June 2019

                                                      134 species so far this year                                                                                132 species by the same time last year

18th

Sunny at first, clouding over, with a light SW wind. Six Little Egrets were on the beach, five Great Black-backed Gulls included two adults and one Sandwich Tern flew east. One Stock Dove flew south and a Reed Warbler, our fifth of the “Spring” was singing in the pear tree and the adjacent bluethroat bush. There were two broods of Mallard in the brook, one of seven almost fully-grown ducklings and another of at least five half-sized ducklings.

Butterflies noted were Small Heath, Speckled Wood and Small White.

17th

Ted Lee’s visit produced one Great Crested Grebe offshore (our first since May 27th), one Gannet and two Curlews west. Also, three Swifts and one Swallow flew west.

15th

Ted Lee found a group of six Curlews on the beach. A typical record for this early returning migrant wader.

14th

Waders are at their scarcest here at this time of the year and so it was pleasing for Ted Lee to find this Grey Plover on the beach.

Grey Plover – Ted Lee

13th

Sunny, then showers from 9 am, with a moderate SW wind. An adult Gannet flew east and a single Sandwich Tern was resting on the red buoy. 50 Swifts flew west, mainly during the showers (our highest count so far this year). A Stock Dove was seen near the Marsh Pool and a Skylark flew south over the sewage works.

Six species of butterfly were seen around the Obs including our first Large Skipper of the year, a Red Admiral and another Painted Lady.

The heavy machinery has gone. There are tracks on the shingle and, apparently, holes were being bored. Phase 2 next year, maybe.

Juvenile Woodpigeon – Geoff Burton

Large Skipper – Geoff Burton

11th

 

Sunny with a light SW wind. The struggle continues; a Hobby flew west low over the sewage works at 5.28 am, eight Oystercatchers were on the beach and a single Sandwich Tern flew east.  Sandwich Terns have been rather scarce this year. Usually there is an early morning movement of these terns (presumably from breeding grounds in the Medway) but not this year. What are the implications? Another scarce species has been the Swift and c20 feeding beyond the caravan park is one of the higher counts so far this year.

There have been a number of reports of Painted Ladies in the county and two more here today may suggest that it will be a good year.

Yesterday’s heavy rain has enabled the brook to pour its waters into the sea for the first time for months. Also, the recently dry Obs Pool now holds some water and the Marsh Pool is fuller. This may prove beneficial  for early returning Autumn waders.

Heavy machinery parked by the sluice may indicate that the work on replacing the sewage outfall pipe is about to begin.

Painted Lady – Geoff Burton

The brook breaks free – Geoff Burton

Pipeline machinery ? – Geoff Burton

8th

Cloudy with a fresh SW wind. It is a struggle to find anything to mention! There were eight immature Great Black-backed Gulls on the beach and two Sandwich Terns offshore. Two juvenile Robins were in the sewage works.

There were no waders seen. A flock of non-breeding Turnstones  had always been a feature of mid-summer. Numbers from year to year have varied. The maximum June count in 2007 was only 16 but there were 126 in 2010 and 95 in 2013. Since then numbers have been lower with 16 in 2015, only six in 2016, 13 in 2017 and none recorded were recorded in June last year. And none have been recorded so far this month.

6th

Sunny with a light SW wind. Little to report with four Oystercatchers on the tidal ponds (no other waders) and a second calendar year Mediterranean Gull west. 20 Swifts flew also west.

Better on the butterfly front with our first Painted Lady and Meadow Brown of the year amongst the six species seen.

Painted Lady – Geoff Burton

Meadow Brown – Geoff Burton

5th

Sunny periods and a light SW wind. At 6.05 am, the calling of Avocets led to the sight of two dropping onto the Marsh Pool. Previously, all records of this species had been either on the beach or flying over. A first record for the Marsh Pool and probably only the third record here in June. However, after five minutes they took off and flew over towards the beach, returning to circle around over the pool  again before finally moving on. There was also a Shelduck  on the Marsh Pool. Two single Fulmars flew west, a Gannet flew west and another six settled on the sea. A little passage with ten Swifts, three Swallows and four House Martins west whilst a Chiffchaff,singing briefly at the Obs, was probably a resident which are quiet and elusive at this time in the season.

Butterflies seen were Small White, Holly Blue and Speckled Wood.

Two Dunlin on 1st and these two Avocets show the attraction of the Marsh Pool when the level is unusually low at this time of the year. A bit late for Spring migration and maybe it will have dried up before the Autumn passage gets going.

Avocet and Shelduck – Geoff Burton

Avocets departing – Geoff Burton

3rd

Sunny with a light westerly wind. There were two Little Egrets on the beach and a Grey Heron flew west. A small, but more than so far this year, movement of Swifts totalled 21 and there were also three Swallows and a single Sand Martin and House Martin.

The Marsh Pool – Geoff Burton

1st

A sunny and very warm start to the year with a light SE wind.  There were seven Little Egrets around the tidal ponds. Two Dunlin on the Marsh Pool mid-morning were unusual but the pool does look good for waders at the moment. It has been a very dry month. A Reed Warbler was singing in the depths of one of the scrubland bushes. Two juvenile Long-tailed Tits were in the trees along the upper brook.

Butterflies were Small and Green-veined Whites, Holly Blue and Small Heath.

Dunlins – Geoff Burton

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