Friday 29th

Worth marshes once again supplied the Glossy Ibis and the three Cattle Egrets. A switch round to northerlies stimulated the first movement of Cormorants of the winter with over 3,400 logged heading offshore from inland just after dawn. Finally, a walk around the New Downs area was nice enough without anything notable to report except ten Black-tailed Godwits.

Thursday 28th

The Glossy Ibis remained loyal to Worth marshes but due to it’s mobile nature it kept disappearing at times. The best areas do tend to be the assorted pools around the Great Wood though. You can access the area easily by walking from the Observatory or from Worth village, though the latter route is far muddier. The three Cattle Egrets from the 25th were also re-discovered too. Unfortunately they have a nasty habit of feeding in fields away from the eye of the public footpaths, though were showing well early this morning.

Wednesday 27th

The day was dominated by sporadic downpours that made life particularly difficult out there. The Glossy Ibis was still present on Worth showing well on the pool by the Great Wood, best viewed from the public footpath along the Pinnock Wall. Over 700+ assorted gulls were on Restharrow Scrape.

Glossy Ibis Nov19 AML (2)
Glossy Ibis by A.Lipczynski

Tuesday 26th

Despite the near-continous drizzle there were some exciting finds again today. Pride of place went to the GLOSSY IBIS discovered on Worth marshes early on. A Shag flew past offshore, Water Pipits were on Worth and Restharrow Scrape, with two Yellow-legged Gulls also at the latter.

Yellow-legged Gull Nov19 SReynaert (3)
Yellow-legged Gulls by S.Reynaert

Monday 25th

A mild and overcast day but full of surprises. In a mixed Egret flock on Worth there were three Cattle Egrets and Great White Egret, with up to four Water Pipits present, and an influx of over 1,500+ Lapwings and 3,000 Black-headed Gulls. Restharrow Scrape supplied two Yellow-legged Gulls, a ringtail Hen Harrier was nearby, and a late Swallow was seen flying over the Green Wall. Two Red-breasted Mergansers and a Great Skua flew past offshore.

Sunday 24th

Another wander around the Prince’s Beach area discovered 24 Snow Buntings. If this flock stays for the winter it will be the largest overwintering flock for some years. Cormorants are beginning to build again with 285 roosting at the Point, meanwhile there was an adult Yellow-legged Gull, a first winter Mediterranean Gull, two Water Pipits, and a Rock Pipit on Restharrow Scrape.

Saturday 23rd

It was breezy and a bit of diver activity offshore included 61 Red-throateds and one Black-throated. Seventeen Snow Buntings were counted along the beach by Prince’s Golf Course, a Yellow-legged Gull was on Restharrow Scrape, and a Cetti’s Warbler was broadcasting loudly from the Haven.

Friday 22nd

A Razorbill and a Goldeneye flew past offshore in mild conditions, a Yellow-legged Gull was on Restharrow Scrape, and on Worth there was a small raptor-fest with three Marsh Harriers, three Sparrowhawks, two Buzzards, three Kestrels, one Merlin, and three Peregrines. A Firecrest was on the Estate and a super flock of 30 Snow Buntings was on Prince’s Golf Course.

Thursday 21st

A breezy and cold south easterly swept through all morning. It was tough work with just small numbers of wildfowl and divers seen offshore. A few birds have started returning onto Restharrow Scrape after the work on the hide.

Wednesday 20th

Firecrest and Brambling were found on the Estate but New Downs was more productive with three Goosanders and four Bewick’s Swans on show.

Tuesday 19th

After a heavy frost it was crisp underfoot but the rising sun made it actually a lovely winter’s morning. A walk along Prince’s Beach found a small group of three Snow Buntings and the Dartford Warbler was still present in the Sea Buckthorn. There was a Water Pipit and a small influx of wildfowl on Worth but another Snow Bunting flying around the new diggings was most notable. On the Estate two late Swallows flew north.

Monday 18th

A spell of seawatching off the Estate produced an Eider, Bonxie, our first Great Northern Diver of the winter, and a Slavonian Grebe offshore.

Sunday 17th

It was a nice calm morning, perfect for WeBS counting out on Worth marshes. A Hen Harrier was doing the rounds whilst five Water Rails was notable. Water Pipit, two Yellowhammers, and a Brambling were also seen. At the Point the Dartford Warbler put in an appearance whilst the Estate was quiet, though a Yellowhammer in Jubilee Field was unusual, and a Short-eared Owl came in off the sea.

Saturday 16th

A morning’s wander on Worth produced an interesting haul of two Bean Geese (which flew north, perhaps the Stodmarsh birds), four Water Rails, two Green Sandpipers, Common Sandpiper, Water Pipit, and Merlin. A Yellow-legged Gull was once again on Restharrow Scrape and a jaunt across New Downs recorded 775 Lapwings, 340 Golden Plovers, Woodcock, and 24 Corn Buntings, whilst in Pegwell a ringtail Hen Harrier was the best.

Friday 15th

A fierce northerly gale came through overnight producing some good seawatching. Most interesting were 83 Brent Geese, 189 Wigeons, 36 Teals, 34 Gadwalls, one Pintail, one Shoveler, 19 Eiders, nine Common Scoters, two Red-breasted Mergansers, two Goldeneyes, one Black-throated Diver, 48 Dunlins, and one Purple Sandpiper, all mostly going north. An adult Yellow-legged Gull was on Restharrow Scrape.

Thursday 14th

There was persistent rain all day but a Red-breasted Merganser went north offshore, a Bar-tailed Godwit was on Restharrow Scrape, and a Water Pipit was on Worth marshes.

Wednesday 13th

A Lapland Bunting that headed inland over Worth was the clear standout bird of the day. A Water Pipit was found nearby and the Brent Goose was on Restharrow Scrape again. Offshore a Sandwich Tern drifted past and a Firecrest, a few Lesser Redpolls, and a couple of Corn Buntings were on the Estate. It’s looking like the new hide for Restharrow Scrape will be arriving on the 18th and we expect it will take a few days to get it into position, so be aware there will be some disturbance during that time. It’ll be worth it in the end. If you want to get involved in the ongoing Restharrow Scrape Project we have a Volunteer’s and Evaluation Day on Friday 22nd November 10-1pm, sign up at the Field Centre or at info@sbbot.org.uk.

Tuesday 12th

A wander around the Mary Bax and Chequers area produced 24 Grey Partridges. Surely Sandwich Bay must be the best place to see this species in Kent? Meanwhile on Restharrow Scrape a Water Pipit and Caspian Gull dropped in and a Brent Goose spent some time commuting between there and Worth, where another Water Pipit was present.

Brent Goose Nov19 SReynaert
Brent Goose on Restharrow Scrape by S.Reynaert

Monday 11th

It was a grim start with a series of heavy showers throughout the morning. A spell on Worth found Common Sandpiper, two Firecrests, and the escaped Yellow-billed Teal which has turned up sporadically in the area in the last few years. Two Yellow-legged Gulls were on Restharrow Scrape.

Sunday 10th

A bit of easterly overnight was promising. A Hume’s Warbler was on the agenda but three Yellow-legged Gulls and seven Corn Buntings on Restharrow Scrape was the best we could do. The ringtail Hen Harrier was seen in Pegwell again and a House Martin flew over the Observatory.

Saturday 9th

After a clear night it was very cold at first light. Thankfully it was flat calm as with a stronger wind it would’ve been biting on the beach front. The Estate supplied a few bits of interest, namely the lingering Yellow-browed Warbler, two Woodcocks, two Firecrests, and a Brambling, whilst 15 Sandwich Terns and a Swallow remain the last vestiges of summer. The Water Pipit dropped in and out of Restharrow Scrape, the male Mandarin re-appeared on New Downs on the river at Bloody Point, and the Dartford Warbler was still on Prince’s Beach.

Friday 8th

A light frost overnight gave way to a rather lovely sunny morning. The find of the day was probably the female Red-breasted Merganser discovered on the river by Vigo Sluice (approx. TR337581),  a highly unusual place for this species. Five Tree Sparrows flew north over Worth and both Green and Common Sandpipers were seen on New Downs reservoir.

Red-breasted Merganser Nov19 AML (1)
Red-breasted Merganser by A.Lipczynski

Thursday 7th

Gulls certainly seem to being in vogue at the moment. More grilling on Restharrow Scrape produced three adult Yellow-legged Gulls, now our sixth and seventh individuals recorded recently (minimum of three adults, three second winters, and a third winter). There have been more records on Restharrow Scrape in the last two weeks than in the last two years. A wander around the Oasis and Whitehouse area found the Yellow-browed Warbler still present at the south end of the Haven and a Brambling was flying around, and a Short-eared Owl flew high north over the Estate.

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Wednesday 6th

A spell of sunshine in the morning was the rarest sight this week though by the afternoon it had all clouded over. Prince’s Beach turned up Dartford Warbler and Snow Bunting whilst a Water Pipit and a third winter Yellow-legged Gull was on Restharrow Scrape; the latter being the fifth different individual on there in the last week and a half. Yellow-browed Warblers were in the Haven and on New Downs, with two Goosanders also at the latter. Singles of Great Skua and Goldeneye were offshore with eight Sandwich Terns still hanging on.

Water Pipit Nov19 PBlanche (2)
A helpful comparison of Meadow Pipit (left) and Water Pipit (right) on Restharrow Scrape by P.Blanche

Tuesday 5th

The heavy showers overnight and early morning worked well topping up the water levels on Restharrow Scrape. There was an increase in Teal to 56 and the Water Pipit was seen again briefly. A bit of seawatching saw Black-throated Diver and Velvet Scoter go south and on the Estate a Yellow-browed Warbler was particularly vocal around the Whitehouse area. The Bearded Tit was still present on the Green Wall.

Monday 4th

There was a brief gap in the weather this morning between the deluge overnight and another at 11am. A wander along Prince’s Beach produced three Snow Buntings and a Dartford Warbler whilst the Green Wall had a Brambling and a Bearded Tit (in the reedbed by the river). New Downs reservoir held the male Mandarin and seven Pochards and a smart Tree Sparrow was seen between the Observatory and the Worth track.

Snow Bunting Oct19 AML (1)
Snow Buntings by A.Lipczynski

Sunday 3rd

It was a much nicer day today. At first it seemed like there had been a clear out of migrants but gradually a few bits and pieces were found. A Yellow-browed Warbler was presumably new in at the Chequers with another still loitering on the Estate. There were three Firecrests and a Short-eared Owl on the Estate too with a Ruff, a Mediterranean Gull, and a Water Pipit on Restharrow Scrape. Worth produced the lingering Ring Ouzel plus a Hen and two Marsh Harriers.

Saturday 2nd

With some really awful conditions outside, coupled with a certain Rugby game, it meant there was few people around early doors. However, a bit of intrepid seawatching late in the day scored a flock of three CRANES going south offshore. Then, just before dark, a Snow Goose (of unknown origin) was found on Worth flying from Roaring Gutter to the deep pool by the Great Wood.

Crane Nov19 AML (2)
Cranes by A.Lipczynski

Friday 1st

Light coverage of the Estate confirmed the Yellow-browed Warbler was still present around the Whitehouse and Haven and good numbers of Goldcrests still. Offshore six Little Gulls flew south early on and four Dunlins and a Yellow-legged Gull were on Restharrow Scrape. At least one ringtail Hen Harrier was still on Worth.