongst seven species of butterfly were our first Essex Skippers, moths were represented by a Silver Y and dragonflies by an Azure Damselfly.

Azure Damselfly – Geoff Burton


Cloudy, rain until 7 am, light SW wind. Two Mute Swans flew west over the sea and 15 Common Scoters flew east. There were two Whimbrel on the beach early morning, three Curlews and an Oystercatcher. A secobd calendar year Mediterranean Gull flew west and there were five immature Great Black-backed Gulls on the beach. Six Swifts flew west and a single Swallow was also noted.

Bug wise there were eight species of butterfly, a Box Tree and Cinnabar moth and our first Southern Migrant Hawker dragonfly. The latter becoming increasingly regular in the county.


Four Sandwich Terns were fishing at 12.15 pm.


Cloudy, steady rain from 9.45-10.30 am, and light SW wind. There were two Little Egrets on the Marsh Pool and an adult Mute Swan was close inshore, and later flew south over Lang Court. Three Oystercatchers flew west and a flock of 35 Lapwings flew west inland. An adult Mediterranean Gull was on the beach and an adult and second calendar year bird flew west. A flock of 120 Black-headed Gulls roosting close inshore early morning included two juveniles. There were 15 immature Great Black-backed Gulls on the beach and three Sandwich Terns offshore. Other birds included a Stock Dove, which circled over the area and landed by the Marsh Pool and also attempted to land by the Obs Pool and eight Swifts west. A Leucistic House Sparrow was present in the scrub.

A Water Vole put in one of its regular appearances and butterflies noted were Small and Large Whites and Meadow Brown.

Leucistic House Sparrow – Geoff Burton


Sunny, warmer, light NNW wind. Three Gannets flew west, there were two Little Egrets on the Marsh Pool (also one on the Obs Pool) and two Brent Geese flew west accompanying a Cormorant. Three Curlews flying west were the only waders noted. Three Sandwich Terns were offshore. Other birds noted included a Hobby, ten Swifts and a Swallow west and a Reed Warbler singing in the Scout Wood.

Little Egret – Geoff Burton
Woodpigeons – Geoff Burton

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