A total of 98 species for the month is well below the ten-year average of 104.1 species. The weather, with much calm, warm conditions and no significant northerly blows, helps to explain this. There were six additions to the year list during the month, Coal Tit, Curlew Sandpiper and Firecrest were not recorded last year. Nevertheless the year total of 156 equals any of the last ten years which averaged 148 species. October is the key month of the year on tis coast!
156 species so far this year
152 species by this time last year
Sunny with a freshening SW wind. A Red-throated Diver was the first of the autumn, a Pomarine Skua west at 7.25 am was new for the year and a Rock Pipit was also the first returning bird. A Greylag Goose was sitting on the sea, six Brent Geese flew west and two Teal landed on the sea. Waders included 61 Ringed Plovers and a single Dunlin on the Hampton flats, a Grey Plover circling around calling before settling on the tidal ponds and a Snipe on the Marsh Pool. Other birds noted included a Little Grebe in the brook, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Grey Wagtail, two Stonechats, a Jay and a Reed Bunting.
Sunny, calm. Bird of the day was a Firecrest found by Jim Bloor along the east bank early morning but, alas, not seen subsequently. A new bird for the year. On a more mundane front, seven Brent Geese flew west and waders included 33 Oystercatchers on the beach, 80 Ringed Plovers on Hampton flats and a Snipe flew NW over the beach. An Arctic Skua gave good views chasing terns close inshore. Other birds noted included Kingfisher, Great Spotted Woodpecker, three Skylarks, Grey Wagtail, three Stonechats, a Reed Warbler and two Jays.
A Speckled Wood was seen in the churchyard.
Sunny, cool with a moderate westerly wind. Two Gannets flew west and a Little Grebe was in the lower brook. Waders included eight Bar-tailed Godwits on the Hampton flats, 28 Oystercatchers. a summer plumage Grey Plover and three Dunlin on the beach and seven Redshanks on the Marsh Pool. Other birds seen included Kingfisher, four Skylarks, a Stonechat and a Song Thrush.
80 Sandwich Terns and a Great Skua, worryingly few so far, flew west. Two Little Grebes in the brook were the first of the autumn.
Cloudy, heavy showers, light W-NW wind. A Wigeon was seen in flight with Mallard, 25 Brent Geese and two Curlews flew west. A large movement of Swallows, c1,500, a single Sand Martin and six House Martins flew west. Other birds noted included a Kingfisher, two Grey Wagtails, our first Stonechat of the autumn, a Willow Warbler along the east bank and one Reed Bunting west.
A fresh to strong northerly wind. Four Gannets, five Wigeon, three Common Scoters and two Arctic Skuas flew west. There were 12 Brent Geese on the beach and another three flew west. A Merlin flew west along the beach and the injured Sanderling (present since 20th May) was seen again on the beach. Other birds noted included Kingfisher and Grey Wagtail, Lesser Whitethroat and Willow Warbler.
Very light winds. 10 Brent Geese flew west and the Wigeon was on the Obs Pool. Waders included 17 Oystercatchers, 25+ Ringed Plovers, a Grey Plover, five Redshanks and 40 Turnstones. Other birds noted included two Sparrowhawks being mobbed by Jackdaws, Kingfisher, Great Spotted Woodpecker, a small westerly movement including all three hirundines, two Grey Wagtails flycatching along the upper brook, Lesser Whitethroat and Willow Warbler and Jay.
Two Sparrowhawks were over the Elm Wood at lunchtime, there were eight Sandwich Terns feeding offshore and an influx of Blackcaps was estimated at 20+ but only one Chiffchaff was noted.
Slight wind. 15 Teal flew west. Other birds noted included a Great Spotted Woodpecker, six Swallows west, a Grey Wagtail and a Lesser Whitethroat.
Strong NW wind. Two Manx Shearwaters following each other west were new for the year whilst a flock of six Egyptian Geese flying west were rather more random. There was an easterly movement of Sandwich Terns again. Waders included 30+ Ringed Plovers, a single Sanderling and nine Redshanks. Vis mig included a movement of Swallows and Meadow Pipits.
Strong NW wind. Four Brent Geese flew west, the first of the autumn, four Common Scoters flew east, an Arctic Skua was chasing terns and there was a continuous easterly movement of Sandwich Terns. Vis mig included very few Swallows and the movement of Meadow Pipits was down on yesterday. A single Grey Wagtail was also seen.
Cloudy, cool, moderate NW wind. Eight Gannets circled high over the sea drifting east. Two Shelducks and five Teal flew west. Vis mig was dominated by c1,000 Meadow Pipits with c200 Swallows, 25 House Martins and two Sand Martins heading west. Other birds included a Reed Warbler and a Willow Warbler along the east bank, a Jay in the elm Wood and 15 Linnets along the east bank.
Cloudy, cooler with a light northerly wind. A Great White Egret which flew west low over the sea at 10.15 am was new for the year and our sixth record after one in 2011 and 2019 and three last year. A single Wigeon was on the Marsh Pool. Waders included seven Redshanks, a Sanderling and a Snipe. Our first significant hirundine movement of the autumn with c900 Swallows, ten Sand Martins and three House Martins between 9.30-11 am. There were c200 Meadow Pipits heading west. Other birds included a Great Spotted Woodpecker, a Wheatear, the Cetti’s Warbler and a flock of 15 Linnets dropped onto the shingle ridge.
Cloudy, steady rain and calm. Two Common Scoters flew east. A tit party moved through the Obs and included a Reed Warbler, a Lesser Whitethroat, a Whitethroat and Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs. The Cetti’s Warbler continues its outbursts along the east bank.
Sunny, warm, with a light southerly wind. There were three Grey Herons on the tidal ponds, three Teal offshore and three Common Scoters flew west. One Wigeon was in the brook. There were 22 Oystercatchers on the beach. A Kingfisher was along the middle brook and a Great Spotted Woodpecker was heard calling. Tere were seven species of warbler along the east bank including the Cetti’s Warbler, our first autumn Sedge Warbler, Reed Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat and three Willow Warblers.
Migrant Hawker, Common Darter and a Willow Emerald Damselfly were seen along the middle brook.
Cloudy, light WNW wind. 13 Gannets flew east, three Teal flew west and another was with the Mallards. Waders included 22 Oystercatchers on the beach, a Bar-tailed Godwit and three Greenshanks west and five Redshanks on the Marsh Pool. There were 15+ Sandwich Terns offshore. A movement of 41 Meadow Pipits flew west. Warblers included a Cetti’s Warbler giving a few bursts of song along the east bank (our third autumn record), a Reed Warbler, our first Lesser Whitethroat of the autumn and a Whitethroat. A flock of 12 Jackdaws flew west.
Butterflies noted were Small White and Common Blue.
Cloudy, steady light rain from 9 am. Birds of the day were two Curlew Sandpipers which appeared along the shoreline with three Dunlin but soon moved on. Other waders included 21 Oystercatchers on the beach, 44 Ringed Plovers roosting between the groynes and two Redshanks. Other birds seen included a second, vocal Pied Flycatcher showing well at the Obs (the bird in the churchyard was seen in the churchyard again), a Great Spotted Woodpecker in the Elm Wood and a Hobby heading west over the sewage works.
Sunny with a light SW wind. There were two Teal with the Mallard. Waders included 20 Oystercatchers on the beach and 30 Ringed Plovers, the injured Sanderling, five Dunlin and 102 Turnstones roosting between the groynes.
A juvenile Gannet flew west and five Common Scoters flew east. Two Great Spotted Woodpeckers were near the car park and nine Sand Martins and 120 Swallows flew west.
Sunny and calm. An immature Gannet flew west and single Wigeon and Teal were flying with the Mallard. Waders included 31 Ringed Plovers, ten Sanderlings, three Dunlin and 82 Turnstones roosting between the groynes, a Bar-tailed Godwit along the shoreline briefly, a Common Sandpiper which flew into the sewage works and a Curlew. There were two Sand Martins with the Swallows hawking around the Obs, a Yellow Wagtail flew high over the football pitch and a Grey Wagtail flew over the Obs and into the sewage works. A Pied Flycatcher was seen again in the churchyard, a Wheatear was on the beach , a Reed Warbler and a Willow Warbler were along the east bank, 12 Linnets were on the shingle ridge and a Buzzard, the first for some time, drifted west.
Sunny and warm with a northerly breeze. There were 22 Little Egrets on the beach early morning and a Grey Heron on the tidal ponds. There were 29 Mallard in the remnant brook early morning and six Teal flew west. A Knot and three Bar-tailed Godwits were on the beach early morning, three flocks of Black-tailed Godwits totalled 38 birds, a Whimbrel was attached to one of the godwit flocks and seven Sanderlings, a Redshank and 124 Turnstones were on the beach. A Guillemot was also present on the sea early morning. A Coal Tit in trees by the scout hut was new for the year. It flew into the churchyard where a search produced our third Pied Flycatcher of the year but no further sign of the tit. Also noted were three juvenile Willow Warblers along the east bank, a Reed Warbler whilst a Kingfisher was around the groynes on the beach.
Sadly, a Convolvulus Hawkmoth was found close inshore but just out of range of rescue, and then washed away.
Two Shelducks flew west and four Teal flew west with a large flock of Wigeon. Waders included a Ruff flying west with two Curlews and three Redshanks on the beach. There were five Arctic Skuas west and also noted was a Whinchat in the scrub.
Cloudy, moderate to fresh NE wind. Three Great Crested Grebes flew east pausing briefly on the sea, a juvenile Gannet flew low over the chalets early morning and, maybe the same bird, flew east low over the scout hut and behind the church late morning. Parties of Teal, 35 in total flew west, five Wigeon and two Greylag Geese flew west and 13 Common Scoters flew east. Waders included two Sanderlings, including the injured bird, and a Dunlin on the beach, five Snipe east low over the sea, a Whimbrel and two Bar-tailed Godwits east and a Common Sandpiper. A Hobby flew east low over the beach, an Arctic Skua chased a Sandwich Tern and two more were seen later. Other birds included a Whinchat in the scrub and opposite the Obs, a Willow Warbler and a Jay along the east bank.