The five Wood Sandpipers remained on Restharrow Scrape where they were joined by a Garganey. There was an eclectic mix along the Green Wall with three Willow Warblers, two Coal Tits and singles of Kingfisher, Peregrine and Buzzard. With the weather being unsettled it was not a surprise that a few Swifts drifted south, 140 were counted in a couple of hours.
Waders continue to provide the main interest. Five of the Worth Wood Sandpipers dropped in on Restharrow Scrape and there were a couple on New Downs as well. New Downs provided the lions share of the records including 286 Lapwings, 26 Greenshanks, two Curlew Sandpipers, a Spotted Redshank and 286 Lapwing. There were also 22 Mediterranean Gulls there.
There were three Willow Warblers and a Yellow Wagtail on the Green Wall.
A calm night heralded the arrival of some migrants as indicated by the ringing returns, including the first Garden Warbler of the autumn. There were more hirundines around including at least 250 Sand Martins heading south. The hybrid Swallow/ House Martin can still be seen feeding in the Oasis area. Although Restharrow Scrape was quiet there were at least seven Wood Sandpipers around Worth. The puzzler of the day was a duck on Worth which turns out to be a hybrid Pochard/ Tufted Duck type.
It was a good day to be out and about and with our previous warden, our man in Thanet, and one or two other recorders answering my plea for records, we got some records for the Estate. The main interest was waders with Pegwell holding two Golden and eight Grey Plovers, twelve Knots, a Spotted Redshank, six Greenshanks, ten Whimbrels and a Curlew Sandpiper. There was a supporting cast of 180 Sandwich Terns, 38 Common Terns and 15 Little Terns plus 200 Swallows.
The New Downs scrapes held two Curlew Sandpipers, another Spotted Redshank, 36 Greenshanks and eight Whimbrels. There was a Wood Sanpiper and a Little Ringed Plover on Restharrow Scrape and two Wood Sandpipers on Worth. The Green Wall chipped in with five Willow Warblers plus three Whimbrels flying south.
The day finished with a feeding orgy on the south end of the golf course and the Oasis field. There was an emergence of ants and this pulled in at least 820 Black-headed Gulls. They were joined by at least eight Mediterranean Gulls, six Common Gulls and a Lesser Black-backed Gull wheeling around.
The rain started intermittently but gathered strength and remained all day. There were still birds to be seen for those who got out. A Black-tailed Godwit flew over the Obs. Restharrow Scrape held six Snipes, a Greenshank and a Little Egret. On Worth wildfowl started appearing with 100+ Greylag Geese, 14 Teal, four Shoveler, four Pochard and a Wigeon. Waders included two Golden Plovers, three Green and one Wood Sandpiper. A juvenile Marsh Harrier was a bonus.
It was no surprise that the days heat was followed by thunderstorms overnight, despite the forecast they persisted all night. A trip along the river last night on the ‘Sandwich Tug’ managed to miss the worst of these and revealed two Whimbrels, seven Greenshanks and 32 Common Sandpipers plus 160 Sandwich Terns on the Point. Once again there were a few waders on Restharrow Scrape with two Black-tailed Godwits and a Wood Sandpiper of note. In the evening five Green Sandpipers flew south and a Little Ringed Plover headed inland over the observatory.
Phew what a scorcher! The wise observers were out early. Worth held both Green and Wood Sandpiper whilst at least 150 Swifts fed low over the area. Two Willow Warblers were along the Green Wall and a Cuckoo was an interesting observation from Restharrow Dunes.
With the temperature going high it was good to be out early. Restharrow Scrape yielded a summer plumage Golden Plover and a Sedge Warbler. The north end of the estate had at least three Willow Warblers and a Coal Tit (caught by the ringers). There were at least 30 Sand Martins and 40 Swallows joined at times by 15 Swifts.
Although there are no records from the Estate the surrounding areas continue to yield an interesting variety. Our correspondent on Worth was rewarded with a Cattle Egret flying north and a Stonechat. The Green Wall had three Common Sandpipers near Vigo. Both areas held the first Willow Warblers of the autumn.
Restharrow 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.
Autumn migration is just starting as suggested by the ringers catching the occasional Sand Martin and the presence of the first Snipe of the autumn on Restharrow 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.