August 2019

                                                     140 species so far this year                                                    138 species by the same time last year

14th

Cloudy with a fresh SW wind. A juvenile Gannet flew east, a Bar-tailed Godwit flew west along the beach and a Golden Plover, our first of the autumn, flew west at 10.40 am. Other waders included single Sanderling and Dunlin on the beach. A Whinchat in the grassland was a new bird for the year (on the same date as the first last year) but disappeared as soon as it was found; there will be more! One Swift was seen and Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler were heard at the Obs.

13th

Ted, Arnie and Greg were about today. The Garden Warbler was present along the east bank again and waders included a single Dunlin, 32 Ringed Plovers and 28 Turnstones.

Holly Blue – Greg Herne

12th

Cloudy with showers and a light SW wind. Waders included a flock of 15 Knot west, 40 Ringed Plovers on the beach and two Common Sandpipers. A Sedge Warbler along the side of Coot Strait, a Garden Warbler along the east bank and a juvenile Wheatear on the beach were all firsts for the Autumn. Also, a Kingfisher flew up the brook, a Swift and a Yellow Wagtail flew west, and a  Grey Heron, a Great Spotted Woodpecker and a Willow Warbler were also seen.

Butterflies seen included Painted Lady and Holly Blue.

10th

Sunny periods but fresh to strong SW wind and light showers. This was notably for the movement of terns. There were c30 Sandwich Terns, 120 Common Terns and four Little Terns west during the morning. Also, c50 Swifts and 12 Sand Martins flew west, there were 22 Ringed Plovers on the beach and, despite the winds, seven Whitethroats were noted in the scrub.

Common Terns – Andy Taylor

Swift – Andy Taylor

8th

Sunny with a light SW wind. A total of nine Little Egrets comprised of four in the brook, later roosting in the sewage works trees, one in the Marsh Pool and a single bird followed by three more flying west out at sea. Waders included singles of Sanderling, Dunlin and Common Sandpiper, 25 Ringed Plovers and 30 Turnstones. There were six Swifts, three Sand Martins, five Swallows and a Yellow Wagtail flying west, warblers included a Lesser Whitethroat and two Willow Warblers and a Great Spotted Woodpecker appeared briefly in the Elm Wood. On arrival, the calls of Crossbills could be heard from Lang Court but they soon ceased and none were seen.

Butterflies included Holly Blue and Brown Argus and dragonflies were Migrant Hawkers, a Southern Hawker and a Blue-tailed Damselfly.

7th

Mostly sunny with a light westerly wind. A Little Ringed Plover (our third of the autumn) was flying around the beach early morning. Other waders included 20 Sanderlings ( a big increase over the two seen up to now), and 29 Ringed Plovers. There were also five Common Sandpipers in the area. Birds of the day were two Crossbills, which flew west over the football pitch and sewage works at 7.25 am (our first here since 2013). There were two Yellow Wagtails, one on the beach and one west over the Obs, and a Willow Warbler dropped in at the Obs. An adult Moorhen was in the middle brook quite close to the site of the spillage. The diesel smell lingers and the brook looks a turgid brown colour; lets hope our hen is ok!

Butterflies included Painted Ladies and Red Admirals, a Brown Argus and mating Common Blues. Plenty of Migrant Hawkers about too.

6th

Andy noted 26 Swifts and Arnie noted a Common Sandpiper on the Marsh Pool and a Willow Warbler and the Lesser Whitethroat was seen again.

The sight of Southern Water workers cutting across the Marsh Pool kind of encapsulates the lack of joined-up thinking that has plagued “management” of this SSSI.

5th

Cloudy with a light southerly wind. Waders included a Whimbrel, a Bar-tailed Godwit and a Green Sandpiper west, a Dunlin and two Common Sandpipers on the beach and an increase to 21 Ringed Plovers. A Hobby flew low west beyond the caravan park.  A total of 85 Swifts heading west included flocks of 35 and 30, there were also 23 Sand Martins and six Swallows west.  A Lesser Whitethroat was seen again near the scout hut and a juvenile Willow Warbler appeared in the rose bush on the shingle mid-morning.

Not a day for butterflies but Painted Lady, Gatekeeper and Meadow Brown were seen.

3rd

Sunny with a light northerly wind. Three Gannets flew west (possibly the same ones flew east) and parties of 30 and eight Common Scoters flew west. Waders included a Common Sandpiper on the Marsh Pool, a Dunlin and 54 Turnstones on the beach. Two Mediterranean Gulls flew east over the area but, more unexpected, was juvenile Kittiwake which flew east close inshore. One Swift and a juvenile Swallow flew west and a Lesser Whitethroat was near the scout hut.

A Brimstone butterfly was the first seen here since May.

1st

Cloudy at first then sunny, light westerly wind. Rather a quiet start to the month. Waders were six Oystercatchers, 15 Ringed Plovers, one Sanderling and 50 Turnstones. Five Swifts and a Yellow Wagtail flew west, a Grey Wagtail was over the sewage works and a Lesser Whitethroat and two juvenile Willow Warblers were along the east bank.

A warm day encouraged butterflies with nine species recorded including two Brown Argus and a Painted Lady at the Obs. A Thistle Ermine moth was seen at the Obs and a number of Migrant Hawkers were also seen.

Brown Argus, Painted Lady and Thistle Ermine – Andy Taylor

After yesterday’s diesel pollution of the brook , there was much activity by Southern Water at the site. More so than there has been in the past with other pollutions. However, we were dismayed at one particular warning sign which warns against bathing or allowing dogs in the brook but implies that such “restrictions”  are only temporary! This contradicts the Councils own notices which says that dogs should not be allowed in the brook under any circumstances to protect wildlife including Water Voles (which have been preyed on by dogs in the past).

Extract from permanent Council notice

Temporary Council notice

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