Wednesday 11th

A drake Mandarin in Pegwell was an unlikely highlight of the day. It is presumably the same bird which frequented New Downs on a few occasions last month, i wonder if it will hang around long enough for our WeBS counts this weekend? Meanwhile on New Downs two Common Sandpipers were of note and the two Cattle Egrets remain in amongst the sheep on Worth. Single Snow Buntings were seen on the Estate and Prince’s Beach, with two Jack Snipe and three Rock Pipits at the Point, and a late Chiffchaff in the Whitehouse perhaps set to overwinter.

Tuesday 10th

Conditions carried on from yesterday and another spell watching the sea saw 3,230 Cormorants moving to and fro over the course of an hour and a half. Wildfowl was restricted to 17 Brent Geese, two Red-breasted Mergansers, and five Common Scoters, with four Kittiwakes, ten distant Auk ‘sp’, and a Great Skua for a bit of variety. A second year Yellow-legged Gull dropped in for a bathe on Restharrow Scrape, as did four Shelducks, our first on there since the excavations, and two of the Cattle Egret flock were near the wooden bridge on Worth marshes.

Monday 9th

A blustery north-westerly came through overnight leaving us with little option other than seawatching. A Red-breasted Merganser was the only notable wildfowl but counts of 34 Red-throated Divers, two Fulmars, 94 Gannets, 3,520 Cormorants, four Great Skuas, one Arctic Skua, and one Shag made it worthwhile. Two Egyptian Geese were on Restharrow Scrape again and in the evening the three Cattle Egrets were still on Worth.

Sunday 8th

At least 2,500 Cormorants and a Razorbill were offshore, with Worth supplying Woodcock, a flyover Lapland Bunting, two Peregrines, two Cattle Egrets, and an extremely late House Martin, though it looks like our Glossy Ibis was seen heading south over Walmer. Restharrow Scrape had a good comparison of Caspian and Yellow-legged Gull on show.

Saturday 7th

Restharrow Scrape was fairly active as the Glossy Ibis paid a brief visit again, as did a Water Pipit and nice 1cy Caspian Gull. The Cattle Egret flock was back up to three individuals on Worth marshes, with two extra Water Pipits too.

Glossy Ibis Dec19 SReynaert

Glossy Ibis by S.Reynaert

Friday 6th

A complete washout today with very little to report. Which in turn gives me the opportunity for a quick pre-Christmas request. Do you ever shop online through Amazon? Did you know you can donate a percentage of your online costs to Sandwich Bay Bird Observatory at no extra cost to yourself? AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support SBBOT. It is a website operated by Amazon with the same products, prices and shopping features as Amazon.co.uk and you use your same account, shopping cart, Wish List, wedding or baby registry, and other account settings etc. To shop at AmazonSmile simply go to smile.amazon.co.uk from the web browser on your computer or mobile device and select Sandwich Bay Bird Observatory, or go to https://smile.amazon.co.uk/ch/289343-0 to be taken directly to SBBOT’s fundraising portal. As Christmas approaches these small amounts can make such a difference to a small charity like us. So spread the word!

Thursday 5th

Two Swallows going north over the Estate were surprising and a welcome contrast from the heavy frost again. Meanwhile at least five different Marsh Harriers hunted around the asparagus fields, a Coal Tit was in the Elms, and there was a small increase in Song Thrushes. On Worth the Glossy Ibis and Cattle Egret were still present, with Merlin and Common Sandpiper noteworthy, as were 55 Pied Wagtails feeding on the new workings. Five Snow Buntings were on Royal Cinque Ports Golf Course.

Wednesday 4th

It was another frosty start. The Glossy Ibis and Cattle Egret were still on Worth marshes whilst a healthy flock of finches along the Worth track contained 165 Chaffinches and five Bramblings. A Firecrest was on the Estate and Snow Bunting flocks were on Royal Cinque Ports Golf Course (three) and Prince’s Golf Course (19).

Short-eared Owl Dec19 NSmith (2)

Short-eared Owl by N.Smith

Tuesday 3rd

Heavy frost at dawn but it gave way quickly to a really nice winter’s day. Two Egyptian Geese were on Restharrow Scrape and a lovely walk along the Green Wall found Bearded Tit, Water Pipit, Little Owl, Green Sandpiper, and eight Goldcrests. The Glossy Ibis was back on Worth marshes again and a single Cattle Egret was still present.

Monday 2nd

Cold but nice. The Glossy Ibis paid a brief visit onto Restharrow Scrape but flew off strongly north after. Three Cattle Egrets, a Great White Egret, two Water Pipits, a Barn Owl, and a Raven were on Worth marshes and 290 Golden Plovers were on the Estate.

Glossy Ibis Dec19 SReynaert (3)

Glossy Ibis by S.Reynaert

Sunday 1st

A little spell sea-watching produced records of Goosander and Arctic Skua offshore with 103 Red-throated Divers a decent count. The Glossy Ibis and three Cattle Egrets were on Worth marshes.