A total of 110 species for the month was bang on the average of 109.8 for the previous ten years. It was a very quiet month with no spectacular northerly gales, no significant visible migration or significant easterly vagrants. It did , however, manage nine additions to the year list including only our third Hooded Crow on 22nd and third Water Pipit on 31st.
A total of 164 species so far this year
A total of 165 species by this time last year
A Water Pipit on the Marsh Pool was only the third record for the site. The last record here was in 2007. Five Mute Swans landed on the sea off the Obs and seven Greylag Geese flew south. There were five Snipe on the Marsh Pool, 12 Little Gulls flew west over the Obs and there were two Razorbills offshore.
A late Clouded Yellow butterfly was our first, and probably our last, of the year. That brings the butterfly total for the year to 24 species. The list is only 26 species with Ringlet and Purple Hairstreak not recorded this year.
Cloudy, light southerly wind. There were two Red-throated Divers and a Shag offshore. An immature Mute Swan flew west inshore, three Velvet Scoters flew east, and two redhead Red-breasted Mergansers were joined offshore by a redhead Goosander, our first returning bird. An adult Mediterranean Gull flew west, there were at least five Little Gulls offshore, three Sandwich Terns, two Guillemots and two Razorbills. Otehr birds noted included a pulse of c30 Swallows heading west, three Goldcrests around the Obs and a Kingfisher hovering over the beach.
Sunny periods and showers, light SW wind. One Red-throated Diver and seven Great Crested Grebes offshore, a Grey Heron west and a pair of Gadwall on the sea. Two Curlews flew west and there were 31 Redshanks in the bay opposite the Marsh Pool on the incoming tide. The juvenile Pomarine Skua flew close in by the skate park at 7 am and was seen heading east at 9.35 am. An immature Mediterranean Gull flew west, two immature Little Gulls were feeding offshore, a juvenile Lesser Black-backed Gull was on the sea, 13 Great Back-backed Gulls, including 11 adults, were on the beach, three Sandwich Terns were offshore, and an Arctic Tern and three large auk sp flew east. Other birds noted included the male Stonechat, a Chiffchaff at the Obs and seven Linnets.
There were two Red-throated Divers and eight Great Crested Grebes offshore and a Black-throated Diver, new for the year, flew west at 11 am. There were 20+ Gannets offshore. There was a flock of 260 Brent Geese along the shoreline, joined at one point by a single Wigeon, whilst two Teal dropped into the Marsh Pool and six Common Scoters flew east. Waders included 48 Ringed Plovers, nine Sanderlings and 18 Dunlin roosted between the groynes and there were 30 Redshanks in the bay opposite the Marsh Pool. A juvenile Pomarine Skua passed west close inshore at 8.44 am, a second calendar year Mediterranean Gull was close inshore and a Little Gull flew west. Other birds included ten Skylarks, including a flock of seven low over the sea, and a Brambling flew west.
A flock of 36 Curlews flew towards the roost in fields beyond the caravan park. Two Goldcrests were also seen.
Sunny, calm. There were five Red-throated Divers and five Great Crested Grebes offshore. 126 Brent Geese were along the shoreline, 10 Common Scoters flew east, a drake Eider flew west at 10.40 am and a Shag was offshore at 12.15 pm. Waders included three Snipe and 24 Redshanks on the Marsh Pool. An adult Mediterranean Gull flew east and another was on the sea close inshore, six Little Gulls flew west, the Pitsea ringed Great Black-backed Gull was again on the beach and a Sandwich Tern was offshore. An immature Marsh Harrier flew west over the sea at 10.50 am. Other birds noted included a female Great Spotted Woodpecker near the sewage works entrance, six Skylarks, a Grey Wagtail, the pair of Stonechats, a Song Thrush in the bushes opposite the Obs, two Chiffchaffs and a Goldcrest.
Small White and Red Admiral butterflies were noted.
A Little Grebe was along the Coot Strait, a single Fieldfare our first of the autumn and a female Blackcap and a Goldcrest were along the east bank.
Light cloud, calm. There were two Red-throated Divers and three Great Crested Grebes offshore and 108 Brent Geese along the beach. A Pochard flew east and a Velvet Scoter, new for the year, flew east at 9.56 am and back west at 10.18 am. Waders included 64 Ringed Plovers and 32 Sanderlings roosting between the groynes, a Purple Sandpiper between the groynes and a Green Sandpiper which headed east over the caravan park. A Great Skua flew west early morning. Other birds noted included two Great Spotted Woodpeckers in the Elm Wood, the pair of Stonechats, five Goldfinches, a flock of 14 Siskins in off the sea and a Redpoll west.
An adult Great Black-backed Gull with the Herring Gulls on the beach was sporting one of the orange colour rings of the North Thames Gull Group. It had been ringed as a second calendar year bird in March 2014 (so born in 2013) at the Pitsea Landfill Site. It was seen there in 2015 and 2016 and then in the far north of Norway as a breeding bird in May 2017. It was seen again further south in Norway in August that year but there had been no further reports since until today.
A Hooded Crow was on the beach early morning, but only briefly, as it was harried by the resident Carrion Crows. Only our third record for the site after birds in December 2003 and April last year. Other birds noted included a Marsh Harrier flying south, a Merlin flying north and a Goldcrest.
Cloudy, light rain with a moderate southerly wind. One Great Crested Grebe offshore, six Gannets flew east, two Mute Swans flew west and 67 Brent Geese on the beach included six juveniles. A Teal was in flight over the area and three Common Scoters flew east. The Purple Sandpiper was again on the beach by the caravan park. Bird of the day, perhaps, was a female Pheasant (new for the year) which flushed from the side of the brook and flew into the sewage works. Other birds noted included a flock of 15 House Martins west, the male Stonechat and a male Blackcap in the bushes opposite the Obs, a Chiffchaff at the Obs and nine Linnets over the scrub.
Cloudy, calm, persistent light rain. There were four Great Crested Grebes offshore. Two Grey Herons were on the beach and five Sandwich Terns offshore. Other birds noted included a male Stonechat in the bushes opposite the Obs, c10 Long-tailed Tits at the Obs and four Reed Buntings. A bit of a wash out!
Cloudy, moderate southerly wind. There were three Red-throated Divers offshore, three Grey Herons and eight Little Egrets on the beach. Three Brent Geese west and 20 gathered along the shoreline (including one juvenile). Three Shelduck flew east and there were two on the beach, three Pintail flew west, one Common Scoter flew east and a flock of c30 were seen distantly offshore. Waders included two Sanderlings and 22 Redshanks on the beach, two Curlews on the beach and one west. A Mediterranean Gull flew east, a flock of seven flew west and there were five Sandwich Terns offshore. Other birds noted included our first returning Little Grebe along the middle brook, three Skylarks west, a Grey Wagtail, three Pied Wagtails on the football pitch, three Redwings in off the sea early morning, the pair of Stonechats, a Chiffchaff, a Brambling calling from the bushes opposite the Obs and four Reed Buntings which flew west from those bushes.
Cloudy, fresh SE wind. There were five Red-throated Divers and six Great Crested Grebes offshore. Two Shelducks and three Wigeon were around the tidal ponds, six Teal flew west and ten Brent Geese dropped in. Waders included 38 Oystercatchers and two Sanderlings on the beach and six Redshanks on the Marsh Pool. There were seven adult Great Black-backed Gulls on the tidal ponds and two Sandwich Terns flew east. Other birds noted were four Skylarks, two Grey Wagtails, a pair of Stonechats and a very vocal Brambling in the trees along Swalecliffe Court Drive which flew off SW with two Chaffinches.
“Parties” of Brent Geese, “small numbers” of Wigeon and a single Shoveler flew west. There were two Lapwings on the beach, a Great Skua flew east and a group of ten Little Gulls flew west. The male Stonechat was still present and a Redpoll flew west.
Cloudy, cool, light easterly wind. One Red-throated Diver and two Great Crested Grebes were offshore, nine Gannets flew east, 12 Shelduck flew west, eight Common Scoters were in flight offshore and, later in the morning, 145 Brent Goose flew west accompanied by a single Wigeon. Waders included 26 Oystercatchers on the beach and 32 Redshanks and a Dunlin appeared on the Marsh Pool as the tide came in. A Purple Sandpiper, on the concrete apron by the caravan park, was our first October bird for five years. There were seven Sandwich Terns offshore. Other birds of note included a Great Spotted Woodpecker in the Elm Wood and another which flew west high over the Obs. Two Rock Pipits were at the mouth of the brook. A male Stonechat was by the bushes opposite the Obs from where a Cetti’s Warbler was heard calling. A westerly movement of Chaffinches included two Bramblings, heard only, and Siskins and a Redpoll were also heard. Eight Reed Buntings were present early morning and a Greenfinch was heard along the east bank.
Sunny, cooler with a moderate WNW wind. There were two Red-throated Divers offshore, a Great Crested Grebe flew east and three Gannets flew west. Waders included 26 Oystercatchers on the beach, two Dunlin, a Curlew west and 11 Redshanks on the beach and the Marsh Pool. An adult Mediterranean Gull flew west, there were two Sandwich Terns, and an adult Arctic Tern flew west. Other birds noted included a Great Spotted Woodpecker, two Skylarks west, a Grey Wagtail, and a movement of finches with c200 Chaffinches, two Goldfinches and six Siskins west and six Reed Buntings.
Speckled Wood and Red Admiral butterflies were noted.
Cloudy, some light rain, light SW wind. There were four Red-throated Divers offshore, 15 Little Egrets on the beach and six Brent Geese, two on the beach and four west. A Great Skua flew west at 10.10 am, returning east later, and there were were seven Sandwich Terns offshore. Other birds noted included two Stock Doves, a large flock of 24 Long-tailed Tits by the scout hut and two Jays.
Cloudy, light westerly wind. Six Gannets flew east, one flew west. There were seven Little Egrets on the Marsh Pool and four Brent Geese along the shoreline. A pair of Wigeon flew west and a redhead Red-breasted Merganser, our first returning bird, was close inshore off the Obs before flying on west. There were three Snipe and a Redshank on the Marsh Pool, two Mediterranean Gulls flew east, 4 Sandwich Terns and four larger auks flew east and then back west. A Marsh Harrier came in off the sea heading SE. Other birds noted included one Swallow west, our first returning Rock Pipit at the mouth of the brook, Grey Wagtail, three Redwings west over the sewage works and an adult Rook which circled over the area.
Small White, Speckled Wood and Red Admiral butterflies continue to be seen.
Sunny, light SW wind. Two Red-throated Divers were offshore, there were eight Little Egrets and a Grey Heron flew west. There were 12 Brent Geese offshore, one Teal flew west with scoters, two Pintail flew east with scoters and three flew west. Waders included a flock of six Grey Plovers west, a Lapwing on the beach, a Redshank on the Marsh Pool and 45 Turnstones on the beach. An immature Razorbill was close inshore. A Great Spotted Woodpecker flew west over the scrub and a male was in the Elm Wood. Other birds included six Skylarks west, two Grey Wagtails, two Redwings and a Song Thrush, a Brambling and a Reed Bunting.
An increase in the number of Sanderlings with 22 on the beach. Four Skylarks flew west.
Sunny, moderate SW wind. Three Red-throated Divers offshore and the juvenile Shag was again offshore. Two Common Scoters flew east and a sub-adult Mediterranean Gull was on the beach. A Marsh Harrier flew west low over the sea at 7.35 am and another, shortly afterwards, flew south over the area. Other birds noted included a Great Spotted Woodpecker, two Grey Wagtails, a Cetti’s Warbler in the bushes opposite the Obs, a Lesser Whitethroat and two Blackcaps in the Elm Wood, two Goldcrests near the changing room and a Rook west.
Small White and Speckled Wood continue to show and a Holly Blue was also seen.
A juvenile Shag close inshore was our first of the year. Steady visible migration with c400 Chaffinches and 120 Siskins west. A late Lesser Whitethroat was along the east bank.
Cloudy, warm, light SW wind. Two Red-throated Divers, eight Little Egrets and a Grey Heron, one Brent Goose and one Common Scoter. A single Snipe on the Marsh Pool and one Mediterranean Gull west.
A Garden Warbler was seen along the east bank. Probably our latest record of this species after earlier October records in 1993 and 2010.
Cloudy with a moderate NW wind. Our first “seawatch” day for some time. The day started with our first Ruff of the year which was on the shoreline by the Obs briefly before flying off west. A Red-throated Diver was offshore. A group of nine Great Crested Grebes landed on the sea. This species has been very scarce here in recent months. Three Gannets flew west, nine Wigeon, three Gadwall, two Teal and ten Pintail flew west, five Common Scoters flew east. Other waders included a Whimbrel which, despite the disturbance, remained on the beach all morning at least, two Curlews west, a Redshank on the Marsh Pool and, later in the day, a Knot had joined the Oystercatchers roosting on the beach. Three Mediterranean Gulls flew east and, in addition to Sandwich Terns, five Common Terns flew west, as did three Razorbills. Other birds noted included a late Hobby, hunting over the estate and a Wheatear again between the groynes.
Small White and Speckled Wood were seen and a second for the year Willow Emerald Damselfly was at the Obs.
A mist lingered over the calm sea. Two Teal flew west. Waders included 25 Oystercatchers and five Redshanks on the beach and two Snipe on the Marsh Pool. Other birds noted included Kingfisher and Grey Wagtail and our first Goldcrest of the autumn by the Obs.
Sunny at first but clouding over, warm, light SW wind. A Red-throated Diver, still in summer plumage, was offshore and a juvenile Gannet flew close inshore. Waders included seven Dunlin flying west, five Snipe on the Marsh Pool and three Redshanks on the beach. Other birds noted included a Wheatear again on the beach, a Jay in the churchyard and six Reed Buntings.
Butterflies noted were Small White, Speckled Wood and Red Admiral. Also Migrant Hawker dragonflies.