A total of 132 species so far this year
133 species by this time last year
A total of 102 species for the month was significantly above the ten-year average of 94 species and the year total of 132 species was also above the ten-year average of 125.2 species. It was an interesting month and despite much cool weather there was a number of notable records: a breeding plumage Red-necked Grebe from 10th to 13th, a male Lesser Spotted Woodpecker on 12th, a Nightingale from 13th to 17th, a Crane on 20th, the Purple Sandpiper up to 24th, a Wood Sandpiper on 26th, our earliest ever Spotted Flycatcher on 28th and a Garden Warbler on 30th.
Sunny with a light easterly wind. There were five Great Crested Grebes offshore and a Fulmar and four Sandwich Terns flew east. No vis mig but a Garden Warbler was singing high in the trees in the churchyard, where a Willow Warbler also sang for its third day, and a Sedge Warbler flew from the brook into the scrub.
Mostly sunny, light NW wind. There were three Great Crested Grebes offshore, three Gannets and a Grey Heron (first of the month) flew east and a Canada Goose flew west over the sea. There was a pair of Shelducks on the Marsh Pool and another four flew east. Waders included 15 Oystercatchers and 13 Turnstones. A flock of eight adult Kittiwakes flew east and seven Sandwich Terns flew east. Other birds included our first Hobby of the year with two sightings over the estate, five Swifts in off the sea, two Yellow Wagtails, a Sedge Warbler in song along the east bank and a Willow Warbler and a Greenfinch were singing in the churchyard.
A Brimstone and Small White butterflies were noted.
The highlight of the day was a very early Spotted Flycatcher in the bluethroat bush. Our first April record for the site! A Gadwall flew east, there was a single Common Scoter and waders included a flock of 41 Sanderlings, a Whimbrel and four Common Sandpipers. Other birds included our first six Swifts of the year, a trickle of Swallows and Yellow Wagtails, two Wheatears, a Sedge Warbler and three Willow Warblers.
Cloudy, cool, light SE wind. Two Fulmars and two Gannets, three Canada Geese, two Shelducks and five Common Scoters all flew east. Waders included a Ringed Plover, a Sanderling and 16 Turnstones on the beach, a single Redshank on the Marsh Pool, four Whimbrel and a Curlew. There were two adult Lesser Black-backed Gulls and four immature Great Black-backed Gulls on the beach, two Common Gulls offshore and a Sandwich Tern flew west. Other birds included two Sand Martins and a Swallow, two Yellow Wagtails and a Lesser Whitethroat, new for the year, singing in the scrub.
Light cloud, cool, light SE wind. A Wood Sandpiper heard calling as it flew west directly over the Obs art 8.20 am. Our first spring record and only the fifth record for the site after the first in August 2015 and three in August-September 2020. Other waders included ten Sanderlings on the beach, one Whimbrel west and a Redshank on the Marsh Pool. A flock of nine Canada Geese flew east and there were three Common Terns offshore.
Sunny periods, cool, light northerly wind. Waders included our first Common Sandpiper of the year on the beach in the company of the Purple Sandpiper and a Sanderling. A male Marsh Harrier flew west at 8.45 am and other birds on the move included two Sand Martins, a House Martin and a Yellow Wagtail. A Sedge Warbler singing intermittently from the brambles near the Obs was another addition to the year list. A good one to get as we only had sightings on three dates last year.
Cloudy, calm. Waders included seven Whimbrel and five Curlews and a single Snipe on the Marsh Pool. A strong passage of Mediterranean Gulls with c90 going east. There were c25 Common Terns offshore, most towards the Street but some off the Obs. Other birds included a Green Woodpecker in flight over the area which then headed south over the football pitch, two Yellow Wagtails west and four Whitethroats,
Sunny, cool with a fresh NE wind. The continuation of the cold blocking NE winds was not encouraging. However, at 7.10 am, a Common Crane was picked out as it flew west south of the church. It was not flying particularly high and was soon lost behind the trees that border the sewage works. This is the fifth record for the site, the first since 2007, and all but one have been in the spring. It was possibly associated with the easterly winds as were two adult Little Gulls that flew east; another addition to the year list. Otherwise, it was as quiet as anticipated, with one Fulmar east, one Gannet west, and waders that included a Bar-tailed Godwit on the beach, a Snipe and two Redshanks on the Marsh Pool and three Curlews.
Sunny periods, cool with a fresh NE wind. There were three Great Crested Grebes offshore, a Fulmar and two Shelducks flew west, four Gannets flew east, and two Gadwall dropped onto the sea off the Obs late morning. Waders included a Green Sandpiper flying along the brook, new for the year, the Purple Sandpiper with 13 Turnstones on the beach on the incoming tide, three Whimbrel, one Curlew, a Snipe on the Marsh Pool, and one Redshank and a Greenshank heard calling. Two Swallows and a Yellow Wagtail were noted, a Greenfinch singing and in display flight was the first since early March and a female Linnet appeared to be carrying nesting material in the scrub.
Two Brent Geese and a Marsh Harrier flew west, there was a single Sanderling on the beach and 20+ Linnets in the scrub. There was no sight or sound of the Nightingale.
Sunny periods, cool with a light NE wind. A good wader morning with four Greenshanks on the tidal ponds early morning which flew off west, four Bar-tailed Godwits east (including two summer plumage males), and three Whimbrel, with another Bar-tailed Godwit, west. All three species were additions to the year list. Other waders included two Snipe and three Redshanks on the Marsh Pool and a Curlew on the beach. One Fulmar three Gannets, two adult Mediterranean Gulls and four Sandwich Terns, our first spring birds, flew east. A Green Woodpecker, heard calling twice but not seen, was also an addition to the year list. Other birds included five Sand Martins east, a Jay calling by the Obs and the Nightingale, unheard for most of the morning, which then gave a short burst of song and showed well.
The Nightingale continues to sing and showed well.
An unpleasant morning of rain and northerly winds but the Nightingale continued to sing.
Cloudy, cool, light SE wind. Four Shelducks and a Gadwall flew east, a Marsh Harrier came in off the sea and flew on south, and waders included two Ringed Plovers and 64 Turnstones amongst the groynes and two Dunlin, one Snipe and eight Redshanks on the Marsh Pool. The Nightingale continued to sing in the Elm Wood, Swallows included four hawking around the Marsh Pool and a silent Whitethroat was in the scrub.
A quiet morning was enlivened by a Nightingale singing strongly but unseen in the Elm Wood. Our first record for four years. Previous records have included return migrants in late July-early August in 1992, 1994 and 1995, four other April records in 2005, 2008, 2016 and 2019, presumably new arrivals, and a May record on 20th-22nd which is likely to have been relocating. Details of a ninth record in 2001 are at present lacking! Other birds included the Red-necked Grebe for its fourth day, a Yellow Wagtail west, a male Wheatear on the beach and a Whitethroat in the scrub.
A good morning for butterflies with the first Speckled Wood and Large White as well as Small White, Small Tortoiseshell and Peacock.
Cloudy, light SW wind. The Red-necked Grebe was again offshore, there were seven Great Crested Grebes offshore and an Egyptian Goose, new for the year, two Shelducks and a Gannet flew west. A Marsh Harrier flew west low over the sea and waders included the Purple Sandpiper, a Ringed Plover and 83 Turnstones roosting between the groynes, three Dunlin on the beach and four Snipe on the Marsh Pool. A male Lesser Spotted Woodpecker paid a brief visit to the churchyard/Elm Wood area. This followed reports of one on December 16th and 17th last year and another (reported as a female) on January 9th. It has been such a rare species here that one wonders if there are one or two residing close by? Other birds noted included seven Swallows and two House Martins west and our first Whitethroat of the year in the scrub.
The Purple Sandpiper was still present, a Yellow Wagtail flew west and a Willow Warbler was singing in the churchyard.
Cloudy with light rain and a light SW wind. A Red-necked Grebe in breeding plumage off the skate park was new for the year. Only our second and latest April record. One Red-throated Diver was offshore and two Shelducks flew east. Waders included a three Dunlin on the beach and 14 Redshanks on the Marsh Pool. Our first significant show of visible migration included one Sand Martin, 27 Swallows and three House Martins, 210 Goldfinches, 18 Linnets and ten Redpolls, all heading west. A Willow Warbler was singing by the Obs.
A single Wheatear was noted.
Sunny and light cloud, light northerly wind. There was one Red-throated Diver and ten Great Crested Grebes offshore, with a drake Red-breasted Merganser on the tidal ponds and a drake Teal on the sea off the Obs late morning. Two Shelducks flew west, 14 Gannets and a flock of 25 Common Scoters flew east. Waders included two Sanderlings on the beach, six Snipe on the Marsh Pool and 22 Curlews west. Other birds noted included our first Yellow Wagtail and three Swallows.
A Marsh Harrier flew west over the tidal ponds, the Purple Sandpiper was still present, three Swallows flew west and a House Martin feeding around the church was our first of the year.
Cloudy with a light easterly wind. A Great Northern Diver lingered offshore, a Fulmar flew east, a Greylag Goose flew west and a lone Brent Goose was on the beach. Waders included 70 Sanderlings , 35 Turnstones and the Purple Sandpiper roosting between the groynes and four Snipe and six Redshanks on the Marsh Pool. Other birds noted included 12 Swallows west and three singing Blackcaps.
Sunny, a hard frost, light easterly wind. There were four Great Crested Grebes offshore, six Brent Geese on the tidal ponds and two Shelducks flew east. Waders included 13 Sanderlings and a Dunlin on the beach and four Snipe on the Marsh Pool. One Swallow flew east, a Blackcap was singing in the Scout Wood and three Linnets flew west.
A Fulmar flew east, three Pintail, two drakes and a duck, and ten Greylag Geese were on the sea and four flew west.
A Small Tortoiseshell at the Obs was our fourth butterfly species of the year.
Sunny periods, light easterly wind. Two Red-throated Divers and three Shelducks flew west, three Gannets flew east and there were two Great Crested Grebes and two Canada Geese offshore. There were 12 visible Snipe on the Marsh Pool. Other birds noted included our first Redpoll of the year heading west as did a Stock Dove and two Swallows. A male Reed Bunting and a Corn Bunting posed on the same bush in the grassland.
The sun brought out our first Brimstone butterfly and Small White as well as another Peacock.
There were nine Brent Geese on the beach.
Cloudy, with light rain and drizzle, light NW wind. There were two Great Crested Grebes and a Great Northern Diver offshore, three Red-throated Divers, two Shelducks and a Common Scoter flew west and a party of seven Wigeon flew east. There were six Brent Geese on the beach and the Purple Sandpiper was along the shoreline.