The total of 86 species was a little above the ten-year average of 84.5 but lower than last year’s 90. This January was a very different month to last year. Species recorded last year but not this, and this year but not last, are listed below:
Black-throated Diver. Slavonian Grebe. Shag. Shoveler. Velvet Scoter. Merlin. Knot. Black-tailed Godwit. Mediterranean Gull. Kittiwake. Guillemot. Razorbill. Black Guillemot. Kingfisher. Great Spotted Woodpecker. Fieldfare
Scaup. Purple Sandpiper. Sandwich Tern. Lesser Spotted Woodpecker. Cetti’s Warbler. Blackcap. Pallas’s Warbler. Goldcrest. Rook. Raven. Bullfinch. Snow Bunting
The striking difference in these lists is the predominance of birds on the sea in 2022 and passerines in 2023. Four of this years species, in bold, were not seen at all last year.
A total of 86 species so far this year
90 species by the same time last year
Sunny periods, fresh SW wind. Another quiet day on the sea with one Mute Swan flying west. The Purple Sandpiper was at the mouth of the brook early morning. The Pallas’s Warbler was reported again and other birds noted included the Little Grebe on the Marsh Pool, the male Stonechat and seven Redwings which dropped into the Elm Wood.
Sunny, moderate NW wind. There were 120 Sanderlings along the shoreline by the Obs. Three Stock Doves, which flew NW by the Obs, was an addition to our year list and other birds noted included the Pallas’s Warbler (present for the last four weeks at least), the male Stonechat, a male Blackcap and two Goldcrests.
The Pallas’s Warbler was reported today (per Birdguides).
Sunny with a light northerly wind. There were 100+ Red-throated Divers offshore, many flying west as disturbed by boats, four Great Crested Grebes and seven drake Red-breasted Mergansers. The Purple Sandpiper was feeding along the shoreline in front of the Obs. This individual seems to prefer this site to Hampton where they have been seen more regularly in recent years. Other birds noted included the Pallas’s Warbler, now favouring the area around the Elm Wood, and a male Blackcap.
Cloudy, cool, moderate northerly wind. The Little Grebe was on the Marsh Pool and there were two Great Crested Grebes and eight Red-breasted Mergansers offshore. Waders included 25 Golden Plover flying high NW and 25 Snipe on the Marsh Pool. The Water Rail was seen below the wooden bridge.
Cloudy and cold with a light northerly wind. There were 20+ Red-throated Divers, six Great Crested Grebes and six drake Red-breasted Mergansers offshore and a brief visit from six Teal just after midday was an addition to the year list. The Little Grebe was again on the Marsh Pool, there were 55 Brent Geese on the beach and two Grey Herons on the tidal ponds. Waders included 33 Oystercatchers on the beach. The Pallas’s Warbler was seen in the area of the Elm Wood which it now seems to prefer. Other birds noted included the Water Rail by the bridge and eight Goldfinches in the Scout Wood.
More birders than birds today it appears but visitors were rewarded with view of the Pallas’s Warbler.
Cloudy, cold, light NE wind. A good start to the morning when an immature male Scaup was found close inshore by the skate park in the company of three drake Red-breasted Mergansers. Only the fifth record of this species at the site, the bird remained for about an hour before flying off west. There were 95 Brent Geese on the beach and a Little Grebe was on the Marsh Pool. Other birds noted included the Pallas’s Warbler, the male Stonechat for the first time since the cold weather arrived, the Water Rail along the upper brook and a Goldcrest at the Obs.
The Pallas’s Warbler continues its presence.
Sunny, cold, light NE wind. There were 20+ Red-throated Divers and four Red-breasted Mergansers offshore, two Shelduck flew west and a redhead Goldeneye, which flew west at 10.55 am, was new for the year. There were c120 Brent Geese offshore and a Little Grebe above the sluice was another addition to the year list. Waders included the Purple Sandpiper which showed well on the platform by the caravan park along with the Grey Plover. The Pallas’s Warbler continues to entertain to those with the patience or luck. Other birds along the brook included single Redwing and two male Blackcaps whilst a flock of eight Snow Buntings flew east along the beach by the caravan park providing a third addition to the year list.
Amongst the birds noted today were the Pallas’s Warbler, Water Rail and Redwing.
Sunny, cold with a hard frost, light westerly wind. The sea continues to underperform. A Shelduck flew west and four Common Scoters flew east. Waders included the Purple Sandpiper and 129 roosting Dunlin and the resident Grey Plover. Two Skylarks flying west were new for the year whilst down at the Pallas’s Warbler festivities other birds included a male Blackcap, three Rooks overhead, another addition to the year list, and a Redwing, Chiffchaff and Goldcrest.
The Pallas’s Warbler made a welcome reappearance and a Water Rail along the upper brook was its first sighting this year. Two Redwings and the male Blackcap were also seen. The sea remains “very quiet”.
Sunny, cold with a light SW wind. 51 Red-throated Divers flew west including flocks of 25 and 22. There were seven drake Red-breasted Mergansers offshore and two Common Scoters flew east. Waders noted included the Grey Plover and 52 Sanderlings along the shoreline by the Obs. Other birds noted included a Jay by the sewage works entrance, an addition to the year list, Chiffchaff and two Goldcrests and 11 Long-tailed Tits heading along the upper brook from the Scout Wood. Eight Goldfinches flew along the upper brook.
There were no reports of the Pallas’s Warbler today.
A Birdguides report of the Pallas’s Warbler at 3.55 pm.
The Purple Sandpiper was reported on Birdguides “still by the caravan park” and the Pallas’s Warbler was reported at 12.36 pm and 3.54 pm.
A Birdguides report of the Pallas’s Warbler “showing well along the brook between bridge and sewage works entrance” at 2.42 pm and of the Purple Sandpiper “commuting between the grass and beach by the coastguard cottages with Turnstones at 2.18 pm.
Sunny with a fresh SW wind. A Great Northern Diver, in from the east, landed off the Obs, there were four drake Red-breasted Mergansers offshore and a drake Goosander, new for the year, flew west at 10.10 am. An immature Marsh Harrier flew west low over the sea and 60 Golden Plovers also headed west. The Pallas’s Warbler gave good views along the east bank, where there were also three Chiffchaffs, whilst a Goldcrest was at the Obs and a Rock Pipit appeared briefly in the remnant brook.
Another day of rain and strong winds. The Great Northern Diver and a Rock Pipit were both noted.
Sunny with a light SW wind. There were 10 Red-throated Divers, 12 Great Crested Grebes and six drake Red-breasted Mergansers offshore. Wadrs included 38 Oystercatchers gathered on the incoming tide, 40 Golden Plovers west over the sea, a Grey Plover on the mudflats and 18 Snipe On the Marsh Pool. The Pallas’s Warbler showed well along the east bank whilst a Redwing briefly in trees along the upper brook and a male Blackcap on the edge of the Elm Wood were additions to the year list.
Wet and windy weather kept locals and apparently Pallas’s Warbler hopefuls away. However, the Purple Sandpiper was seen on the beach in front of the caravan park and a good count of 54 Curlews were roosting on the fields behind the park.
Sunny with a light SW wind. Ten Red-throated Divers and seven Great Crested Grebes were offshore, an immature Gannet flew west and 25 White-fronted Geese came in high from the east and were probably heading for Sheppey. Eight Red-breasted Mergansers were offshore. Waders included a group of seven Golden Plovers heading west. There were many birders looking for the the Pallas’s Warbler which didn’t show well until the afternoon despite the apparent good conditions. However, the increased level of observations resulted in finding a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker in the Elm Wood, presumably the bird seen on Dec 16th and 17th last year, and three Ravens heading east. Two good additions to the year list.
A Grey Heron on the tidal ponds was new for the year and there were several reports of the Pallas’s Warbler during the day.
Cloudy, some drizzle, fresh southerly wind. Six Red-throated Divers flew east and four Great Crested Grebes were offshore. Two Shelducks were on the tidal ponds and another flew west. Two duck Eiders by the tidal ponds drifted west through the morning and there were six Drake Red-breasted Mergansers offshore. Waders included 63 Ringed Plovers and 89 Dunlin roosting between the groynes and ten Snipe visible on the Marsh Pool. Two adult Lesser Black-backed Gulls were on the beach and a Sandwich Tern was fishing off the Obs. Despite the poor conditions, there were a couple of sightings of the Pallas’s Warbler in the sheltered areas by the sewage works entrance.
A Great Northern Diver was seen by the tidal ponds, the Purple Sandpiper was noted again and, at high tide at lunchtime, there was a good count of 54 Curlews roosting on the sports fields behind the caravan park. The Pallas’s Warbler was also reported.
Sunny, mild with a light SW wind. The Pallas’s Warbler continues its residency but kinder conditions led to more frequent appearances during the day. There were 20+ Red-throated Divers and 11 Great Crested Grebes offshore, five Shelducks flew west, two adult Mute Swans drifted east and 76 Brent Geese were on the beach. Other counts included 62 Ringed Plovers roosting between the groynes and 33 adult Common Gulls on the Marsh Pool. A Sandwich Tern flew west close inshore at 10.55 am. Other birds noted included two Chiffchaffs and a Goldcrest.
Cloudy, mild with a moderate SW wind. One Great Northern Diver and two Shelducks flew west, a Fulmar flew east, there were three Gannets offshore and six drake Red-breasted Mergansers on the sea. Waders included the Purple Sandpiper in amongst a flock of 143 roosting Sanderlings in front of the caravan park, a single Grey Plover there and two Lapwings flying west inland. The Pallas’s Warbler showed, for those with the patience to wait, along the east bank and other birds noted included up to five Goldcrests.
A Brown Rat showed well along the edge of the middle brook.
The Pallas’s Warbler was present again, though it continues to be elusive. A Gannet and a Marsh Harrier were additions to the year list.
Sunny periods , mild with a light SW wind. A good start to the day with seven White-fronted Geese west and our first ever January Sandwich Tern was truly eclipsed when Andy found a Pallas’s Warbler along the east bank. This is only our second record of the species after one in October 2019 and most unexpected at this time of the year. It proved elusive during the day with more than two hours after the initial sightings before it was refound. Some movement over the sea with six Shelducks and six Wigeon west, 11 Pintail and two Common Scoters east and eight Red-breasted Mergansers offshore. Other birds noted included Cetti’s Warbler and three Chiffchaffs, two Goldcrests, six Long-tailed Tits, 12 Linnets and a Reed Bunting.
Cloudy, mild with a moderate SW wind. An improvement in the weather at least. Two Red-throated Divers and two Great Crested Grebes were offshore with six drake Red-breasted Mergansers and a pair of Wigeon flew west. A Purple Sandpiper was seen briefly amongst other roosting waders at the eastern end of the beach. Other waders included Golden Plover, a single Lapwing, 77 Sanderlings, 35 Snipe in the Marsh Pool and 14 Curlews heading west out of Studd Hill. Star bird of the day was a male Bullfinch in the elms by the car park which flew into the sewage works. A species not seen at all in 2022! Other birds noted included a Sparrowhawk, a Rock Pipit, Grey Wagtail, the male Stonechat, singing Song Thrush, Cetti’s Warbler, Chiffchaff, ten Goldfinches and a Reed Bunting. A total of 53 species for the start of the year; about average.