Apri1 2024

The total of 91 species for the month was below the ten-year average of 94.9 species and the year list of 121 species is also below the average of 125.5 species, and 11 behind last year’s total. No great surprises this month; the Long-tailed Duck was last seen on 6th and additions to the year list included Redstart on 5th, Ring Ousel on 15th, Firecrest on 18th and Velvet Scoter on 29th.

A total of 121 species so far this year

132 species by the same time last year


Sunny, light SW wind. There were two Great Crested Grebes offshore and four Egyptian Geese were on the beach. Waders included a Grey Plover, that appeared to drop onto the beach, and four Whimbrel. A Hobby that came in-off the sea and headed south and two Ring-necked Parakeets that flew west over the sewage works were both new for the year. Other birds noted included seven Common Terns east and two Yellow Wagtails west.

Egyptian Goose – Geoff Burton


Sunny, warmer, light southerly wind. Bird of the day was a drake Velvet Scoter which, accompanied by a female Common Scoter, came in from the east and landed off the Obs. There have only been two later records of Velvet Scoter in spring, in May 1991 and 1992! They bathed and dived but were soon lost to sight. Three Great Crested Grebes were offshore, a Gannet flew west, a vocal Canada Goose came in from the west, remaining on the sea for a short while and then continuing east. Two Mute Swans, an adult and an immature drifted west along the shoreline then flew west. Presumably, the same birds were seen at Seasalter later that morning. A single Oystercatcher and 29 Turnstones were on the beach. Four adult Mediterranean Gulls flew west and a pair of Sandwich Terns were mating on one of the 8 knot buoys. Other birds noted included ten Swallows and two House Martins, two Wheatears, and a Willow Warbler singing by the Obs.

Canada Goose – Geoff Burton


Cloudy, cool, moderate easterly wind, rain until 8 am. One Great Crested Grebe was offshore, three Gannets flew east and 12 flew west. Waders included one Oystercatcher on the beach, a male summer plumage Bar-tailed Godwit on the Hampton flats and singles of Whimbrel and Curlew. Other birds noted included a Peregrine west over the beach, eight Swallows west and a flock of 15 Goldfinches briefly in trees along Swalecliffe Court Drive.


There were two Whimbrel on the beach, c20 Common Terns offshore and a Red Kite flew west at 10.15 am.


Cloudy, cool, light SW wind. There were three Great Crested Grebes offshore, a Gannet and three Shelducks flew west, an immature Mute Swan flew east, four Greylag Geese flew east and then returned west and another flew west inland. There was a trickle of vis mig with two Sand Martins, three Swallows, three House Martins and two Yellow Wagtails west.


Sunny, cold, fresh NW wind. There were four Great Crested Grebes on the sea by the tidal ponds. Waders noted were a Bar-tailed Godwit and three Whimbrel west and a single Turnstone. Two Mediterranean Gulls flew east, 12 Swallows flew west and a Lesser Whitethroat sang in the bushes opposite the Obs.

Sparrowhawk – Geoff Burton
Jay – Geoff Burton


A Marsh Harrier flew north.


Sunny, cool, light northerly wind. A Fulmar and three Gannets flew east, there were two Egyptian Goose and a Little Egret was on the beach. Waders included an Oystercatcher and a Curlew on the beach, four Dunlin in transitional plumage along the shoreline on the incoming tide and 19 Turnstones between the groynes. Four adult Mediterranean Gulls flew east. Other birds noted included five Swallows and three House Martin, and a Yellow Wagtail west.

Dunlin – Geoff Burton


A Fulmar flew NW over the Obs.


A Brent Goose and two Whimbrel flew west. 44 Swallows and 18 Yellow Wagtails flew west, two Wheatears showed well on the shingle ridge and a Willow Warbler was along the east bank.


Sunny, cool, fresh NNW wind. 18 Gannets flew east, eight Mediterranean Gulls flew west and a pair of Shelducks and a Redshank were on the Marsh Pool. A Firecrest which showed briefly near the entrance of the sewage works was new for the year. Other birds noted included four Swallows, a Yellow Wagtail and two singing Lesser Whitethroats.


Sunny periods, cool, fresh NW wind. Seven Gannets flew east, a pair of Shelducks on the Marsh Pool flew east, and a duck Mallard with nine ducklings were in the middle brook. Waders noted included our first three Whimbrel of the year west, two Curlews west, two Oystercatchers and two Redshanks and a Snipe on the Marsh Pool. Eight Mediterranean Gull and seven adult Lesser Black-backed Gulls flew west. Visible migration included two Sand Martins, 11 Swallows and six House Martins, five Yellow Wagtails, 96 Goldfinches and six Siskins.

Butterflies appeared in sheltered sunny spots and included our first Green-veined White of the year, Speckled Wood, Peacock and Orange-tip.

Green-veined White – Geoff Burton


Cloudy, cooler, showers, fresh SW wind. There were three Great Crested Grebes offshore, a Grey Heron and four Shelducks flew west and a Little Egret was on the Marsh Pool. Waders on the beach were four Oystercatchers, a Sanderling and a Redshank and 37 Turnstones. Eight adult Mediterranean Gulls flew west and there were seven immature Great Black-backed Gulls and two Sandwich Terns on the beach. Also noted were a Red Kite west, five Swallows west, a Lesser Whitethroat singing in the bushes opposite the Obs, a Willow Warbler singing in the NW corner of the sewage works and 18 Goldfinches and two Corn Buntings west.


Our first Lesser Whitethroat of the year was in the churchyard.


Sunny, warm, with a light SW wind. Bird of the day was a male Ring Ousel which flew into the trees at the front of the sewage works at 7.25 am, then crossed the area, pausing briefly in a tree within the caravan park, before typically disappearing. Our first since October 2022 but recorded in six of the previous ten years. Other birds noted included a male Marsh Harrier west low over the sea, ten Oystercatchers and a Dunlin on the beach, a Swallow and 55 Goldfinches west.

A good butterfly morning with seven species including our first Holly Blue of the year, Orange-tip, Small Tortoiseshell, Speckled Wood and Brimstone.


Cloudy, light westerly wind. Four Great Crested Grebes were offshore and three Shelducks flew west. Three immatures Mute Swan resting in the shallows by the tidal ponds drifted west (later were off the pumping station at Seasalter). Waders included three Oystercatchers and four Redshanks were on the beach. Other birds included two Ravens flying south beyond the estate, two Stock Doves in the grassland, two Swallows west and a Willow Warbler singing in the bushes opposite the Obs.


Sunny, calm. Two Great Crested Grebes and a flock of eight Common Scoters were offshore, six Gannets flew west, returning east about an hour later, and one Mute Swan and a Shelduck flew west. Waders included 115 Turnstones, four Sanderlings and three Dunlin roosting between the groynes, a Snipe and seven Redshanks on the Marsh Pool and 15 Curlews west. Other birds noted included six adult Mediterranean Gulls west, a Red Kite and five Buzzards, a Sand Martin and two Swallows west, and ten Goldfinches, a Siskin and a Reed Bunting west.

Butterflies noted were Small White, Small Tortoiseshell, Red Admiral and Orange-tip.


Sunny periods, light SW wind. A Red-throated Diver and six Gannets flew east, there were seven Great Crested Grebes offshore, two Egyptian Geese, our first of the year, flew north over the sewage works, and a party of five Canada Geese and a Greylag Goose circled over the area. Two Gadwall flew west and there was a brood of eight Mallard ducklings on the Marsh Pool. Waders included our first Bar-tailed Godwit flying west amongst a flock of Curlews, three Sanderlings, three Dunlin and six Redshanks on the beach whilst one Snipe was visible on the Marsh Pool. Other birds noted included our first Yellow Wagtail of the year, west, two Swallows west, three Wheatears on the shingle ridge and our first Whitethroat in song in the scrub.


Cloudy, warm, strong southerly wind. There were five Great Crested Grebes offshore, six Gannets and one Common Scoter flew east and a single Brent Goose was on the beach. A Greenshank hunkered down on the tidal ponds, was our first of the year and the earliest for the site. It flew off west at 7.52 am as the tide rose. Two adult Mediterranean Gulls and seven Sandwich Terns flew west. Other birds noted included a Sand Martin, three Swallows and our first two House Martins of the year, two Wheatears on the shingle ridge, two Rooks south Siskin amongst a strong westerly movement of 105 Goldfinches.

Small White and Brimstone butterflies were noted.


A local resident found, and photographed, a male Common Redstart in his garden.


Sunny, with some light rain and a moderate SW wind. Two Great Crested Grebes were offshore, three Gannets flew west, two Pintail and two Common Scoters flew east. The Long-tailed Duck appeared offshore late morning. Waders included five Oystercatchers, a Sanderling and the Purple Sandpiper on the beach and five Snipe and six Redshanks on the Marsh Pool. Three second calendar year Common Gulls and five Sandwich Terns flew west and eight Great Black-backed Gulls were on the beach. A Redwing along the east bank was only our second this year. Also noted were three Swallows and three Rooks flying west.

Sandwich Tern – Andy Taylor


Cloudy; light rain, light SW wind. There were five Great Crested Grebes offshore, a single Brent Goose was on the beach and two Shelducks and a pair of Shovelers flew west. The Long-tailed Duck was again offshore from 8.35 am. Waders included seven Oystercatchers, a Ringed Plover, six Sanderlings, the Purple Sandpipers and 40 Turnstones on the beach. There were nine Great Black-backed Gulls, three adults and six immatures, on the beach. Also noted was a single Swallow west.


Two Canada Geese flew north and six Pintail flew east. Waders included a single Ringed Plover and 60 Sanderlings. Also noted were a Stock Dove, a Willow Warbler singing in the sewage works and a Jay.


Sunny, light SW wind. There was a single Red-throated Diver and four Great Crested Grebes offshore, nine Brent Geese on the beach, three Shelducks flew east, a pair on the Marsh Pool earlier, four Shovelers flew west and a Common Scoter flew east. Waders included an Avocet east and eight Sanderlings and the Purple Sandpiper on the beach. A Marsh Harrier flew west and three adult Mediterranean Gulls circled over the Obs. Other birds noted included a Jay, two Rooks and a Corn Bunting on the grassland bushes which flew high to the west.

Small Tortoiseshell – Geoff Burton

Brimstone and Small Tortoiseshell butterflies were at the Obs.