August 2018

                                           138 species for the year                                                135 species by this time last year


Sunny with a moderate westerly wind. Three Gannets and three Whimbrel flew west and two Dunlin were seen in flight over the beach. Our first Whinchat of the year was in the scrub although it proved difficult to relocate. Three Swallows flew west, one Yellow Wagtail flew west and one or two were seen around the Marsh Pool. A Grey Wagtail was in the brook by the sewage works entrance, a Willow Warbler was heard calling near the Obs and a Jay flew along the east bank and into the Wood.

An adult Great Black-backed Gull on the beach was carrying the colour-ring 34G. An old friend, having been seen here in 2014 and 2016. He was rung as a chick in Brittany in 2010 and has also been seen at Whitstable, at Dungeness and twice more back in France.

Common Blue – Geoff Burton

Migrant Hawker – Geoff Burton


Sunny with a light westerly wind. A female Tufted Duck flew east at 6.20 am. Later, three Shovelers flew west. Two Whimbrel flew west and, on the Marsh Pool now with some water, a Common Sandpiper and Redshank were seen. Two Stock Doves flew south over the football pitch, a Garden Warbler was along the east bank and a Willow Warbler at the Obs.

The Marsh Pool – Geoff Burton


An evening visit by Andy produced our first returning Wheatear and Snipe. 30 Swifts flew west and a Kestrel was the first seen here for some time.

Wheatear – Andy Taylor


Sunny and fairly calm. Warblers were more in evidence this morning; our first Garden Warbler of the year was seen along the east bank; our first Sedge Warbler of the autumn was in the scrub, there were several Willow Warblers in the scrub and along the east bank and the “resident”warblers, WhitethroatBlackcap and Chiffchaff were also more showy. Even Robins showed more! A flock of six Whimbrels flew west and a Common Sandpiper was seen on the beach and in the brook.  As the tide rose, waders gathered to roost on the beach between the groynes; 84 Turnstones, 37 Ringed Plovers and four Sanderlings were also the highest counts so far this autumn. A juvenile Moorhen was in the brook and Green and Great Spotted Woodpeckers were calling within the sewage works.

Swalecliffe is not known for odonata. So, our second ever Willow Emerald, our first Broad-bodied Chaser and a Migrant Hawker represented a good result. A Brimstone moth was also seen by the Obs.

Willow Warbler – Andy Taylor

Broad-bodied Chaser – Andy Taylor

Willow Emerald – Andy Taylor


Cloudy with a light northerly wind. Wader numbers continue to increase with 34 Ringed Plovers roosting on the shingle ridge and 68 Turnstones roosting between the groynes at the eastern end of the beach.  There was also a pristine breeding plumage Sanderling,complete with rufous face and breast (I believe they are called Red-necked Stints on Fair Isle). Other waders included single Redshank and Common Sandpiper. One Swallow and one Yellow Wagtail flew west and one Grey Wagtail was in the brook by the sluice.


Sunny with a light to moderate NW wind and cooler. A juvenile Arctic Tern, seen close inshore by the Obs, was a new species for the year and there were more Sandwich Terns offshore and ten Common Terns flew east.  An early Pintail flew west and a juvenile Marsh Harrier, flying west low over the sea, was our first of this species since April. Waders included 28 Ringed Plovers on the beach on the incoming tide, two Common Sandpipers and, late in the morning, a flock of 28 Whimbrel rested briefly on the beach.  Also, five Sand Martins flew west and a Willow Warbler was along the east bank.

Whimbrel – Geoff Burton


An “white” Swallow was perhaps the highlight of Andy’ visit. There  was also one drake Common Scoter which flew east close inshore and a juvenile Green Woodpecker on the football pitch. Arnie van Orsouw noted three Grey Wagtails present in the afternoon.

Green Woodpecker – Andy Taylor


Sunny, warm but with an onshore breeze. Two Great Crested Grebes flying west were the first noted here since May. An adult Sanderling  was the first of the autumn and other waders numbers increased with 18 Ringed Plovers and 60 Turnstones roosting at high tide. A flock of eight Whimbrel flew west and a calling  Green Sandpiper flew south unseen. A flock of c190 Herring Gulls on the beach included 113 juveniles. Two Sandwich Terns included a juvenile bird. Three Little Egrets were roosting along the east bank at high tide and later were feeding on the beach.


Sunny with a light NE wind and still very  warm. Two Gannets and three Sandwich Terns were offshore. Waders included 12 Ringed Plovers, an increase to 33 Turnstones and an adult Dunlin (our first returning bird) roosting between the groynes at the e astern end of the beach, six Whimbrel west and a Common Sandpiper. A Stock Dove flew west over the beach, a Meadow Pipit was in the grassland, a Grey Wagtail was in the middle brook and two very vocal Lesser Whitethroats were in the scrub.


Sunny with a light NE wind. Another very hot day with clear skies did not seem promising. However, when I arrived Andy had already seen a flock of 80 Knot flying west. As I was counting the Ringed Plovers (13 in total), I spotted an adult Little Stint feeding amongst them. This was our first for four years and only our third in the last ten.  So that was two year ticks already. However, it did not carry on it quite the same vein. Other waders included two Redshanks, a Common Sandpiper and 13 Turnstones. Frustratingly, two more flocks of tightly-grouped waders (perhaps 200 in all) flew west too far out to positively identify. Other birds noted were eight Little Egrets, four Mediterranean Gulls, including three juveniles on the beach, a Stock Dove flying south over the Obs, a Great Spotted Woodpecker in the sewage works that later flew south over the churchyard,  two Sand Martins flying west, a Lesser Whitethroat in the scrub and a Grey Wagtail.


sunny with an onshore breeze and very warm. A slow start to the month. Waders noted included three Ringed Plovers, two Redshanks and seven Turnstones but the falling tide may not have facilitated an optimum count. All three (as far as we know) broods of Mallard were on show; one brood of seven in flight and two broods of five are fully-grown. The juvenile Sandwich Tern was seen again.

A total of eight species of butterfly to start the month including a Green-veined White, Comma, Small Heath and Holly Blue.

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