Sunday 31st

Highlights on New Downs were 12 Pintails, a Great Crested Grebe, and a Merlin. The Cattle Egret remained at the Observatory.

Saturday 30th

RSPB Worth marshes produced an adult Little Gull, eight Egyptian Geese, a Ruff, and a White Wagtail, whilst 23 Chiffchaffs were in full song on the Green Wall.

Little Gull by A.Lipczynski

Friday 29th

Despite the fairly horrible conditions over the last few days it was pleasing to report our first Sedge Warbler on RSPB Worth marshes and Common Tern offshore.

Wednesday 27th

A Great Crested Grebe was fresh in on RSPB Worth marshes. Though common offshore, this species has always been rare inland at Sandwich Bay. However, the appearance of individuals on various water bodies in the area seems to be becoming a regular spring occurrence. Perhaps we don't have to wait long until our first breeding record? Two Little Ringed Plovers, two Cattle Egrets, and a Great White Egret were also on the marshes and 48 Siskins flew over.

Don't forget tomorrow evening is our special South Africa themed event. John Buckingham will be presenting The Magnificent Western Cape and all funds will go to the development of the Jubilee and Dragonfly Pond Fields. This is your last chance to get tickets, they can be bought online HERE.

Tuesday 26th

The Little Ringed Plover flock continues to build on RSPB Worth marshes with a minimum of eight birds there today. Two Ruffs, one Dunlin, and two Egyptian Geese were also on the floods. A few Siskins and Ravens were flying around, a Swallow was near the Chequers, and there was a further increase in Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps in the area.

Sunday 24th

Three Little Ringed Plovers were on RSPB Worth marshes and a Red Kite flew north over the Observatory, where at least one Cattle Egret still remained.

Shovelers by S.North

Saturday 23rd

Four Red Kites flew north and over on RSPB Worth marshes there were six Pintails, a Water Pipit, and three Blackcaps. Singles of Willow Warbler and Merlin were on the Estate again.

Friday 22nd

The Estate produced a fine male Merlin, five Cattle Egrets, 16 Chiffchaffs, one Blackcap, and one Willow Warbler with a handful of Linnets and Siskins heading north and seven Black-tailed Godwits high overhead. A Swallow was also in Pegwell Bay.

Linnet by S.Reynaert

Thursday 21st

There were 70 Sanderlings, 17 Turnstones, and a Wheatear on Prince's Beach whilst six Cattle Egrets, three Bar-tailed Godwits, and a few Blackcaps were new in on RSPB Worth marshes. Of interest, was a striking Stonechat at Dickson's Corner showing a broad white collar, extensive white panel on the wing, and large white rump, all of which are usually features of the Continental subspecies, S.r.rubicola, and can be easily confused with the rare eastern species, Siberian Stonechat S.maurus.

'Continental' Stonechat by I.Nash

Wednesday 20th

Yesterday's Little Ringed Plover was still present on RSPB Worth marshes, as was the Wheatear on the Estate just south of Sandilands. Two Red Kites headed north in the late morning sunshine.

With Spring now well on it's way we should see more Blackcaps and Wheatears arrive in the next few weeks, as well as the first Sand Martins, Willow Warblers, and Sedge Warblers. Garganey, Redstart, and Ring Ouzel are all possible and if we're really lucky then early migrants such as Alpine Swift and Great Spotted Cuckoo may drop in.

Pied Wagtail by G.Lee

Tuesday 19th

A Little Ringed Plover on RSPB Worth marshes was another new spring arrival. Singles of White Wagtail and Water Pipit and at least five Cattle Egrets were also present. Six Pintails were still on New Downs plus a Bar-tailed Godwit and a Green Sandpiper.

Monday 18th

Three Wheatears on the Estate were our first records of this smart spring migrant. There was also a Woodcock in the Oasis, four Tree Sparrows still in their favoured spot behind the Asparagus fields, and six Cattle Egrets at the Observatory. There was another concerted movement of birds of prey with 39 Buzzards and three Red Kites north overhead. RSPB Worth marshes contributed with three Bearded Tits and three additional Cattle Egrets.

Wheatear by R.Rackliffe

Saturday 16th

A surprisingly busy session of seawatching produced our first Slavonian Grebe of the year, singles of both Black-throated Diver and Great Northern Diver, a Shag, and small numbers of intermedius Lesser Black-backed Gulls. A Great White Egret and two Ruffs were on RSPB Worth marshes and late morning raptor passage saw three Red Kites, 24 Buzzards, and a Marsh Harrier head north.

Friday 15th

Today's highlights on the Estate included five Cattle Egrets, a Water Rail, nine Chiffchaffs, a Siskin, and a Bullfinch. 

Observatory and surrounding wetland by J.Buckingham

Thursday 14th

The Knot was still showing off to everyone on Restharrow Scrape and 14 Mediterranean Gulls dropped in among the Black-headed Gulls. A White Wagtail was seen south of the Sailing Club and a few Siskins flew south. Just after midday a Waxwing flew over Stonar calling.

Wednesday 13th

The Knot remained on Restharrow Scrape and performed well just in front of the first hide. A 'small' ringtail Harrier flew over the Observatory early on but evaded identification and subsequent searches, with the five Cattle Egrets still cavorting around the flooded fields in the vicinity. Meanwhile two Great White Egrets were on Willow Farm, viewable from the Drove, and four Firecrests were in the Gorse and Bramble nearby.

Knot by P.Coltman

Tuesday 12th

The day was mostly rained off though a Knot on Restharrow Scrape was a very unusual sighting. There was also lots of activity overnight on the Nocmig recordings and it included an early Stone-curlew over Stonar. 

An oil spill just off the coast has been in the news in the last few days. At the moment only small amounts have washed up but there have been a few reports of oiled marine life. If you see any large deposits or affected animals please report this to DDC at 01304 821199.

Monday 11th

The day was highlighted by the movement of Brent Geese offshore, with at least 317 logged flying north, plus three Red-breasted Mergansers. Another 422 Brent Geese were also in Pegwell Bay. The low cloud cover also meant light passage of 12 Meadow Pipits, two Fieldfares, 56 Redwings, 162 Starlings, 52 Chaffinches, and ten Lesser Black-backed Gulls overhead. There were also double-figures of Song Thrushes on the Estate and over 150 Redwings on the Green Wall.

Saturday 9th

A pleasant walk on New Downs produced a good selection including two Bearded Tits, two Egyptian Geese, and seven Pintails but RSPB Worth marshes struck gold with an early drake Garganey on Blue Pigeons pools. The 60+ White-fronted Geese, Great White Egret, Ruffs, and Black-tailed Godwits were all still present. 

Friday 8th

Two Ruffs and 12 Black-tailed Godwits were new in on RSPB Worth marshes with seven Pintails still present from the wintering flock. 

Mediterranean Gull by G.Lee

Thursday 7th

Movements of 40 Chaffinches south, a Reed Bunting north, and a Skylark out to sea all indicated spring migration in action. There was also a light scattering of Chiffchaffs and Redwings across the Estate, possible newly-arrived, plus six Cattle Egrets. Two Great White Egrets were seen, one on RSPB Worth marshes and the other on New Downs. 

Wednesday 6th

A BITTERN on New Downs was the highlight of the day. Despite being regular in the Stour Valley it is always a rare find here. Singles of Bearded Tit and Pintail were also present. Adult Kittiwake in the wader roost at the Point was odd whilst a Swallow was across the river in Pegwell Bay. RSPB Worth marshes provided 52 White-fronted Geese, a Rock Pipit, and two Water Pipits. Five Cattle Egrets were at the Observatory.

Tuesday 5th

After yesterday's report on Spring birds it was back to the Winter birds to provide interest. The flock of 62 White-fronted Geese were fairly mobile over RSPB Worth marshes and a Water Pipit was still present on the floods. The two Cattle Egrets were in the fields around the Observatory building.

There's still just about time to book yourself onto tomorrow's guided walk around Denge Wood where we will be looking for Marsh Tit, Brambling, Siskin, Redpoll, Treecreeper, Nuthatch, Woodpeckers, and may be even Goshawk and Hawfinch if we're lucky. There are also upcoming walks to Godmersham and Stodmarsh too. You can book tickets HERE. And don't forget that every Sunday morning at 9am a free walk will be leaving from the Observatory carpark around the Sandwich Bay Estate. We hope to see you there.

Monday 4th

Today was the best day in some time and it was clear that birds were taking advantage of the conditions to move around. Small flocks of Siskins and Chaffinches were observed migrating south along the coast and a Blackcap was seen in the Jubilee Field. A Woodcock in the Gullies was likely passing through, four Mediterranean Gulls on Restharrow Scrape were definitely so, whilst a Little Grebe on the Dragonfly Pond was unusual and possibly a sign of migration. There was an increase in the size of the Starling flocks and I expect many were migrants. You can often see large flocks of thousands passing through and going out to sea at this time of year. The flock of overwintering Tree Sparrows were seen at the back of the Jubilee Field whilst the regular male Goosander was on New Downs. Inland, the first returning Avocets were on RSPB Worth marshes.

Sunday 3rd

A Ruff dropped in on Restharrow Scrape, our first of spring, and three Cattle Egrets were still at the Observatory. At least two Bearded Tits were on New Downs and a Great White Egret flew over RSPB Worth marshes.

Bearded Tit by M.Simm

Saturday 2nd

Yesterday was a complete washout and today not much better, despite the lovely spring sunshine early on. Five Cattle Egrets at the Observatory were performing very well in the flooded fields by the carpark.