October 2005

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Monday 31st:


A high count of c400 Brent Geese in the Bight over the evening high tide was the only news reported.



Sunday 30th:


Despite the conditions, seawatching was poor with an Arctic Skua, c20 Gannet and 20 Kittiwake all to show for 3.5 hours effort. The two Eider and a few Common Scoter remain offshore. A single Jay by the First Pond and 12 Siskin were the highlights on a poor day with four Chiffchaff and two Goldcrest also in the bushes. The Main Pond held a Kingfisher, two Coot and a Little Grebe. From the hide there were large numbers of Wigeon, 30+ Great Black-backed Gull, 26 Brent Geese, 20+ Redshank and seven Curlew.



Saturday 29th:


Seawatching in the morning produced an Arctic Skua with two distant skua sp., 60+ Kittiwake and c40 Gannet south in two hours but most were very distant. Also offshore the two Eider and the flock of Common Scoter. The bushes were blown out and apart from a Redpoll near the Back Meadow only a few Chiffchaff and Goldcrest were seen. Elsewhere a family party of five Pale-bellied Brent Goose and c40 Black-tailed Godwit were in the estuary and three Coot and a Little Grebe were on the Main Pond. 



Friday 28th:


Seawatching produced 100 Gannet, 60+ Kittiwake, 10 auk sp, and four Razorbill south prior to 9am, but the majority of these were a long way out. Also off the seawall c40 Common Scoter and two Eider, there was no sign of the Black Redstart. In the estuary there were 435 Great Black-backed Gull, 235 Brent Geese, 15 Black-tailed Godwit, four Greenshank and an adult Mediterranean Gull. 89 Canada Geese were also present on the mudflats with two Greylag and four white farmyard type geese. Migrants included a late Wheatear on the Golf Course, 181+ Redwing over during the day, with five Chiffchaff, five Goldcrest and a Blackcap around the bushes. Elsewhere a single Great-spotted Woodpecker flew over and  Warren "No" Point held a single Goldcrest and two Stonechat.



Thursday 27th:


The Black Redstart by the seawall and a Merlin in off the sea over Langstone Cliff Hotel were the highlights. Elsewhere there were 1230 Wigeon, 250 Teal, 35 Turnstone, 20+ Black-tailed Godwit and four Greenshank in the estuary and a Redwing over Greenland Lake.



Wednesday 26th:


A female Ring Ouzel by the visitor centre was the highlight. Other news reported included two late House Martin, 30+ Common Scoter and two Eider offshore, a Little Grebe on the Main Pond, four Siskin, a Black Redstart and between 7-9pm at least 50 Redwing calling overhead.



Tuesday 25th:


A two hour seawatch this morning saw 345 Gannet, a Red-throated Diver  and a Slavonian Grebe south, the grebe was seen to come back and land offshore. A Merlin came in from the south east and caught a butterfly over the sea before eating it on the wing. A single Pintail was in with the Wigeon and a Black Redstart by the sea wall was the only other notable sighting.



Monday 24th:


The only bird of note on the land was an adult Mediterranean Gull on the lawn by the seawall. Offshore 295 Gannet flew south with 19 Kittiwake, three Lesser Black-backed Gull,  three Grey Plover and a Guillemot. The highlight though was three Pomarine Skua, two of which showed well close in, and two Sooty Shearwater that also came close in. A flock of 80 Common Scoter was also present.



Sunday 23rd:


Visible migration continued with birds again passing NW over the site in good numbers, many as yesterday, were too high to identify. The main species was again Wood Pigeon with 2640 recorded, the second highest site count, 114 Stock Dove were mixed in with these flocks, a site record. Other species passing over were similar to yesterday with 360 Skylark, an all time autumn peak, 285 Greenfinch, 246 Jackdaw, 100 Linnet, 150 Starling, with another 440 in the roost, 77 Meadow Pipit, 55 "alba" Wagtail, 36 Rook and 34 Chaffinch. Scarcer species overhead included another high count of 16 Bullfinch moving east, 14 Reed Bunting, six Brambling, six Jay, six Siskin, six Sparrowhawk, four Golden Plover, three Yellowhammer, three Redwing, two Redpoll, and single Swallow and Grey Wagtail. Two second records for the year were also seen, a Merlin flying west far out to sea and a Short-eared Owl high over Warren Point and then flying around the site for the next 15 minutes. Elsewhere three Black-tailed Godwit, two Whimbrel and at least one Greenshank in the estuary, a first-winter Mediterranean Gull, three Great-crested Grebe, two Sandwich Tern, two Eider and c60 Common Scoter offshore, two Water Rail at the First Pond and a Dartford Warbler in Greenland Lake. Other records included four Pintail, two Collared Dove, eight Shelduck, a Coal Tit and a Peregrine.



Saturday 22nd:


Visible migration was again the main interest during the day with good numbers of birds passing NW over the site. The main species was Wood Pigeon with 1294 recorded before 10am, with them were at least 56 Stock Dove, the second highest site count. Other species passing over included 226 Greenfinch, 206 Jackdaw, 187 Skylark, 78 Goldfinch, 60 Meadow Pipit and 26 Rook with smaller numbers of Chaffinch, Linnet and "alba" Wagtail. Scarcer species overhead included a high count of 20 Bullfinch moving east, 12 Reed Bunting, five Swallow, five Yellowhammer, a very good count for here, four Siskin, two Woodlark and single Red-throated Diver, Brambling, Redpoll, Little Egret, Great-spotted Woodpecker and Grey Wagtail. Over high tide there were at least 250 Redshank roosting on the Railway Embankment, 57 Ringed Plover on the beach with four Lapwing and a Greenshank around the Bight. Elsewhere two Dartford Warbler were around the eastern end of Greenland Lake, a Coal and 13 Long-tailed Tit were in the bushes, two Eider were offshore, an adult Mediterranean Gull flew south as did a Black Swan, a Wheatear and a Great-spotted Woodpecker were on Warren Point with a third Great-spot near the First Pond.



Friday 21st:


Once again the weather failed to live up to expectations with the rain front going through before first light. Seawatching early morning produced c200 Gannet south, most very distant, two Red-throated Diver, two Eider, 30+ Common Scoter and 34 Red-breasted Merganser. The other highlight of the day was an adult Baltic Gull (Larus fuscus fuscus) around the Bight, this is only the second site record for this rare subspecies of Lesser Black-backed Gull, unfortunately these records cannot be accepted without good photographic evidence. Eight other Lesser Black-backed Gull were also present including one of the race intermedius. Also in the estuary 1000+ Wigeon, 346 Brent Geese, 177 Dunlin, 33 Grey Plover, 27 Ringed Plover, 12 Little Egret, 12 Shelduck and an adult Mediterranean Gull. A sample count of 250 Brent Geese in the Bight included 105 young, indicating a good breeding season.  light overhead passage included small numbers of Meadow Pipit, Skylark and Chaffinch with four Rook, three Redpoll, two Siskin and a Redwing. Elsewhere a single Coal Tit was around the bushes and two Golden Plover flew north over the sea wall.



Thursday 20th:


Another morning of skywatching proved productive despite the lack of cloud cover, the vast majority of records refer to birds moving west along the sandspit. Highlights included the first Woodlark and Cirl Bunting of the year, the latter appeared to land in Greenland Lake but could not be refound. Tallies during the morning included 446 Wood Pigeon, 205 Greenfinch, with another 100+ onsite, 152 Jackdaw, 70 Skylark, 68 "alba" wagtail, 54 Meadow Pipit, 44 Rook, 42 Carrion Crow, with another 134 on Warren Point, 34 Chaffinch, 33 Goldfinch, 26 Siskin and 16 Great Tit, high west in two flocks. Scarcer species included 10 Redpoll, nine Stock Dove, nine Reed Bunting, five Swallow, two Grey Wagtail, a Brambling and the first Snow Bunting of the autumn. Other migrants included a male Ring Ouzel on Warren Point, the tenth site record but the sixth this week! In the estuary there were 400 Curlew, 249 Brent Geese, 147 Redshank, 16 Little Egret, 12+ Greenshank, three Lapwing and a Whimbrel. Two Eider were offshore with 35 Common Scoter and three distant "grey geese" flew south possibly Pink-feet. Elsewhere four Pintail flew south, 325 Starling left their roost at the Golf Course pond, 10 Goldcrest, eight Blackcap, five Chiffchaff, a Great-spotted Woodpecker and a Coal Tit were in the bushes, a Water Rail was on the Main Pond and four Dartford Warbler (including two singing males) were around Greenland Lake.



Wednesday 19th:


Wildfowl counts today included 1585 Wigeon, 93 Teal, 14 Pintail, 14 Red-breasted Merganser and two Shoveler in Shutterton Creek with 14 Greenshank on the Railway Saltmarsh. The Greylag Goose was again present flying south earlier on, but was seen heading back north later. A sub-adult Yellow-legged Gull, the first of the year, was on Bull Hill with eight Lesser and 300 Great Black-backed Gull.  The bushes held 12+ Goldcrest, six Chiffchaff and six Blackcap whilst two female/immature Ring Ouzel were reported in Buffer Zone.



Tuesday 18th:


Hopes for more overhead passage were dashed by the early arrival of a weather front from the west. In the wet and windy conditions little was recorded with only three Swallow going through, the bushes also were very quiet with only two Goldcrest and a single Chiffchaff noted. Waders recorded over the high tide included a late Curlew Sandpiper with 350 Dunlin, 30 Turnstone, 10 Grey Plover, a Whimbrel, c40 Black-tailed and c30 Bar-tailed Godwit. Two Shoveler and a Pintail remained with the Wigeon and 60 Teal, a lone Greylag Goose was with 259+ Brent Geese on the mudflats.



Monday 17th:


Another day of skywatching with visible migration continuing, the variety was again good and the numbers although low compared to yesterday were still notable for the recording area. The highlights were also repeats of yesterday with a Hawfinch over just before 10am and a Ring Ouzel over the Golf Course towards the Bight at 11.10am. Other species tallies during the morning included 158 Redwing, 152 Greenfinch, 128 Jackdaw, 104 Meadow Pipit, 90 Chaffinch, 82 Linnet, 79 Goldfinch, 78 Rook, 58 "alba" wagtail, 58 Skylark,  56 Wood Pigeon and 23 Reed Bunting, a good count here. All except the pigeons and corvids, which went WNW, were moving east. Amongst the scarcer species there was an exceptional 19 Great Tit through, with another six by the Main Pond (a site record), 17 Swallow, 12 Siskin, 10 Bullfinch, five Redpoll, four Coal Tit, with two others by the Main Pond, two House Martin, two Snipe, two Yellowhammer and a Brambling. Finger Point held 300 Curlew, 61 Redshank, two Black-tailed Godwit and a Whimbrel over the high tide and around the Railway Saltmarsh well over a thousand Wigeon, two Shoveler, eight Lapwing, seven Little Egret and two Greenshank. Elsewhere at least five Blackcap, four Chiffchaff, a large female Peregrine flew in off the sea, a Little Grebe on the Main Pond, an adult Mediterranean Gull flew out of the estuary and eight Pintail went north with two singles south.



Sunday 16th:


Quite simply an exceptional day with several record counts and a few rarities thrown in for good measure. A two hour watch (7.30-9.30am) as part of a co-ordinated visible migration count did not disappoint - it became a four plus hour watch! The main species involved was Redwing with an incredible 13,485 moving east along the coast, this is the second highest count for the recording area, the previous autumn best was only 500! The other species tallies were: 574 Goldfinch (a site record), 292 Starling, 271 Wood Pigeon, 232 Meadow Pipit, 228 Greenfinch, 221 Skylark, 169 Chaffinch, 153 Linnet, 131 "alba" wagtail, 100+ Song Thrush, 99 Swallow, 70 Siskin, 60+ Lesser Black-backed Gull, including an intermedius race bird on sandbars offshore, 24 Rook, 23+ Fieldfare, 12 Reed Bunting and seven Stock Dove. Amongst the scarcer species the highlights were nine Hawfinch, only the third site record, and two Ring Ouzel, the fifth and sixth site records, also recorded three Redpoll, two Brambling, two Grey Wagtail, a House Martin, a Peregrine, a Kestrel and a Raven. Most of the records were of birds heading east but the pigeons, starlings and approx half of the larks and wagtails were heading north west, in off the sea.  Looking away from the skies also proved productive with a further 200+ Starling (plus another 300+ from the roost in the Golf Course pond), 15 Chiffchaff, 14 Stonechat, nine Blackcap, two Wheatear and a Dartford Warbler around the site, a Water Rail at the Dune Pond and two Sparrowhawk. Elsewhere an adult Spoonbill around the Bight at high tide and in Shutterton Creek at low tide was a good record, c50 Common Scoter were offshore, single Whimbrel and Greenshank were in the estuary, 10 Pintail flew high south and another bird was offshore with a small group of Wigeon.




Saturday 15th:


The Short-eared Owl was again present, seen roosting in trees behind the Main Pond. The strong easterly wind meant the bushes were blown out, but fewer birds seemed to be present than yesterday with only four Blackcap and three Chiffchaff noted. There was a light passage of cc20 Chaffinch and 25 Swallow but little other movement was noted. Elsewhere a Jay was around Greenland Lake with possibly a second near the First Pond, an adult Mediterranean Gull was in the estuary, c50 Common Scoter were offshore and on the Main Pond there was a Little Grebe, the first for several weeks, and two Snipe.



Friday 14th:


A slight upturn in fortunes today with the first Short-eared Owl of the year (subsequently reported as present yesterday evening), flushed from the Dune Ridge it flew east pursued by Carrion Crows before landing again on the seaward side of Greenland Lake. Also in Greenland Lake a Dartford Warbler near the Dune Pond and good numbers of Meadow Pipit, at least 75 were recorded around the reserve today. The bushes held more birds as well with at least seven Blackcap, six Chiffchaff and 12 Goldcrest along with 12+ Song Thrush and the Great-spotted Woodpecker. Overhead, as well as Meadow Pipit, there were 55 Siskin (mostly in just two flocks), 22 Swallow, 10 Rook, c10 Chaffinch, three Grey Wagtail, three Reed Bunting and two Mistle Thrush. Elsewhere a Greenshank and a Lapwing were in Shutterton Creek and c60 Common Scoter were offshore. Over the evening high tide there were six Sandwich Tern, a Red-throated Diver flew down the estuary and out to sea, a single Golden Plover was with 15 Grey Plover and the first Merlin of the year had a go at the waders roosting on the beach.



Thursday 13th:


The disappointing month continued with Gadwall again the highlight, a pair were offshore during the morning. Overhead passage was light with c30 Skylark, 17 Siskin, 12 Chaffinch, 12 Rook, three Jackdaw, two Jay, a Redwing and a House Martin. The bushes were also quiet with eight Stonechat, seven Song Thrush, five Goldcrest, four Blackcap, four Chiffchaff and a Reed Bunting noted. Elsewhere 75 Brent Geese, two Sandwich Tern, a Kingfisher and a Greenshank were in the estuary, a Wheatear was along the Dune Ridge and c80 Linnet were in front of the hide.



Wednesday 12th:


Seawatching today produced 37 Common Scoter, seven Red-breasted Merganser, five Sandwich Tern, three Arctic Skua, three Little Gull, two Great Skua and a probable Manx Shearwater. In the Estuary 1200 Wigeon were present along with 600+ Teal, 134 Curlew, 11 Little Egret, two Pintail and two Golden Plover flew south.  Elsewhere 84 Ringed Plover were on the beach, a Kingfisher was on the Main Pond and four Rook and a Mistle Thrush flew overhead.



Tuesday 11th:


The highlights were three Crossbill flying south, the first of the year for this rare migrant. Other overhead passage included 64 "alba" Wagtail, 32 Skylark, 11 Rook, nine Swallow, seven Siskin, two Mistle Thrush and a Redpoll.  A mixed flock of 250+  finches, mainly Greenfinch and Goldfinch, was around Greenland Lake, also onsite eight Song Thrush, six Goldcrest, five Blackcap, four Bullfinch and three Chiffchaff. Wildfowl in Shutterton Creek included 1200 Wigeon, 100 Teal, eight Little Egret and five Canada Goose. 264 Great black-backed Gull were in front of the hide on the rising tide with 26 Cormorant and 80 Ringed Plover, panic ensued when a Great Skua also landed in front of the hide. The skua soon drew the attention of a 20 strong Carrion Crow flock and after an hour was forced to fly from the area. Offshore a first winter Mediterranean Gull was present with a single Red throated Diver and c50 Common Scoter. Other records included the Whimbrel still on the beach and the Great-spotted Woodpecker in Dead Dolphin Wood.



Monday 10th:


On another quiet day the highlights were a drake Gadwall briefly in the Bight at high tide and a Buzzard over Warren Point. Other records included a Red-throated Diver offshore with five Sandwich Tern, a Whimbrel on the beach, a Snipe flushed from Greenland Lake, an adult Mediterranean Gull in Shutterton Creek with 17 Swallow, two Reed Bunting and a Great-spotted Woodpecker also on site.



Sunday 9th:


The first Great Northern Diver of the autumn was offshore with a single Red-throated Diver, a Great-crested Grebe, c100 Common Scoter, five Red-breasted Merganser, two Eider and a dark phase Arctic Skua. Overhead migration included 120+ Skylark, 70 Swallow, a flock of 28 Jackdaw, a few Rook and three Redpoll.  Other records included a Nuthatch west along the Dune Ridge, the first October record, a Jay in Dead Dolphin Wood, only the third record of the year, c20 Black-tailed Godwit in Shutterton Creek, five Reed Bunting and two Sparrowhawk. Other migrants remain very scarce with only three Chiffchaff, three Goldcrest and two Blackcap on site.



Saturday 8th:


A Redwing on Warren Point was the first of the autumn, as was a Water Rail at the Main Pond, but it was otherwise quiet with little change from previous days. Overhead migration continued with 35 Siskin, 35 Chaffinch (in one flock), 18 Rook, 13 Jackdaw, four Grey Wagtail and two Mistle Thrush. Following yesterday's good numbers overhead there were 15 Song Thrush, but three Chiffchaff were the only other grounded migrants. Elsewhere two Arctic Skua were offshore, three Lapwing circled the Bight before heading up river and a Whimbrel flew in off the sea.



Friday 7th:


Still much evidence of autumn migration but little in the way of highlights, the best being a Jack Snipe over the Back Meadow and golf course towards the saltmarsh and a Spotted Flycatcher around Dead Dolphin Wood, the latest site record. Visible migration overhead gave counts of at least 99 House Martin, 57 Swallow, 57 Siskin, 42 Song Thrush, 28 Rook, 26 Chaffinch, seven Reed Bunting, three Jackdaw, two Collared Dove and a Snipe. Grounded migrants included seven Chiffchaff, five Goldcrest and four Blackcap. Over the high tide there were counts of 149 Dunlin, 68 Ringed Plover, 42 Black-tailed Godwit, five Sanderling and three Turnstone, at least 600 Wigeon were in Shutterton Creek and a single Whimbrel was on the beach. The two Slavonian Grebe were again offshore with a dark phase Arctic Skua, four Sandwich Tern, a Razorbill and off Langstone Rock at least 250 Common Scoter. Elsewhere there were two Peregrine, a Great-spotted Woodpecker, an adult Mediterranean Gull north over the spit and a Grey Wagtail and a Kingfisher at the Main Pond.



Thursday 6th:


The first two Slavonian Grebe of the winter were offshore with a single Red-throated Diver and 150+ Common Scoter. Otherwise it was a disappointing day with little movement overhead, only small numbers of Swallow and House Martin moved through the recording area. Warren Point held just three Chiffchaff and a single Blackcap with two more Chiffchaff elsewhere. In the estuary there were 79 Redshank on the Railway Saltmarsh with nine Little Egret and a single Red-breasted Merganser, 311 Curlew were on Finger Point with 200+ Dunlin and smaller numbers of Bar-tailed and Black-tailed Godwit. 54 Ringed Plover were on the beach.



Wednesday 5th:


Another group of Mistle Thrush, this time six birds, were recorded today flying over Greenland Lake. Also overhead a Turtle Dove over the car park, two Collared Dove, a Yellow Wagtail, nine Siskin, four Reed Bunting, three Jackdaw, with two again on Warren Point, a Redpoll and a Great-spotted Woodpecker. Large numbers of finches were present around Greenland Lake with 120+ Greenfinch and 100+ Goldfinch, small parties of these were also passing through during the morning. Counts over the high tide included 236 Redshank, 120 Dunlin, 51 Ringed Plover, 24 Brent Geese, nine Little Egret, six Black-tailed Godwit, two Grey Plover, a Lapwing and a Greenshank. A drake Tufted Duck and a Black Swan were in Shutterton Creek with the other wildfowl. An Arctic Skua was offshore with three Sandwich Tern as well as two Eider and 110 Common Scoter. Other records included a Grey Wagtail on the Main Pond, four Chiffchaff, three Goldcrest, a Reed Warbler by the First Pond and only three Swallow and a single House Martin. A Common Sandpiper calling at night was a fairly late record.



Tuesday 4th:


Five Mistle Thrush were around the Back Meadow, a good record for here, with two others flying east over Warren Point. These were also the first records for the year.  Also on the Point three Grey Heron and two Jackdaw, only the second record of this species on the ground! Over high tide 24 Black-tailed Godwit roosted on Finger point with 69 Bar-tailed Godwit and 134 Dunlin, a Pintail also put in an appearance. The Railway Saltmarsh held 11 Little Egret, 235 Redshank and four Greenshank. Wigeon numbers are on the up with 460 in Shutterton Creek along with 24 Brent Goose. Offshore three Eider were the first of the autumn and two Red-breasted Merganser flew out of the Estuary mouth. A Yellow Wagtail also flew over.



Monday 3rd:


Offshore there were three Red-throated Diver, the two new birds were in summer plumage, also offshore 126+ Common Scoter and a Arctic Skua. The Railway Saltmarsh held 522 Curlew, 100+ Redshank and 200 Wigeon. In the Bight there were 125 Dunlin, 56 Bar-tailed Godwit, 18 Black-tailed Godwit, 16 Knot, two Grey Plover, a Curlew Sandpiper and 15 Mute Swan. Visible migration was conspicuous with 250 House Martin, 150 Swallow, 20+ Skylark, four Rook, four Jackdaw and a Redpoll all heading WNW. Around the Back Meadow there were 15 Chiffchaff, three Goldcrest and two Blackcap. Elsewhere the Dartford Warbler remains on Warren Point with two Wheatear, a Chiffchaff and a Sparrowhawk, and a Kingfisher was on the Main Pond.



Sunday 2nd:


There was an improvement in visible migration including c200 Jackdaw heading northeast early morning. Other records included 110+ Meadow Pipit, 55 Skylark, 30+ "alba" wagtail, nine Siskin, nine Chaffinch, seven Rook, two Redpoll, two Grey Wagtail and a Reed Bunting. Late afternoon 100+ Swallow also moved through. Over the high tide there were 370+ Curlew, five Knot, three Grey Plover, two Turnstone, a Whimbrel and two Black-tailed Godwit in the Bight with 16 Mute Swan, three Greenshank in Shutterton Creek and another four Black-tailed Godwit flying in off the sea. Also seen flying in off the sea single Pintail, Brent Goose and a Red-throated Diver, which flew up estuary. Presumably the same bird was later off the seawall, also offshore three Gadwall and 30+ Common Scoter. Other records included the Tawny Owl seen behind the Main Pond, at least five Chiffchaff and two Wheatear.



Saturday 1st:


The Nightjar was seen again this time in trees behind the Main Pond, again despite searching it could not be refound. During the morning 38 Sandwich Tern and an Arctic Skua flew south offshore whilst overhead there were five Rook and a Yellow Wagtail. Other records included 11 Greenshank in the estuary with c210 Redshank and a Great-spotted Woodpecker in the the entrance bushes.



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