The days continue to be dominated by fierce gales and intermittent showers but some time sea-watching this morning recorded 36 Wigeons, 115 Gannets, a handful of Red-throated Divers, 84 Great Crested Grebes, plus a few Fulmars, Kittiwakes, and Auks. So it wasn’t too bad. A Peregrine was hunting Stock Doves on the Estate and a Firecrest was at the top of King’s Avenue.
The Siberian Chiffchaff was showing well again in the usual spot on Worth. It may not feel like it with this recent weather but if you look closely the signs of spring are around us with small numbers of Oystercatchers, Avocets, and Dunlins all recorded inland in the last few days. Daffodils and Snowdrops are in full flower on the Estate and Buff-tailed Bumblebees buzzing around. The first Wheatears will be here shortly.
The Siberian Chiffchaff was present again along the edge of the Great Wood with two Common Chiffchaffs (for helpful comparison) and two Firecrests. There were good numbers of Wigeon in the area too and the Cattle Egrets were seen again in with the rams by the Worth track. On the Estate the sunny weather meant there were a fair few species in full song, including Goldcrests around the Gullies, but not much new in. Enjoyable though. At least three Yellow-legged Gulls and seven Mediterranean Gulls were in the evening roost in Pegwell Bay but more notable was a flock of at least five Pale-bellied Brent Geese seen earlier in the morning.
After the morning’s hail shower went through it was a lovely day. The gorgeous male Hen Harrier made a re-appearance, this time on Worth marshes, with Merlin, one Common Sandpiper and three Green Sandpipers, three Ravens, and the Siberian Chiffchaff all seen. A Little Grebe on the floodwater on the Estate was unusual and two Snow Buntings were seen along Prince’s Beach.
Somewhat wet and windy still but a Water Pipit and a Bearded Tit were seen on the Green Wall, and the Siberian Chiffchaff was still along the edge of the Great Wood on Worth marshes.
Storm Dennis teared through but 159 Great Crested Grebes were noted offshore and the Siberian Chiffchaff was on Worth. To view the bird either walk from the Observatory or from Worth village. Watch from the public footpath alongside the wood (TR34525592), there is no access inside the wood.
The Siberian Chiffchaff and two Cattle Egrets were still present on Worth marshes but a Red Kite drifting over was new for the year.
Between heavy rain showers a Siberian Chiffchaff was discovered along the southern edge of the Great Wood on Worth marshes. Perhaps the bird seen at Blue Pigeons a month ago? The two Cattle Egrets were still present and the year’s first Razorbill was seen offshore.
A long ol’ walk WeBS counting in the strong winds on Worth marshes. The two Cattle Egrets were cavorting with sheep next to the Worth track, a drake Pintail and a Common Sandpiper were on the deep pool by the Great Wood, two Ravens flew over, and there were two Yellowhammers (scarce this winter). However, bird of the day was surely the superb male Hen Harrier seen hunting between the Observatory and Restharrow Scrape mid-morning.
The weekend’s planned WeBS counts were delayed until today though it was still very windy out there. A Pale-bellied Brent Goose was in with the Dark-bellied Brent flock in Pegwell, as well as two Avocets and two Peregrines. Work still continues at Restharrow Scrape (led ably by our conservation team) and it’s beginning to look very impressive. It hopefully won’t be long before it’s all done. We’ll keep you updated.
With the worst of Storm Ciara out of the way time was spent up at the seafront looking for waylaid seabirds. Fortunately for them (and unfortunately for us) there was little moving other than a few Kittiwakes and Fulmars, though the visibility was great. The Observatory building and the reserves held up reasonably well too with just a few trees down in the area.
Torrential rain and gusts of up to 72mph. An ‘office day’.
The calm before the storm. Two Pintails were in Pegwell and out on Worth marshes a Mediterranean Gull was picked out amongst the Black-headed Gulls and 18 Grey Partridges were shouting about.
The morning was mostly spent rescuing a Beaver from the beach so bird sightings were slim, however a flock of 19 White-fronted Geese did the helpful thing and flew north over us whilst we were hard at work. So a good day all round.
A wander across New Downs in heavy frost and warm sunshine was just lovely. A female Bearded Tit gave itself away by pinging loudly from the small patch of phragmites at Backsand Point (another two were heard later along the Green Wall). Almost 2,000 Lapwings were on the North Pool, with a marauding Peregrine and four Rock Pipits also noted. The two Snow Buntings were seen again on RCPGC and a Merlin was hunting around Worth marshes.
It was very nice out on the Estate this morning. There were good numbers of thrushes about and a lot more birdsong than there has been recently. A 2cy Yellow-legged Gull drifted by close-in along the beach and it was interesting to note a Skylark flying north offshore. Meanwhile the two Tundra Bean Geese were seen again with the Mute Swan herd between Restharrow Scrape and Worth railway line, and the two Snow Buntings were again on the 10th green of Royal Cinque Port Golf Course.
In an overcast and breezy day the two Bearded Tits were seen again on the Green Wall, a Woodcock was on the Estate, and a Firecrest was seen on Worth.
The Mandarin re-appeared on New Downs (on the reservoir by the polytunnels), almost 600 Wigeons and a Mediterranean Gull were on Worth, and strangest of all, an Avocet was swimming around offshore.
Mild and breezy. The two Cattle Egrets were feeding away on Worth.