March 2019

                                                        97 species so far this year                                                                                         88 species by this time last year

16th

Cloudy with strong SW winds and mild. Hopefully, this will be the end of the strong winds that have suppressed our birding for most of the month? One Red-throated Diver and a flock of ten Golden Plovers flew west and a pair of Pintail, only our second record of the year, flew east. There were 17 Sanderlings on the beach and three Meadow Pipits flew west.

15th

The gales continue and Ted saw one Great Crested Grebe, 65 Brent Geese, three Snipe on the Marsh Pool and c20 Meadow Pipits moving west.

14th

Cloudy, strong NW wind and rain. There were 115 Brent Geese on the beach accompanied by a drake Shelduck. A group of seven Golden Plovers flew west and seven Snipe could be seen on the Marsh Pool. A large female Sparrowhawk whipped through the caravan park. A male Kingfisher (and therefore not the one seen regularly during the winter) was in the brook near the sewage works entrance. A surprise as usually they have left for the breeding areas by now.

13th

Sunny with a strong NW wind. There were 100 Brent Geese on the beach, a pair of Shelducks flew west over the beach and, late morning, two immature drake Eiders appeared close inshore off the Obs. An immature Marsh Harrier struggled to make westerly progress against the strong winds at 7.20 am. There were 17 Sanderlings on the beach, 14 Meadow Pipits flew west and a Chiffchaff sang briefly in the Scout Wood and then made its way along the east bank.

11th

Sunny with strong WNW winds. A Great Crested Grebe, a Fulmar and a Gannet flew west. There were 185 Brent Geese on the beach. Waders included a single Grey Plover and 22 Sanderlings and a second-summer Mediterranean Gull flew west close inshore. A Chiffchaff was seen along the upper brook and a flock of 28 Goldfinches gathered in the trees behind the Obs.

Sparrowhawk – Andy Taylor

9th

Cloudy with a fresh SW wind. There were four Red-throated Divers, three Great Crested Grebes and the pair of Red-breasted Mergansers offshore.  One Gannet flew west, there were 42 Brent Geese on the beach and three Little Egrets were on the Hampton flats. One Shelduck flew west and a duck Eider was offshore and drifting west. Waders included a Grey Plover on the beach, two Snipe visible on the Marsh Pool and 35 Curlews circling over the caravan park fields. Three adult Lesser Black-backed Gulls flew west together and a whisper of vis mig was represented by one Stock Dove, seven Meadow Pipits and a Linnet flying west.

7th

Sunny with a fresh SW wind. A Gannet flew east and three Shelducks flew west. There were 45 Brent Geese on the beach. A single Golden Plover flew west followed later by a Knot (another addition to the year list).

6th

Cloudy with a fresh southerly wind. There were six Red-throated Divers, four Great Crested Grebes and a pair of Red-breasted Mergansers offshore. Fulmars flew east and west and three Gannets flew east. There were 50 Brent Geese on the beach. Ten Sanderlings were on the beach and a Snipe and 18 Redshanks were on the beach. Gulls on the beach included 15 Common Gulls and 12 Great Black-backed Gulls. A flock of c30 Fieldfares flew west (new for the year) and a female Stonechat in the scrub was also a migrant.

Kestrels- Geoff Burton

4th

Cloudy, moderate westerly wind and cool. There were 73 Brent Geese on the beach and five Red-breasted Mergansers and a duck Eider offshore. 47 Oystercatchers gathered on the shingle ridge at high tide and an adult Mediterranean Gull flew west over the area. One Stock Dove flew west, there was a flock of 15 Goldfinches along the east bank and three Linnets outside the churchyard flew off along Church Way.

2nd

Cloudy with a light SW wind. Bird of the day was a drake Goosander,our first of the year,which flew west at 8.10 am. A Marsh Harrier (our third this year and first since 6th January) flew west at 7.20 am, four Shelduck and ten Gannets flew east and a pair of Red-breasted Mergansers were offshore. An  adult Mediterranean Gull flew east, there were 20 Brent Geese and 15 Sanderlings on the beach and three Snipe were visible on the Marsh Pool. A female Reed Bunting was also present.

1st

Cloudy and rather dull with a light NW wind. There was a single Great Northern Diver offshore of the Obs,  a summer plumage  Red-throated Diver flew west close inshore and there were three Great Crested Grebes and a pair of Red-breasted Mergansers offshore. A Fulmar and three Gannets flew east and 70 Oystercatchers flew east as the tide receded. There were 80 Brent Geese and 15 Sanderlings on the beach and 30 Redshanks were on the Marsh Pool. A vocal adult Mediterranean Gull flew over the Obs and the football pitch and drifted east. A Kingfisher flew down Coot Strait and a Rock Pipit (not yesterday’s bird) was at the mouth of the remnant brook. There were also five Greenfinches in flight over the estate and two Linnets in the scrub.

Sparrowhawk – Geoff Burton

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