Birds: July 2019
The Scrape continues to draw most attention with a nice variety of local duck including 17 Tufted Duck. Snipe increased to two.
It is fitting with the temperature forecast to increase to the 30’s that the other bird of note was a Mediterranean Gull over the Green Wall.
Your Observatory needs your records.
I am sure that observers out there have been recording what they see but PLEASE can you add them to the daily census sheets. In the absence of our warden this is of even greater import.
A quick check of them showed a lack of records from Wednesday to Saturday, apart from observations from the Scrape.
Autumn migration is just starting as suggested by the ringers catching the occassional Sand Martin and the presence of the first Snipe of the autumn on the Scrape.
The local flock of Swallows which can get up to 60 moves around the north end of the Estate, depending on wind direction, and is suggestive of a good breeding season.
Three Marsh Harriers, four Turtle Doves, and two Hobbies were on Worth this morning. As the breeding season comes to an end it’s always interesting to review how this year has been. A pair of Common Terns nested on Backsand Scrape and a late brood of Lapwing chicks emerged on Restharrow Scrape. Four pairs of Ringed Plover have nested along the beach and fledged their first young for a few years. A minimum of two, possibly up to seven, pairs of Little Egrets have nested nearby. A pair of Stonechats nested on 100 Acre Field and four-five pairs of Turtle Dove were on Worth marshes. The juvenile Siskin caught by the ringers in the Whitehouse is intriguing (like last year’s Redwing with a brood patch) whilst a hybrid Swallow x House Martin continues to linger in the area, possibly breeding.
Three Little Egrets and two Whimbrels dropped into Restharrow Scrape this morning, with a Hobby hawking around most of the day, and then a Grey Wagtail in the afternoon. Proof that things come and go throughout the day, you never what you might find.
A wander along the Green Wall produced a Hobby and 12 Ring-necked Parakeets with good numbers of Swallows and House Martins too, presumably indicative of a good breeding season in the area.
Despite a breezy north westerly there were a few spots of avian interest. A gathering of 26 Little Egrets were on New Downs and in Pegwell seven Whimbrels and a Spotted Redshank were on the mud.
A Green Sandpiper on Worth was the only migrant wader. We should’ve had a bit more numbers and variety by now, especially Common Sandpiper, but i’m sure they’ll arrive. A late arrival probably means less failed breeders further north. There was also a small increase in hirundines on the Estate today and ten Mediterranean Gulls offshore too.
Not much to report though 12 Little Egrets on Restharrow Scrape was quite a sight, though as the waters get lower and the fish easier to pick out i imagine this will become commoner.
Seven Mediterranean Gulls, one Greenshank, and nine Whimbrel were in Pegwell with singles of Greenshank and Green Sandpiper also on Worth. A juvenile Cetti’s Warbler ringed at the Observatory was obviously just out of the nest and is presumably from the bird which held territory at Slazengers all year; the first breeding record for the Estate.
Still waiting on the big numbers of waders though three Greenshanks, two Green Sandpipers, and four Common Sandpipers were on New Downs and three Whimbrels were at the Point. A Canada Goose was also new on New Downs and four Egyptian Geese were on Restharrow Scrape. Meanwhile Little Egrets are beginning to build with 21 today.
Four Marsh Harriers dotted around today was a very good mid-summer count. A few Whimbrels flew over, a Green Sandpiper was on Worth, and nine Mediterranean Gulls and five Common Terns were at the Point at high tide. Or at least they were at roost before a whole bunch of people trespassed right through the restricted section (again).
Singles of Ringed Plover, Little Ringed Plover, and Green Sandpiper came and went through Restharrow Scrape today whilst eight Turtle Doves on Worth included the first fledged young of the year.
A Coal Tit was calling on the Estate and a Little Ringed Plover was on Restharrow Scrape. Meanwhile counts at New Downs are increasing fast with 24 Little Egrets and 156 Lapwings, plus one immaculate summer-plumaged Bar-tailed Godwit and four Common Sandpipers.
Early morning wanderings around the Green Wall produced a Kingfisher and an Oystercatcher with a fully fledged chick on RSGGC reservoir, all whilst a Little Owl looked on. Two Coal Tits and a Treecreeper were present, whilst on Worth four Turtle Doves were particularly active.
Another day of sunshine saw a new Gadwall brood on Restharrow Scrape and the first migrant Curlew of the autumn dropped in. Our first two Sand Martins of autumn were around the Oasis and a Green Sandpiper was on Worth.
A trip up the to Point in the heat sxcaw a few pairs of Ringed Plovers and Oystercatchers along route on Prince’s Beach. A pair of Stonechats are breeding near 100 Acre and two House Sparrows calling from Prince’s accommodation block was unusual. A Yellow Wagtail flew north over the Estate beach on the way back.