Birds: November 2021
The White Stork is still present on Worth, around the pool to the north of the Great Wood. The drake Pintail is still present in the pool there with the few remaining Wigeon, and the Goldeneye is still present on the pool southeast of the Great Wood by the wooden bridge.
A Cattle Egret first thing was a nice surprise, present on the field next to Observatory where the young cattle are. It sadly did not stick around and was gone by 9am! Later in the day a White Stork was seen flying from Deal towards Sandwich Bay and was located on Worth just before sunset. Otherwise so far today there are a lot of Blackbirds present along with quite a few Redwing and Fieldfare dotted about. If you’ve any photos of the thrushes please send them to us!
Marginally better weather than yesterday. Sea watching brought again more Velvet Scoter with two moving North and a male Goosander moving north too, along with Red-throated Divers, Gannets, Cormorants, Dunlin, and Greater Black-backed Gulls. On Worth there are about 225 Wigeon present on the Deep Pool, along with 150 Lapwing, 68 Gadwall and 57 Shoveler. Small flocks of Redwing can be seen along with Blackbirds and a few Mistle Thrush.
An absolutely woeful day, although we probably got off lightly in comparison to other parts of the country. Did anyone go birding? Counts of 52 Blackbirds present on the Green Wall are the only real thing worth mentioning!
A chilly rainy morning, preceding the storm to come! The Teal on Restharrow Scrape have increased to over 600, with 28 Gadwall and several Shoveler and Tufted Duck. A good place to sit and count ducks if you’re into that sort of thing… The ringtail Hen Harrier is still around the Estate too.
A reminder that the Estate Toll Road is closed today. In line with that, the paths through the reserves including the gullies, Elms, Restharrow Scrape and Jubilee Field are also closed today. All public footpaths remain open.
Another reminder that our Zoom talk this evening on Bringing Back the Chough with Kent Wildlife Trust still has tickets available and you can get them here!
Two more Velvet Scoter were seen moving north this morning offshore, and a Tawney Owl was heard again calling on Worth. Eleven Snow Buntings were present on the beach today by Cinque Ports.
A roosting Tawney Owl was found on the Estate again today, and the Snow Bunting flock has returned in force with 13 now present! A Water Pipit was by one of the pools on Worth Marshes, and the Goldeneye is back on the muddy pool. Lots of thrushes are around Worth also, with 48 Blackbirds, 24 Fieldfare, 20 Redwing, 4 Song Thrush and 6 Mistle Thrush.
It’s suddenly feeling a lot colder! A drake Pintail has arrived on the muddy pool of Worth, alongside a Yellow-legged Gull. The Goldeneyes weren’t seen today. Teal numbers have grown on Restharrow Scrape to 366, and there’s still double numbers of Snipe hiding around the islands. The sea produced the best birds of the day with a Scaup seen sitting on the sea before moving on north, two Velvet Scoters, one Common Scoter, two Red-breasted Mergansers all moving north and three Gannet.
A lone Pink-footed Goose flew over Worth marshes and a Blackcap was near the Great Wood. The beach was cold but decent numbers of wildfowl were on the move, namely 142 Brent Geese, 155 Shelducks, 218 Wigeons, 80 Teals, two Pintails, two Goldeneyes, one Red-breasted Merganser, and one Eider, plus 60 Dunlins and 12 Knots.
We will be holding a Christmas shopping event at the Observatory on Sunday 5th December. There will be mince pies and refreshments, gift-wrapping, and a discount of 10% off all items £10 or over. Pop along to pick up something off your Christmas list and support our work.
Teal numbers continue to increase on Restharrow Scrape with 280 present today. The ringtail Hen Harrier was seen nearby, two Swallows still remained, and a Woodcock was in Little Gully. The female Goldeneye was still on Worth marshes and four Snow Bunting on RCPGC.
A Water Pipit and two Water Rails were on the Green Wall, a Mediterranean Gull was offshore, three Snow Buntings were still on RCPGC, a Short-eared Owl was over Mary Bax, and a Yellowhammer was on Worth marshes. Best bird of the day was a female Goldeneye on one of the pools on Worth. Most records at Sandwich Bay are from passage offshore so this species can be hard to catch up with. Previous inland records have come from the reservoirs or the river around New Downs so Worth marshes is particularly unusual.
A Brent Goose on Restharrow Scrape was unusual, as was a Rock Pipit flying over the Green Wall. Yesterday’s Lapland Bunting seen again briefly, but not since.
A Lapland Bunting dropped in among the Snow Buntings south of Sandilands on Royal Cinque Ports Golf Course (RCPGC). Both Tawny Owl and Water Pipit were on Worth marshes again and three Water Rails each on Worth and the Green Wall were perhaps indicative of an arrival.
At least one Dartford Warbler was still present in the asparagus fields behind the sandpit at Dickson’s Corner. Hopefully it’ll stay for the winter.
There was an increase in Siskins and Lesser Redpolls across the area. A Water Pipit was by the river along the Green Wall, and a Brambling and two Firecrests were also seen. Over on Worth marshes Tawny Owl and Woodcock were the highlights, plus 200 Redwings, with 400 Golden Plovers also seen on New Downs.
An excellent start to the day with our second Sabine’s Gull of the year south offshore early on. A bit more staring offshore produced 11 Pink-footed Geese, 23 Shelducks, a drake Eider, three Red-breasted Mergansers, and a Sandwich Tern. Two Woodcocks were in the Whitehouse area, a Green Sandpiper called nearby, and the ringtail Hen Harrier drifted through again. Seven Black-tailed Godwits were seen on the garage pool at Pegwell Bay.
The Crane put in another brief appearance in flight near the Discovery Park. Where is it hiding? Seawatching was decent with 35 Pink-footed Geese, 96 Teals, and three Pintails. Three Water Pipits were on Worth marshes and a single Pink-footed Goose flew through.
The highlight of the day was a Crane seen briefly first thing in the morning on Willow Farm. It flew north and could not be relocated despite our best efforts.
Two Water Pipits were the best on Worth marshes. The Hen Harrier toured around the area again and showed particularly well over the Jubilee Field and nearby asparagus fields. The breeze then picked up considerably during the day and 230 Gannets were seen offshore.
The only bird of note in the morning was a Dartford Warbler at the usual spot (behind the sandpit area) but an evening stroll produced a Woodcock in the Observatory carpark, a Firecrest in the Haven, and a Short-eared Owl on Royal St George’s Golf Course.
A ringtail Hen Harrier was new in around the Willow Farm area and three Tree Sparrows flew over Mary Bax towards the Chequers. The five Snow Buntings were south of Sandilands and 60 Gannets viewable offshore. The single Snow Bunting was seen on Prince’s Beach and a new Dartford Warbler also present in the Sea Buckthorn, with the two Dartford Warblers still present (but playing hard-to-get) in the asparagus field behind the sandpit area at Dickson’s Corner. Two Water Pipits were also on Worth marshes.
The five Snow Buntings remained faithful to the area around the raised tee south of Sandilands with another still on Prince’s Beach. An adult Yellow-legged Gull dropped into Restharrow Scrape mid-morning.
All the action was around the Dickson’s Corner/RCPGC area with the Dartford Warbler and five Snow Buntings still present, and both Merlin and Woodcock seen.
Today saw us doing our WeBS counts in the northern parts of the Recording Area. It was a mega high tide with the water pushing right into the saltmarsh at Pegwell Bay and to the tops of the riverbank along New Downs. A nice adult male Merlin was the best on New Downs and a Great White Egret flew upriver at Pegwell. Waders totals were varied with 970 Oystercatchers, 559 Lapwings, 255 Golden Plovers, 90 Grey Plovers, 405 Dunlins, 120 Sanderlings, 268 Curlews, 18 Bar-tailed Godwits, 15 Black-tailed Godwits, 11 Knots, two Ruffs, 110 Redshanks, 13 Snipes, and three Green Sandpipers, as well as 811 Wigeons, 120 Teals, and four Water Rails. Four Snow Buntings were seen along Prince’s Beach and another four (or more) south of Sandilands. Ten Tree Sparrows were nearby at the sandpit area and two Jack Snipes were on Worth marshes.
It was clear from dawn that there had been a large arrival of Blackbirds into the area. The Whitehouse and Oasis area had c.100 at first light and there were lots around the Observatory track and carpark. Walking across the rest of the Estate and Worth produced around 150 additional birds, with a handful of Redwings, Song Thrushes, and Fieldfares. There were also two each of Water Rail, Bearded Tit, and Yellowhammer on Worth. Four Tree Sparrows were around Dickson’s Corner with a seven Swallows and a single House Martin over and three rather tame Snow Buntings south of Sandilands.
Sea passage was much reduced but an Eider, 79 Brent Geese, and handfuls of Dunlins came past. Three Tree Sparrows and a Dartford Warbler were at the usual spot around the sandpit at Dickson’s Corner. There was an arrival of 54 Blackbirds on the Estate plus a handful of Bramblings and Siskins, a Jack Snipe flew over, and six Swallows still remained.
A good seawatching day with lots to see. The highlights were 243 Brent Geese, a Goldeneye, two Velvet Scoters, 113 Gannets, 51 Knots, 164 Dunlins, and a Shag. A Snow Bunting also flew along the shore. A Cattle Egret was new on Worth and a Water Pipit was seen. In the afternoon a male Hen Harrier was on the Estate and there was a little arrival of Fieldfares into the area.
A Snow Bunting was the highlight on Prince’s Beach. At least one Dartford Warbler and ten Tree Sparrows continued around the sandpit area at Dickson’s Corner. There was an increase in Bramblings to 11, two Water Pipits on Worth, and 650 Starlings in off the sea.
It was a nice morning, cold but sunny. Two Short-eared Owls were hunting over Royal Cinque Ports Golf Course and 15 Tree Sparrows were nearby at Dickson’s Corner, but there was no sign of yesterday’s Dartford Warblers. They could easily be hiding in the asparagus though. There was a small passage overhead of Siskins and Skylarks and an influx of Lapwings and Golden Plovers into the area, with 1,100 of the former and 300 of the latter, plus five Ruffs. A Great White Egret and eight Egyptian Geese were on Worth, and 14 Pink-footed Geese flew north.
Two Dartford Warblers were a good find behind the sandpit area at Dickson’s Corner. They were quite vocal and could be seen going in and out of the asparagus nearby. Bullfinch and Short-eared Owl were also on the Estate and two immature Yellow-legged Gulls were in the fields between Restharrow Scrape and Worth. Singles of Slavonian Grebe and Buzzard were offshore (a strange combo!) and there was close comparison of both Common and Sandwich Tern just off the beach. A Water Pipit was the best over on Worth marshes.
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