October 2018

                                                                   151 species this year                                                                        148 species by the same time last year

8th

Sunny, light SW wind. More movement today. One Red-throated Diver, one Brent Goose, a flock of ten Shelducks, five Wigeon and two Pintail flew west and a drake Common Scoter flew east. A party of four Grey Herons flew west over the sea, eight flew west over the area and a another was on the tidal ponds. Nine Lapwings flew west inland, a Snipe flew south over the sewage works and two Golden Plovers and a Ruff flew west. 28 Oystercatchers and seven Redshanks were on the beach. A few Redwings were in the area and two Fieldfares flew west. A Lesser Whitethroat and two Blackcaps were along the east bank. Five Bramblings and seven Reed Buntings were also noted.

Moorhen – Geoff Burton

7th

Sunny with a fresh northerly wind. There was the first significant movement of Brent Geese with 162 flying west during the morning.  Single Red-throated Divers flew west and east,  six Wigeon and three Pintail,  three Great Skuas, three Little Gulls and an Arctic Tern flew west. The pair of Stonechats were in the scrub and a female Brambling, our first this year, flew into the bushes opposite the Obs.

6th

Cloudy, misty,  with a light northerly wind. One Gannet, one Shelduck,  14 Wigeon and an Arctic Tern flew west, two Gadwall and eight Common Scoters flew east. An Arctic Skua and four Sandwich Terns were also present. The pair of Stonechats were in the scrub, and there were 11 Redwings, four Chiffchaffs and 100+ Chaffinches which flew west.

Sandwich Tern – Geoff Burton

4th

Sunny with a light SW wind. A juvenile Pomarine Skua was chasing gulls over the beach before flying on west. A Red-throated Diver, nine Brent Geese and a Marsh Harrier also flew west. Waders included a summer plumage Grey Plover on the beach. Eight Sandwich Terns were fishing offshore and resting on the beach. A huge “pulse” of House Martins, perhaps 1,000+, arrived from the SE and were swirling around low over the sea, many dipping into the sea. Within a few minutes, they had all moved on. The flock included a Swift, a Sand Martin and a Swallow. No hirundines had been seen before, that morning, and none were seen after the flock moved on.  A Rock Pipit was on the beach.

Pomarine Skua – Andy Taylor

Grey Wagtail – Geoff Burton

3rd

Sunny with a light westerly wind. An adult Purple Sandpiper was on the beach for a few minutes before flying off west. Although this was the third record of the year, this was the earliest returning bird we have had (previous earliest was on 10th in 2011).  Other birds included a Pomarine Skua flying west, three Grey Wagtails (two coming in off the sea) and three Stonechats.

Purple Sandpiper – Andy Taylor

2nd

A quiet morning with a Snipe on the beach and a single Great Skua flying west.

A year ago today – a juvenile Citrine Wagtail was the fourth for Kent and the first recorded in autumn.

The main interest today was the appearance of a pup Common Seal on the beach by the skate park. Whilst many dog walkers kept their charges at a respectable distance some had no such qualms, and one let her dog off the lead so she could take a photo (with a predictable result!).  The pup was taken into care.

Common Seal – Andy Taylor

Common seal pup and admirers – Andy Taylor

1st 

Sunny with a fresh NW wind. One Red-throated Diver, c100 Gannets, 11 Wigeon, a juvenile Pomarine Skua, 16 Arctic Skuas and 13 Great Skuas flew west. There were 12 Great Black-backed Gulls on the tidal ponds. There was a pair of Stonechats in the scrub but the winds may have kept most small birds out of sight.

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