163 species so far this year
169 species by this time last year
A total of 115 species for the month was significantly above the ten-year average of 109.8. October continues to record the highest number of species of any month of the year. However, the 11 additions to the year list contained no real surprises; the Dartford Warbler on 14th, found by visiting birder, Peter Tyler, was only our fourth record, a Short-eared Owl on 9th is the only one of this species so far, Red-necked and Slavonian Grebes were also added and a Snow Bunting zipped through on 30th.
Cloudy, steady rain, fresh SW wind. An awful end to the month! Two juvenile Gannets flew west close inshore, the pair of Eiders were still on the sea and the drake Mandarin Duck on the Marsh Pool. There were 56 Ringed Plovers roosting on the beach with a single Dunlin.
Cloudy, rain between 9-10.30 am, light SW wind. One Great Crested Grebe, the pair of Eiders and a Guillemot were offshore, a Gannet flew west and a Little Egret and 64 Brent Geese were on the beach. On the Marsh Pool, the drake Mandarin Duck was again present early morning, there was also a Little Grebe, three Snipe and 15 Redshanks. A single Lapwing flew west and an adult Mediterranean Gull was fishing offshore in amongst a flock of Black-headed Gulls. Bird of the day, however, was a Snow Bunting which flew west low over the eastern promenade; an addition to the year list. Other birds included two female Pheasants in the grass along the beach, four Chiffchaffs and an adult Rook west.
The drake Mandarin Duck and the pair of Eiders were present again, there were two Grey Herons on the Marsh Pool and another three flew west, seven Redwings came in off the sea, and another dropped into the willows by the Obs, and a Kingfisher and two Bramblings were also noted.
Sunny, mild with a moderate SW wind. There was one Great Crested Grebe and the pair of Eiders offshore and the drake Mandarin Duck was again on the Marsh Pool along with 45 Mallard. Two Little Grebes were in the brook and a Grey Heron flew west. Four Golden Plovers on the beach flew off west and there were also eight Sanderlings. A count of 144 Herring Gulls on the beach. Other birds included a Kingfisher, Great Spotted Woodpecker, seven Skylarks, a Mistle Thrush and two Siskins west, two Stonechats, eight Long-tailed Tits, two Yellowhammers in the bushes opposite the Obs and three Reed Buntings.
Butterflies noted were Small White, Red Admiral and a Clouded Yellow, a Southern Hawker dragonfly posed briefly at the Obs and another Box-tree moth was seen.
Cloudy, mild with a moderate SW wind. A Great White Egret, which flew west low over the sea at 10.10 am, was our third record of the year but only our fifth in total for the site. Expect more! There was one Great Crested Grebe and the pair of Eider offshore and 76 Brent Geese on the beach. Waders included 11 Sanderlings on Hampton flats. Five Skylarks, a Swallow, two Bramblings amongst a movement of Chaffinches, flew west. A cock Yellowhammer paused briefly in the bushes opposite the Obs before flying west with Chaffinches, and a Greenfinch also flew west. Also noted were a Grey Wagtail, two Stonechats and a Chiffchaff.
A drake Eider has joined the duck on the sea off the skate park.
Sunny, mild with a moderate SW wind. A pair of Mandarin Ducks on the Marsh Pool early morning was an addition to the year list. Other wildfowl included 12 Brent Geese on the beach, 17 Wigeon and two Tufted Ducks west, a duck Eider offshore and a redhead Red-breasted Merganser snorkelling along the shoreline. There was one Great Crested Grebe offshore and two Grey Herons on the tidal ponds. Waders included 26 Ringed Plovers, seven Sanderlings and a Dunlin on the Hampton flats and a Snipe and 21 Redshanks on the Marsh Pool. Also noted were a Rock Pipit, a Redwing, two Chiffchaffs, five Jays and three Rooks, a Siskin and a Reed Bunting.
Away from the avian world, there was a Water Vole and a Weasel, Small White and Speckled Wood butterflies and Common Darter.
Cloudy and calm. One Red-throated Diver flew west, there were six Great Crested Grebes offshore, 19 Gannet included 12 on the sea, there were three Little Egrets on Hampton flats and a single Grey Heron on the beach. Wildfowl included an immature Mute Swan west, c80 Brent Geese to the west off Tankerton slopes, 13 Shelduck west, six Wigeon east, a pair of Tufted Duck west. a duck Eider offshore, two Common Scoters, a drake and an immature female Goldeneye which appeared close inshore of the Obs. Waders included 79 Ringed Plovers on the Hampton flats seven Sanderlings on the beach. Other birds noted included a male Merlin west, four Sandwich Terns, a Great Spotted Woodpecker, two Rock Pipits in the remnant brook, two Stonechats, nine Brambling west and a Reed Bunting.
Three Little Gulls that flew west were, surprisingly, our first this year. The duck Eider was offshore and there was a Knot on the beach. Other birds included a Rock Pipit and two Grey Wagtail in the remnant brook, a Rook, a Brambling, ten Siskins and five Redpolls and a high count of 18 Reed Buntings.
Sunny at times with a fresh west to NW wind. There was a single Red-throated Diver, Red-necked Grebe and duck Eider offshore and a Great Crested Grebe flew west. A flock of six-seven redhead Goosanders flew west. It seems likely that these were the same birds that had flown north by Sandwich Bay and west by Reculver, and were later seen of Shellness on the Isle of Sheppey. Waders included five Golden Plovers and 17 Sanderlings flying west. There were c10 Sandwich Terns west and there were two Guillemots close inshore and a few other large auks offshore. Other birds included three Little Grebes, a Kingfisher, a Rock Pipit along the shoreline detritus at high tide, a Grey Wagtail by the sluice and a female Stonechat.
Cloudy, mild, moderate SW wind. There were single Red-throated Diver, Great Crested Grebe and duck Eider offshore and a duck Common Scoter flew east. There were five Little Egrets, four Snipe and 19 Redshanks on the Marsh Pool. An adult and five first calendar year Mediterranean Gulls were amongst a flock of Black-headed Gulls on the sea. Two Sandwich Terns and a Guillemot were also noted offshore. Other birds noted included three Grey Wagtails offshore, two Chiffchaffs and three Bramblings were noted amongst a westerly movement of Chaffinches.
Five drake Pochards flew west at 9.40 am, an Eider was offshore by the red “Cheesy” buoy, 12 Golden Plovers were on the beach at low tide, there were 50+ Ringed Plovers and two Swallows were also noted.
Cloudy, light SW wind. A Red-necked Grebe, close inshore in the company of two Great Crested Grebes, was our first of the year. Four Red-throated Divers included three adults close inshore and 125 Brent Geese flew west. A Little Grebe in the brook and an Eider offshore were also noted. There were 17 Redshanks on the Marsh Pool and two Sandwich Terns offshore. Other birds noted included a female Great Spotted Woodpecker in the churchyard, a Swallow west, three Grey Wagtails over the Obs, two Stonechats, four Chiffchaffs, a Jay and a westerly movement of Chaffinches late morning.
A Water Vole was seen in the middle brook and a Box Tree moth also made an appearance.
An intriguing sighting of three wild swans that flew west distantly over the sea at 9.15 am. They were identified as Bewick’s Swans at the time because the observers “didn’t think they were long necked or big enough” to be Whooper Swans. However, the same morning (apparently only 15 minutes later) and not far away at Capel Fleet on the Isle of Sheppey, Kevin Guttridge found and photographed three adult Whooper Swans. A bit too much of a coincidence? Probably! Although these were the first to be reported in Kent, there had been reports of small numbers from many sites further north throughout the month. Bewick’s Swan reports were far fewer and not, apparently, before 10th. A Slavonian Grebe on the sea off the Obs was probably the bird of two days earlier. Other birds recorded included a summer plumage Red-throated Diver offshore, an extremely late brood of seven Mallard ducklings in the brook, a Pheasant in the churchyard, a Skylark and a Greenfinch.
A quiet morning. Plenty of Gannets and Chaffinches and a flock of 50+ Sanderlings.
A Slavonian Grebe on the sea off the eastern end of the beach, was new for the year, and early for this species. However, bird of the day was a Dartford Warbler found by Peter Tyler (visitor from Maidstone) in bushes near the Marsh Pool. Our fourth record for the site after one last year and one in 2001 (which stayed for a couple of weeks) and one in 2003. A Raven, which flew west at 8.57 am, added to an excellent morning. Two Guillemots were also seen.
Sunny, light NW wind. One Red-throated Diver, one Great Crested Grebe and two juvenile Gannets flew west. Wildfowl included two Brent Geese and six Teal west, Wigeon and Pintail and c60 Common Scoters in flight distantly offshore. Waders included one Lapwing, three Dunlin west and eight Snipe and 15 Redshanks on the Marsh Pool. One Guillemot was offshore and a female Pheasant was an addition to the year list. Other birds noted included Kingfisher, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Grey Wagtail, two Stonechats, a Song Thrush and a Redwing, two Blackcaps, a Chiffchaff and four Long-tailed Tits, two Jays and two Jays, three Bramblings (our first of the year), a Siskin and a Redpoll, 10 Linnets, three Reeds Buntings, and a Corn Bunting west.
A Shag close inshore was a first for the year. There were two Red-throated Divers and three Common Scoters offshore. There were four Snipe on the Marsh Pool. Other birds included a Great Spotted Woodpecker, five Jays and a Rook.
Sunny, moderate northerly wind. One Great Crested Grebe, two juvenile Gannets and two Brent Geese flew west. About 60 Common Scoters were seen in flight distantly offshore. Waders included three Dunlin west and eight Snipe and 15 Redshanks on the Marsh Pool. An Arctic Skua and a Guillemot were also seen. Other birds reported included a Green Woodpecker in the scrub, a Great Spotted Woodpecker, a Blackcap and five Jays flew west.
Sunny, calm with a mist over the sea. There was a single Red-throated Diver and Great Crested Grebe on the sea, two Mute Swans flew east, there were 90 Brent Geese, a Grey Heron on the tidal ponds and 18 Mallard in the remnant brook. A Razorbill was seen offshore. A Short-eared Owl, flushed from the edge of the scrub, was our first of the year and other birds included Great Spotted Woodpecker, three Skylarks west, two Swallows, two Stonechats, a Song Thrush and a Mistle Thrush, three Blackcaps, c6 Chiffchaffs, a Jay and a Reed Bunting.
Butterflies noted were Small Whites and a Comma.
A Great White Egret on the tidal ponds was the fourth record for the site and the second of the year. Ducks included a Teal, three Shovelers and a Common Scoter. Other birds noted included a Marsh Harrier, Kingfisher, Song Thrush and Redwing.
Cloudy, calm. There were two Red-throated Divers and a Great Crested Grebe on the sea, 11 Brent Geese, a Shelduck and six Common Scoters flew west and three Red-breasted Mergansers were also noted. There were two Grey Herons on the beach and five Little Egrets on the Marsh Pool together with a Snipe and nine Redshanks, but there was no sign of the Greenshank that had been present for the previous 16 days. There was a single Sanderling on the beach and 90 Lapwings flew west. An Arctic Skua flew west, a first-winter Mediterranean Gull flew south and there were two Sandwich Terns offshore. Other birds included six Skylarks west, two Swallows, three Stonechats and a Wheatear, a Blackcap and three Chiffchaffs, 40 Chaffinches and a party of 12 Siskins west and two Reed Buntings on the bushes opposite the Obs which flew west.
Sunny with a fresh westerly wind. A Red-throated Diver flew east, a Great Crested Grebe flew west and a movement of wildfowl included 120 Brent Geese, 39 Wigeon, 16 Teal and 18 Common Scoters west, and two duck Eiders and two redhead Red-breasted Mergansers. Waders included 10 Dunlin, a Ruff, three Snipe and three Bar-tailed Godwits west and 10 Redshanks and a Greenshank on the Marsh Pool. A Marsh Harrier flew east over the sea, five Arctic Skuas and a Mediterranean Gull flew west and terns included c200 Sandwich Tern, with a flock of 40 resting on the beach, and one Common Tern and ten Arctic Terns west. A dozen or so larger auks included two Guillemots and a Razorbill. Other birds included a Great Spotted Woodpecker, two Skylarks west, a Blackcap and three Chiffchaffs, and eight Long-tailed Tits at the Obs.
Butterflies noted were Small Whites and a Speckled Wood.
A Guillemot flew east. Two Skylarks flew west, a Yellow Wagtail was with Meadow Pipits by the pigloos on the caravan site and a Siskin flew west over the Obs.
Sunny periods, cool, light SW wind. A breeding plumage Red-throated Diver and duck Eider were offshore. Waders included 18 Sanderlings and, on the Marsh Pool, a Snipe, 14 Redshanks and a Greenshank. Other birds included a Great Spotted Woodpecker, a Grey Wagtail, a pair of Stonechats, a Blackcap and three Rooks which circled over the area.
Cloudy, cool, light southerly wind. A Red-throated Diver in breeding plumage was close inshore, two duck Eider were offshore and a Common Scoter flew west. Two Brent Geese and a Grey Heron flew east. There were 18 Little Egrets, 23 Redshanks and the Greenshank on the Marsh Pool and 23 Sanderlings were on the beach. Two Sandwich Terns were offshore. Other birds included a single Swallow, two House Martins around the Obs, two Stonechats, a Whitethroat and two Blackcaps whilst a Spotted Flycatcher in the Elm Wood was only our fourth October record.
A Box-tree moth was seen by the Obs.
Cloudy, heavy showers, moderate SW wind. A Great Crested Grebe and the two duck Eiders were offshore and there were 13 Little Egrets on the Marsh Pool. Waders included 36 Ringed Plovers on the beach and 20 Redshanks and the long-staying Greenshank on the Marsh Pool. An Arctic Skua and five Sandwich Terns were offshore and five adult Great Black-backed Gulls were on the beach. Other birds seen included a Stock Dove, Great Spotted Woodpecker, a Swallow and ten House Martins, 19 Pied Wagtails on the football pitch, two Stonechats, two Whitethroats, a Blackcap and c8 Chiffchaffs.