Today's highlights included four Egyptian Geese which flew south over Prince's Golf Course, a Firecrest on RSPB Worth marshes, and a Yellow-legged Gull in Pegwell Bay.
There were still six Waxwings in Stonelees but the flock has become increasingly hard to see in the scrub, whilst the equally elusive Snow Bunting put in an appearance on Prince's Beach. In the late afternoon an immature Shag flew north offshore.
At least one Waxwing was reported in Stonelees and the drake Eider and female Scaup were still in the Pegwell Bay rivermouth too. Out on the flats there were 2,300 Lapwings, a Sandwich Tern, and a Caspian Gull. To the south and the small flock of Pintails on RSPB Worth marshes now numbered 17.
A strong south-westerly meant most birds were hiding in cover. A few Razorbills, Red-throated Divers, and Gannets were moving around offshore and a Merlin hunted around the shore and Royal St George's Golf Course. There were still four Waxwings in Stonelees and, just outside our area, a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker was seen near Worth village. A very notable find in this area so hopefully it will reappear again.
A Siberian Chiffchaff was caught by the ringing team on the Estate. Over on RSPB Worth marshes there were 11 Pintails, two Peregrines, and two Water Pipits.
Merry Christmas from all at SBBOT
The 12 Waxwings were still in Stonelees. and there were at least 13 Pintails on RSPB Worth marshes.
The biggest news was the discovery of 12 Waxwings in Stonelees, always a good spot for this species during influx years. There were also ten Pintails and a Water Pipit on RSPB Worth marshes.
A stormy day with only a little movement of Brent Geese, Gannets, and Cormorants offshore, plus a 2cy Caspian Gull. A Pintail and a Water Pipit were on RSPB Worth marshes and on New Downs there were 17 Pochards, a Woodcock, and a Green Sandpiper.
Please note the Observatory building will be closed over the Christmas and New Year period. Our carpark, outside toilet, bird hides, and reserves will all be open as usual though. We hope everyone has a great time over the festive period and we'll see you all again to kickstart your yearlist in 2024!
Yesterday was rained off but today was much nicer. There was some reasonable sea passage with at least 60 Auks (mostly Razorbills) recorded and smaller numbers of Red-throated Divers and Gannets, plus a 1cy Yellow-legged Gull. Two White-fronted Geese flew north over the Estate and at least three Tree Sparrows were seen in the asparagus again. An adult Yellow-legged Gull was on the Green Wall and ten Pintails were on RSPB Worth marshes.
A Waxwing flew south over Pegwell Bay (with 30+ still in Broadstairs).
It is coming up to the time to renew your membership. If you pay by standing order please check that the bank details are correct as a few people are still paying into the old Lloyds account. If you don’t currently pay by standing order please consider doing so. The correct bank details are: Sandwich Bay Bird Observatory Trust, Virgin Money sort code 82-11-07, a/c no 30347182. Please collect your Membership cards from the Field Centre in January. Please remember to keep it somewhere safe as you will need it in March to get your Estate sticker from the toll booth.
A female Scaup was a smart find in Pegwell Bay and the two Twite were still at the Hoverport. Four Caspian Gulls and two Sandwich Terns were around the Bay and the Point. Inland on New Downs the highlights were 14 Pochards, three Pintails, and five Bullfinches and on the Green Wall there was another Caspian Gull in the gull flock by Royal St George's Golf Club.
On RSPB Worth marshes there were now 13 Pintails in the wildfowl melee and an adult Little Gull hawking over the Pools. A Firecrest was at the Drove with the Great White Egret viewable on Willow Farm. A Red Kite also flew through.
Pegwell Bay was busy with 550 Wigeons, 200 Teals, 1,020 Oystercatchers, 1,200 Lapwings, 445 Golden Plovers, 810 Dunlins, 130 Bar-tailed Godwits, 195 Curlews, and 500 Great Black-backed Gulls, plus two Caspian Gulls and a Yellow-legged Gull. There seems to have been a small influx of the latter two recently so it's worth scrutinising any large gull flock in the area. Meanwhile two Water Rails and a Woodcock were on the Estate and there were now 14 Pochards on New Downs Reservoir. Also of note was a flock of 25+ Waxwings nearby in Broadstairs, which gives us hope that more will appear in the area over the next few weeks.
A Ruff, a Yellow-legged Gull, and a Caspian Gull were on RSPB Worth marshes and the Sandwich Tern was seen offshore again.
It may not have been as miserable as yesterday but it was still very damp out there. Scrutiny of the gulls on the fields by the entrance to Royal St George's Golf Course included a Caspian Gull whilst a Bar-tailed Godwit was in the Curlew flock nearby. There were singles of Great White Egret and Merlin and at least 360 Fieldfares on RSPB Worth marshes, the two Twite were still at the Hoverport, and a Purple Sandpiper went north offshore.
For those who have not heard, our Treasurer is moving away from the area and so will be stepping down. We are interested in hearing from anyone who can take over the role. We have prepared a small manual to describe what is done and how it is done. Please contact email@example.com if you think you might be able to help.
The rain came down almost all day and as such many fields in the area are now full of water. There was a large gathering of Gulls on the fields by Royal St George's Golf Course including at least 40 Lesser Black-backed and a few Mediterranean. Offshore passage consisted mostly of Cormorants with at least 1,500 north plus a very late Sandwich Tern (perhaps set to winter?). Inland there was no sign of the recent Bewick's Swans but five Canada Geese were among the Mute Swan flock, two Water Pipits were on RSPB Worth marshes, and amongst smaller numbers of wildfowl on New Downs there were 11 Pochards and a drake Pintail.
Thank you to everyone who came along to yesterday's Christmas Fair and made it such a great success. Today highlights were two Woodcocks, a Water Rail, and a male Bullfinch in the Oasis/Haven area, an Avocet in Pegwell Bay, and four Pintails amid the abundant wildfowl on RSPB Worth marshes.
Singles of Caspian Gull and Razorbill were offshore in poor conditions, and the two Twite were still in Pegwell Bay.
The astonishing numbers of Snipe on Restharrow Scrape built to at least 110 today.
The two Twite were seen at Pegwell Bay again and ten Pochards were recorded on the New Downs reservoirs. There remains large numbers of birds on RSPB Worth marshes with around 2,000 Wigeons, 2,000 Teals, and 2,500 Lapwings, plus many others. It's quite the spectacle and well worth a visit. Four Yellowhammers were also of note today.
Don't forget that this Sunday is our Christmas Fair which is happening at the Field Centre from 10.30am to 2.30pm. Please help us make this a success by first of all coming along and telling others about it. There will be bacon and sausage baps, vegan savouries, cakes, mince pies and hot and cold drinks for you to buy. We have some lovely craft stalls plus our usual books, plants and bric-a-brac, together with fun and games for children and adults. The family nature trail tickets are available online or on the day. Hope to see you there!
The highlight of the day was a ringtail Hen Harrier which flew over the Whitehouse early on. An adult Yellow-legged Gull was in a gull flock on the Green Wall and a/the Great White Egret back on RSPB Worth marshes. There were also three Cattle Egrets just outside the Recording Area at the Round House, just off Goretop Lane.
The two Twite were still in Pegwell Bay. To view the birds walk down to the Hoverport from the Viking Ship, head onwards to the shore, left towards the cliffs, and then continue onto the short beach. They are usually either on the saltmarsh or on the tideline in this short stretch at TR353643. Meanwhile, there were at least 60 Snipe on Restharrow Scrape and a smart drake Pintail. Walking the path from the Observatory to Mary Bax (behind the asparagus fields) produced 63 White-fronted Geese, two Brent Geese, five Bewick's Swans, and six Tree Sparrows. There were still thousands of wildfowl on RSPB Worth marshes and three Water Pipits.
After yesterday's rain all day there was some respite today, but still drizzly at times. Sea passage was reasonable with singles of Goosander, Red-breasted Merganser, and Great Northern Diver the highlights. The five Bewick's Swans were still in with the Mute Swan herd and at least 70 White-fronted Geese were nearby, west of the railway, whilst big flocks of Lapwings and wildfowl were spread all across RSPB Worth marshes.
A reminder for members that the latest Annual Report is now out in the Member's Area of the website. Please get in touch with the Treasurer if you have any difficulties accessing the Member's Area. Those who have opted for physical copies can pick one up at the Observatory. Please speak to the volunteer on the shop and they will give you a copy. The remainder will be mailed out shortly. I hope you all enjoy the report and thanks again for all your records last year.
Foul conditions but both the mixed Greylag and White-fronted Goose flock and the Mute and Bewick's Swan flock were present still. A Slavonian Grebe drifted south offshore and large numbers of Cormorants and Gannets were also moving, plus a late Sandwich Tern.
There were at least 82 White-fronted Geese on RSPB Worth marshes with the two Tundra Bean Geese relocating there too. Another 18 White-fronted Geese flew north and over on New Downs there were three Pink-footed Geese and four Bearded Tits.
An influx of Geese occurred in the Recording Area today with a minimum of 170 White-fronted Geese being recorded. A flock of at least 80 went north over Stonar whilst on RSPB Worth Marshes a further flock of 90 was present before flying north over the Observatory. A pair of Tundra Bean Geese were located just outside the Recording Area amongst a small flock of Brent Geese, before relocating and flying over Pegwell Bay. They were last seen heading south over the Hoverport where the Twite pair were present in the morning. On the Estate, a Woodcock was in the Whitehouse.