May 2024

A total of 129 species so far this year

138 species by this time last year

27th

Sunny, light westerly wind. Three Oystercatchers and three Turnstones were noted, 17 Great Black-backed Gulls on the beach included only one adult and two Sandwich Terns flew west. Also noted were two Stock Doves and eight Swifts, one Sand Martin, two Swallows and three House Martins west.

25th

Sunny, light westerly wind. There were four Great Crested Grebes offshore. Two Oystercatchers flew east and there were six Turnstones. A second calendar year Mediterranean Gull flew east. Other birds noted included three Swifts, two Skylarks south over the area and two Sand Martins east.

23rd

Sunny periods, light WNW wind. Two Great Crested Grebes and a Gannet were offshore. A flock of 23 Sanderlings landed on one of the “outflow” islands where they remained until pushed off by the rising tide, and 22 Turnstones w48 ere between the groynes. One second calendar year Mediterranean Gull, a second calendar year Common Gull and an adult Kittiwake flew west, there were 21 Great Black-backed Gull on the beach and one Sandwich Tern offshore. Surprise of the was an adult male Black Redstart which flew west by the Obs. Our first of the year and our first ever May record. Other birds noted included 10 Swifts, one Sand Martin, 48 Swallows, six House Martins and a Yellow Wagtail west. A Reed Warbler was singing in the vegetation behind the eastern promenade, a Lesser Whitethroat was seen along the upper brook and a Willow Warbler along the east bank.

Butterflies noted were Holly Blue, Green-veined White and our first two Small Heaths of the year. our 11th species for the year.

22nd

Cloudy, light SW wind. One Great Crested Grebe offshore, six Gannets flew west and 11 flew east whilst a drake Eider which landed close inshore was a new species for the year. Two Grey Plovers flew west and two Common Sandpipers were in the brook and on the beach. 24 Great Black-backed Gulls, including only one adult, were on the beach and 13 Sandwich Terns flew west. More vis mig today with our third sighting of Cuckoo for the year, with one west at 6.40 am, 80 Swifts, two Sand Martins, 140 Swallows, 38 House Martins, two Yellow Wagtails and six Goldfinches, all flying west.

20th

Cloudy, cool, light NE wind. One Great Crested Grebe and one Gannet flew west, five Oystercatchers and two Mediterranean Gulls flew east. There were 28 Great Black-backed Gulls on the beach. Other birds noted included 26 Swallows and two House Martins west.

19th

A Cuckoo flew west, circled the area and then flew back east.

18th

Cloudy, cool, light NE wind. There were two Great Crested Grebes offshore, a Fulmar and 30 Gannets, including one flock of 24, flew east, a Greylag Goose came in from the west over the sewage works, and the drake Shelduck was on the Marsh Pool. One Oystercatcher flew east, a Common Sandpiper was on one of the islands created by the work on a new outflow, and there were six Turnstones. There were 25 Great Black-backed Gulls on the beach and three Sandwich Terns offshore. Other birds noted included three Swallows west and a male and two juvenile Pied Wagtails on the grass by the chalets.

17th

A Cuckoo flying west was our first of the year. 15 Common Scoters flew east and there were two Sandwich Terns on the 8 knot buoy.

16th

A Common Sandpiper was in the brook and on the Marsh Pool.

15th

Cloudy, light SE wind. There were three Great Crested Grebes offshore, four Gannets flew east, a Grey Heron came in off the sea and flew SE and the pair of Shelducks were on the Marsh Pool. Amongst the five raptor species recorded were a Marsh Harrier and a Hobby both flying south. Waders noted were two Oystercatchers east, five Sanderlings along the shoreline on the outgoing tide, four Bar-tailed Godwits circling over the beach and a Common Sandpiper in Coot Strait. Two Mediterranean Gulls flew west, a second calendar year Common Gull was offshore and there were 23 Great Black-backed Gulls on the beach including only one adult. Other birds noted included two Skylarks west and four Yellow Wagtails on the shingle ridge. A count of Carrion Crows on the beach came to 50. It seems to have stabilised around that number.

Butterflies noted were Small and Green-veined Whites and two Silver Y moths were also seen.

13th

Sunny, calm. There was one Great Crested Grebe offshore, a Gannet flew east, two Canada Geese flew SE over the caravan park, three Gadwall were on the sea and the pair of Shelducks was on the Marsh Pool. One Turnstone was the only wader noted. there were 19 Great Black-backed Gulls, including two adults, on the beach. Vis mig included five Swifts, five Swallows, a Yellow Wagtail and a Corn Bunting west. There was a Wheatear on the shingle ridge and three Greenfinches flew over the sewage works.

Butterflies noted were Red Admiral, Holly Blue and Green-veined White.

12th

A Garden Warbler, singing along the east bank and then in the bushes opposite the Obs, was our first of the year.

11th

Sunny, with some mist offshore, light NE wind. Two Gannets flew east and the drake Shelduck was on the Marsh Pool. Waders noted were one Oystercatcher, seven Bar-tailed Godwits east and four Whimbrel west, a Greenshank heard calling and three Common Sandpipers. There were 11 Great Black-backed Gulls on the beach and an adult Kittiwake flew east.

Small and Green-veined White butterflies noted.

9th

Sunny, warm, with a light SE wind. There were two Great Crested Grebes offshore, two Little Egrets flew west and the pair of Shelducks were on the beach and the Marsh Pool. Three Oystercatchers flew east and a Sanderling was roosting on the groynes with nine Turnstones. There were three immature Great Black-backed Gulls, and a Hobby and a Yellow Wagtail were also noted.

Butterflies noted were Small and Green-veined Whites, Speckled Wood, Holly Blue and Peacock.

8th

Cloudy, cool, light NE wind. There were two Great Crested Grebes offshore and a pair of Shelducks on the Marsh Pool. Waders noted were an Oystercatcher, a Curlew, a Whimbrel flying across the area towards Studd Hill and six Turnstones. One Common Tern flew east and other birds noted included a Stock Dove, and five Swallows and a Yellow Wagtail west. The pair of Mallard seen with 12 ducklings on 6th only had two surviving ducklings today.

7th

A Sanderling and two Whimbrel were on the beach and three Swifts (a very late first record of the year) flew west.

6th

Cloudy, light ENE wind. One Great Crested Grebe was offshore, two Gannets flew east and west, and 15 Common Scoters flew east. A pair of Mallard with 12 newly-hatched ducklings were by the sluice. A single Whimbrel was noted, there were nine immature Great Black-backed Gulls on the beach and two Common Terns offshore. Also noted were two Sand Martins east and 11 Swallows and a Yellow Wagtail west. Also a pair of Mallard, with the drake unusually in attendance, and 12 newly-hatched ducklings by the sluice.

4th

Sunny, light SE wind. 11 Gannets flew east and two Shelducks west. A group of seven Common Sandpipers were on the beach early morning and 38 Turnstones roosted between the groynes. There were 16 Great Black-backed Gulls, an adult and 15 immatures, on the beach and eight Sandwich Terns were offshore. Other birds noted included a single Skylark and two Yellow Wagtails and our first Reed Warbler of the year in song in the Scout Wood and along the upper brook.

2nd

Cloudy, light SE wind. There were two Great Crested Grebes offshore, nine Gannets flew west, the Brent Goose was again on the beach and a pair of Shelducks were on the Marsh Pool. Waders noted were 13 Oystercatchers flying west, a Common Sandpiper in Coot Strait and 12 Turnstones. Five Mediterranean Gulls flew west, there were two second calendar year Common Gulls and six Great Black-backed Gulls included one adult. A Sandwich Tern and a Common Tern flew west and a large auk species flew east. Five Swallows and a Yellow Wagtail flew west and a Sedge Warbler, singing intermittently along the brook, was a new bird for the year.

1st

Sunny, warmer, calm then light SE wind. There were four Great Crested Grebes offshore, 19 Gannets and seven Common Scoters flew west and a Brent Goose, with an injured wing, was on the beach. Waders noted were six Oystercatchers, a Whimbrel west, three Common Sandpipers and 13 Turnstones. Two Sandwich Terns and two Common Terns were offshore. Other birds noted included, a Skylark, a Sand Martin and two Swallows west.

Small White and Green-veined butterflies were also noted.

Brent Goose – Geoff Burton