A total of 92 species was slightly above the ten-year average of 89.8. There were eight additions to the year list, six sea birds and waders and just two passerines and all but the Balearic Shearwaters on 31st, reasonably expected.
148 species so far this year
150 species by the same time last year
Light cloud, calm. Two Balearic Shearwaters flew east over the flat calm sea. Our fifth record of this species and our first since 2015. 11 Gannets also flew east and there were 11 Little Egrets along the shoreline early morning. Four Avocets dropped onto the Marsh Pool at 9am. There was one adult and three juveniles, the same combination as on 19th, and they may well have been the same birds. They also remained for some time. Other waders noted included a Whimbrel west, a Greenshank that landed on the shoreline off the Obs and a Redshank and two Common Sandpipers on the Marsh Pool. Other birds noted included a Stock Dove, three Sand Martins and 15 Swallows west, a Grey Wagtail, a Lesser Whitethroat and a Willow Warbler.
The rarest sighting of the day, however, was a pod of four Common Dolphins which gave excellent views on the flat calm sea as they headed west towards Whitstable. They were then photographed by the Whitstable Vintage Lifeboat. In over 30 years, these were the first dolphins we have recorded here. Also, a Jersey Tiger moth was seen at the Obs.
Cloudy with a light WNW wind. One Gannet flew east. Waders on the move included two summer plumage Golden Plovers, four Knot (new for the year), a Sanderling pausing briefly on the spit, two Dunlin and six Whimbrel. There were also 12 Oystercatchers on the beach and a Redshank and three Common Sandpipers on the Marsh Pool. A flock of ten Commic Terns west included at least one Arctic Tern.
Cloudy with a light NW wind. 15 Gannets flew east, there were six Little Egrets on the beach and a gathering of 29 Mallard along the middle brook. Waders included a single Curlew west and two Common Sandpipers and a Redshank on the Marsh Pool. Other birds of note included three Grey Wagtails, two Lesser Whitethroats, a flock of 19 Long-tailed Tits and a Carrion Crow on the beach which appeared to show some influence of Hooded Crow.
Sunny with a light westerly wind. There were seven Little Egrets on the beach early morning. Waders included one Whimbrel west and four Common Sandpipers, two on the Marsh Pool. Other birds noted included four Sand Martins and a House Martin west, the latter our first since June, a Sedge Warbler along the east bank and a Willow Warbler in the beach vegetation.
A Whimbrel and a Curlew flew west together and two Common Sandpipers and a Redshank were on the Marsh Pool.
Cloudy and calm with heavy rain between 8 and 9 am. There were 12 Little Egrets in the brook early morning and two Teal and a Common Sandpiper on the Marsh Pool. After the rain, a Whinchat, our first of the year, was seen briefly in bushes along the coastal path and a juvenile Tufted Duck on the Marsh Pool. Occasionally seen in over the sea, this is perhaps the first to be seen on the pool. Other birds noted included three Dunlin along the shoreline, three Grey Wagtails in the brook near the Marsh Pool and on the beach and Cetti’s Warbler and Willow Warbler were heard.
Sunny and calm. There were 18 Mallard in the brook. Waders included three Whimbrel, and a Common Sandpiper on the Marsh Pool. There were 18 Great Black-backed Gulls on the beach and a Guillemot, only our second record of the year, swam steadily east close inshore. Other birds noted include three Stock Doves, two Yellow Wagtails and six warbler species included Cetti’s Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat and two Willow Warblers.
Misty over the sea, then sunny with a light easterly wind. There were five Little Egrets on the beach and two Shovelers flew east close inshore. Waders included 12 Oystercatchers and 34 Ringed Plovers on the beach and a Redshank and three Common Sandpipers on the Marsh Pool. Seven Common Terns flew west. Other birds noted included a Kingfisher on the beach, 50 Swallows west, three Grey Wagtails, the Cetti’s Warbler in “conversational” song by the Scout Hut and a juvenile Willow Warbler in the Elm Wood.
Sunny, light SW wind. The highlight of the day was four Avocets, an adult and three juveniles, on the Marsh Pool. Uniquely, they were present from early morning into the afternoon at least. Other waders noted included a Sanderling on the beach, five Whimbrel, four on the beach and one west, a Greenshank west, two Common Sandpipers on the Marsh Pool and five Redshanks there later on. Two Black Terns were with other terns and gulls feeding offshore towards the Street. Later, the number increased to at least 12. Also noted were a Grey Heron west over the sea, three Little Egrets, a Sand Martin and 25 Swallows west and a Lesser Whitethroat along the east bank.
There were still five Chub in the brook.
Sunny with a light easterly wind. 25 Gannets flew east, there were seven Little Egrets on the beach, 12 Teal on the tidal ponds flew off west, another was in the middle brook and c20 Common Scoters flew east. Waders included out first returning Snipe flying east, two Dunlin east along the shoreline, 14 Whimbrel including a flock of 12 west, four Greenshanks west and three Common Sandpipers on the Marsh Pool. A flock of nine Mediterranean Gulls flew west. A Wheatear was on the shingle ridge.
There were two Common Sandpipers on the Marsh Pool and a Wheatear along the coastal path.
Sunny, warm with a light southerly wind. A Little Egret was seen on the Marsh Pool and the beach and two Grey Herons flew west low over the sea. An increase in wader numbers with 87 Turnstones and 36 Ringed Plovers roosting between the groynes. Seven Whimbrel rested briefly on the beach, a Common Sandpiper was along the lower brook and four Oystercatchers were on the beach. There were 15 Great Black-backed Gulls, including two adults, on the beach. Also noted were six Swallows and a Grey Wagtail.
Butterflies included a Comma and a late Meadow Brown.
Weasels are seen fairly often but usually afford only the briefest of glimpses. However, one burst out of the vegetation along the middle brook and sped in a wide arc across the football pitch. It was visible long enough to catch perhaps the first photograph from this site.
Another quiet morning. There was a Common Sandpiper on the Marsh Pool, two Buzzards over the estate and a Lesser Whitethroat in the scrub.
A Small Heath butterfly around the Obs was our 14th species for the month.
There were five Whimbrel on the beach and a Hobby flew west.
Brief views of a Wall butterfly by the Obs was our 23rd species of the year. Only our fourth record but this species does appear to be recolonising along this coastline.
A Black Stork was first seen at Pegwell Bay on 11th and remained in the Sandwich Bay area until the morning of 13th. It was reported there at 10.17 am but at 11.30 am it was seen flying west low over Tankerton. It was also seen over Seasalter and the next day had relocated to Capel Fleet on the Isle of Sheppey. Possibly, this bird, which would have been a first for the site, could have been seen from the site before it reached Tankerton but we weren’t there!
A flock of 40+ Bar-tailed Godwits flew west. A “trickle” of Sandwich Terns, Common Terns and Swallows flew west and a Swift was seen over the sewage works.
Sunny, warm, light southerly wind. There were three Little Egrets on the beach. Waders noted were 11 Oystercatchers, eight flew east, three on the beach, 31 Ringed Plovers, four Dunlin and 47 Turnstones roosting between the groynes and two Common Sandpipers on the Marsh Pool. There were four Mediterranean Gulls, including two juveniles, on the beach. Other birds noted were a Wheatear on the shingle ridge and two Willow Warblers.
Butterflies seen were Small White, Gatekeeper, Holly Blue, Green-veined White and Peacock. A mating pair of Common Darter dragonflies were also seen. A shoal of 12 red-finned fish by the sluice were, by consensus, Chub. Not been seen here before as far as we know.
Sunny with a light WNW wind. A Great Skua was seen chasing terns and gulls distantly offshore and resting on the sea, and a dark-phase Arctic Skua flew west. A party of four Gadwall and two Shovelers flew west. Waders noted included 12 Oystercatchers east and two on the beach, c25 Ringed Plovers, two Dunlin on the beach, a Whimbrel and six Redshanks west, and a Common Sandpiper was on the Marsh Pool. Other birds noted included a Swift, an immature female Great Spotted Woodpecker in the Elm Wood, two Yellow Wagtails west, three Grey Wagtails in the brook by the sluice, a Wheatear, a Song Thrush along the east bank, a Garden Warbler by the Obs, the Cetti’s Warbler was heard again and there were two juvenile Willow Warblers.
Sunny, moderate SW wind. Six Shelducks flew east, there were 13 Mallard in Coot Strait, two Little Egrets on the Marsh Pool an a Grey Heron flew west then east over the sea. A Sanderling was with the Turnstones roosting between the groynes and a Common Sandpiper flew west. There were 14 Great Black-backed Gulls on the beach. More interest came away from the beach with the Pied Flycatcher appearing around the Obs several times, both Green and Great Spotted Woodpeckers were seen, a Cetti’s Warbler, a Sedge Warbler by the Obs, a Lesser Whitethroat in the scrub and three juvenile Willow Warblers. One Sand Martin flew west, there were two Swallows and a Grey Wagtail.
A good selection of butterflies included Holly and Common Blues and late Meadow Brown and Small Skipper.
Three Arctic Terns (our first of the year) flew east close inshore early morning and several parties of Common/Arctic Terns also flew east but too distant for specific identification. A Gadwall and a Bar-tailed Godwit flew west over the sea. Most surprising, however, was an early Pied Flycatcher along the east bank. This species has become more irregular in recent years, a few were seen last year, but its was seen in only four of the last ten years. Our earliest was in late July 2002. Also present was our first returning Reed Warbler and Garden Warbler, three Willow Warblers whilst a Reed Bunting flew west by the Obs.
Cloudy, showers, light SW wind. A Fulmar flew west (usually fairly regular in spring an summer but this was the first since May). One Gannet flew east, there were three juvenile Shelducks on the tidal ponds which flew west, a juvenile Shoveler circled over the beach and flew on east (12 east on February 23rd was the only previous record this year) and three Common Scoters flew west. Waders noted were four Oystercatchers on the beach, 13 Ringed Plovers on Hampton flats, two adult summer plumage Grey Plovers west, at least four Dunlin west amongst Ringed Plovers, one Curlew and two Greenshanks west and Turnstones were also present. Four adult Common Gulls flew west, the adult Lesser Black-backed Gull with two juveniles was again on the beach as were ten immature Great Black-backed Gulls. Two Sandwich Terns and two Common Terns were also seen. A second sighting of Kingfisher (after one on July 29th) raised hopes that they might become regular from now on into the winter. Also noted was a Cetti’s Wabler on the edge of the Scout Wood (having not been heard or seen since June 24th). A juvenile Willow Warbler was at the Obs.
It was a surprise to see a lot of water in the Marsh Pool as the wet July failed to prevent it from drying out completely. Apparently, nearby at Chestfield an inch of rain fallen in 45 minutes!
Cloudy, moderate NW wind. The first day with conditions favouring a sea watch. 49 Gannets and 95 Kittiwakes flew west early morning with two dark-phase Arctic Skuas west at 11.10 am. Ten Teal and ten Common Scoters also flew west. Waders noted included seven Oystercatchers and an adult summer plumage Grey Plover and three Whimbrel flew west. Other birds noted included three Swifts west and a juvenile Willow Warbler at the Obs.
A light-phase Arctic Skua, our first skua of the year, flew west at 11.04 am. 27 Common Terns also flew west and a Common Sandpiper was present.
Sunny, moderate SW wind. One Gannet flew east. Waders included 60 Turnstones and eight Ringed Plovers roosting between the groynes, three Whimbrel west and single Oystercatcher, Curlew and Redshank on the beach. There were ten Great Black-backed Gulls on the beach. Other birds noted included one Stock Dove, one Sand Martin and one Swallow west, a Grey Wagtail, and a juvenile Willow Warbler at the Obs.
Butterflies noted were Small White, Gatekeeper, Red Admiral, Holly Blue, Meadow Brown, Common Blue and Speckled Wood and a Brown-banded Bee.