There were 20 Mediterranean Gulls on Restharrow Scrape and another four on Worth marshes. I expect numbers to increase over the next few weeks, with Pegwell Bay often a good spot. Listen out for their distinctive call overhead. Check out HERE for recordings.
At least five Marsh Harriers hunted over Worth marshes and a Common Tern was on the pools. A female Pochard was new on Restharrow Scrape. Late summer is often a good time for this species so keep an eye out over the next month or two. A count of 28 Long-tailed Tits by the Polytunnels on New Downs was also of note.
Three Spoonbills dropped into Worth marshes early in the morning. There were broods of both Gadwall and Tufted Duck new on Restharrow Scrape, as well as at least 57 Black-headed Gull young.
A Great Spotted Woodpecker on the Estate was proof of post-breeding dispersal as there have been none for some time. Worth marshes was busy enough with a Great White Egret, 16 Grey Herons, 15 Buzzards, and our first Ruff of autumn.
Two Red Kites flew over and, just outside the area, the roaming White Stork was once again in the nearby salad fields next to Worth marshes.
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Mostly autumn fare on New Downs with 40 Lapwings, five Grey Herons, 13 Little Egrets, a Greenshank, and ten Black-tailed Godwits on the receding pools.
Just a Greenshank of note on Worth marshes today but the White Stork was nearby on the inland salad fields. There was a small build-up of Woodpigeons on the asparagus fields on the Estate and similarly Stock Doves on Worth. Cuckoos were still singing on both the Estate and the Green Wall, and three Pochards were on Restharrow Scrape.
More signs of autumn on Worth with one Wigeon, 47 Teals, 80 Lapwings, two Curlews, one Wood Sandpiper, and one Green Sandpiper.
A Honey-buzzard was seen briefly around Prince's Reservoir before heading off north, and four Pochards were on the reservoir. Three Mediterranean Gulls joined the throng of Black-headed Gulls on Restharrow Scrape.
Bird of the day was a Nightjar disturbed from the Gullies early in the morning. There was no further sign during the day but a stake out at dusk produced views of it hawking over Restharrow Dunes before heading off south. Two Sandwich Terns dropped in on Restharrow Scrape and a Common Tern was also on Worth, with the elusive White Stork still present. There was also late news of a Bee-eater reported online on Prince's Golf Course yesterday.
Overall, very similar to yesterday. Despite the northerly direction of the wind it was very hot out there but it did encourage more movement overhead. At least 27 Red Kites flew north and the White Stork was also seen again. A Brent Goose in Pegwell was noteworthy.
Hot conditions produced a mobile White Stork and 12 Red Kites.
There were signs of autumn on Worth marshes with up to 45 Teal on the pools, a flock of 30 Lapwings over, and singles of Green Sandpiper, Greenshank, and Curlew on the pools. A Common Tern over the marsh was the most notable record for the site.
A count of 58 Stock Doves on New Downs was unusually high for mid-summer. A few late Swifts also passed north over the Estate.
One Quail was still calling on New Downs, a male Marsh Harrier flew through the Estate, and a Black-headed x Mediterranean Gull hybrid dropped onto Restharrow Scrape. As you can see from the photos below it was ringed. By getting in contact with the project we found out it had been ringed in Poland just over a month ago.
Our second Honey-buzzard in two days was seen moving north over Worth marshes. Four Red Kites also flew through.
There was a switch to southerly winds and the temperature rose accordingly. A Honey-buzzard came in on the winds and scooted around Worth marshes heading north, where singles of Great White Egret and Wood Sandpiper were present. Two Mediterranean Gulls were also over the Estate.
A Hobby flew over the Observatory and on Worth there was a Great White Egret and a Wood Sandpiper. Spring isn't over but we're already beginning to see the first signs of autumn with young Grey Herons dropping into the pools, as well as small numbers of Teal and Wigeon, and flocks of drake Gadwall are building as they begin their moult into eclipse plumage. Give it another few weeks and we'll see the first autumn arrivals of Sand Martin and Curlew.
A Quail was singing in the usual field on New Downs (approx. TR346608). There have been up to four present recently and all can be heard easily enough from the Kent Coastal Footpath. A Bearded Tit nearby on New Downs South Pool (TR339594) was a strange summer record whilst the lingering male Eider still remained in Pegwell Bay. Seven Red Kites flew north over Worth marshes where a Wigeon, a Wood Sandpiper, and two Turtle Doves were highlights.
Single Crossbills flew over the Little Elms and on the Green Wall. A Siskin was also on the Estate and a Spotted Flycatcher on New Downs, with two Quails still singing this morning. It was also great to confirm breeding of Shelducks on Restharrow Scrape with eight little Shelducklings present.
Yesterday's Great White Egret was still on Worth and was joined by two Temminck's Stints. It's proving to be quite the spring for this usually-scarce wader. However, a summer-plumaged Sanderling was actually the rarest bird for the site ! There were at least four Quails singing on New Downs in the regular spot.
Yesterday's BEE-EATERS were present early in the Green Wall/New Downs area, though mobile at times. They disappeared north mid-morning but could drift back in the area so keep looking. Two Yellow Wagtails were on Restharrow Scrape and two White Storks were over the Observatory and Restharrow Scrape late morning. They are presumably the pair that toured up and down the Stour all day. A Great White Egret was the best on Worth marshes.
The clear highlight of the day was the flock of three BEE-EATERS discovered on the Green Wall in the evening. They performed well for those quick off the mark and then went to roost in the evening. Two Quails were singing on New Downs.
There were an estimated 400 Swifts and 250 House Martins hawking across the wide area. With so many of the latter, coupled with the strong and cold north-easterly winds, it felt more like autumn. There were still six Grey Plovers on Worth marshes. Early June is good time to brush up your songs of two of the rarer and later arriving warblers, Marsh and Blyth's Reed. Both have been turning up in the UK this week and both incorporate distinctive mimicry into their repertoire. We do well for Marsh Warblers here with a number of records in recent years but we have no spring Blyth's Reed Warblers yet (just the one record in autumn). Keep your ears peeled.