Mid August 2022

August 18th. Birds around, including those trapped, were 5 Snipe, 3 Green Sandpiper, a Sparrowhawk, 3 Marsh Harrier, 28 Willow Warbler, 2 Redstart, a Tree Pipit and a Pied Flycatcher. 2 Tree Pipit flew south with 29 Yellow Wagtail and a Swift. On Tennyson's Sands were a Little Stint and 3 Spoonbill.

 A morning ringing session in East Dunes, with Keith Collett, produced 9 new birds: a Willow Warbler, 2 Robin, 2 Linnet, 3 Whitethroat and a Sedge Warbler; and 3 retraps: a Pied Flycatcher, a Whitethroat and and a Dunnock.

August 17th. Quite strong north-easterly winds, with rain until late morning.

 Around were 60 Sandwich Tern, 3 Green Sandpiper, a Common Sandpiper and a Redstart. On Tennyson's Sands were 3 Little Stint and 13 Spoonbill. Flying north were 5 Black Tern, 5 Manx Shearwater, 2 Arctic Skua, 15 Commic Tern, 35 Common Tern, 45 Little Tern, 4 Arctic Tern, 4 Little Gull, 3 Kittiwake and a Fulmar; and south an adult Pomarine Skua, 18 Arctic Skua and a Great Skua. 

Ringing Control: Sedge Warbler, ringed GPBO 6 May 2022, controlled near Tring, Hertfordshire 14 August 2022.

August 16th. Birds around, including those trapped, were 200 Swallow, 60 House Martin, 10 Willow Warbler, 4 Marsh Harrier, a Peregrine, 2 Redstart and 2 Pied Flycatcher. On Tennyson's Sands were a Little Stint, 3 Green Sandpiper, a Ruff, a Common Sandpiper, a Greenshank, a Snipe, 6 Dunlin and 12 Spoonbill; and on Roadside Pond a Greenshank. Moving south were 600 Swallow, 40 House Martin, 25 Sand Martin and 18 Yellow Wagtail, with 60 Sandwich Tern and an Arctic Skua offshore. The morning wader roost involved approximately 60,000 Knot, 6000 Bar-tailed Godwit, 6000 Sanderling, 4500 Dunlin and 4400 Oystercatcher.

 A morning ringing session in East Dunes, with Liam Andrews, resulted in 8 new birds: a Wren, a Willow Warbler, 2 Sedge Warbler, a Whitethroat, a Blackcap, a Pied Flycatcher and a Reed Warbler; and 3 retraps: a Dunnock, a Robin and a Wren.

Spoonbills, 16 August 2022.
Photo - Tom Baker

Little Stint with Green Sandpiper and Dunlin, 16th August.
Photo - Tom Baker

August 15th. Around, including birds trapped, were a Sparrowhawk and 150 Swallow. On Tennyson's Sands were 5 Green Sandpiper, 2 Spotted Redshank and 8 Spoonbill. The morning wader roost involved over 70,000 birds. A single Curlew Sandpiper was picked out in amongst 7000 mixed Sanderling and Dunlin. A probable American Golden Plover in full summer plumage flew south-west overhead, calling four times.

 A morning ringing session in East Dunes, with Jenni Godber, provided 6 new birds: 3 Whitethroat, a Blackcap, a Linnet and a Sparrowhawk; and 4 retraps: 2 Wren, a Whitethroat and a Robin.

Sparrowhawk, ringed 15 August 2022.
Photo - George Gregory

August 14th. Birds around, including those trapped, were a Marsh Harrier, a Long-eared Owl (East Dunes), a Willow Warbler and another new Pied Flycatcher (the sixth ringed this autumn). On Tennyson's Sands were a Green Sandpiper, 2 Greenshank, a Snipe and 12 Spoonbill.

 A morning ringing session in East Dunes produced 5 new birds: 2 Wren, a Willow Warbler, a Linnet and a Pied Flycatcher; and a retrap Dunnock.

Pied Flycatcher, ringed 14 August 2022.
Photo - George Gregory

August 13th. Around, including birds trapped, were a Whimbrel, 3 Willow Warbler, 1500 Starling and 2 Pied Flycatcher. On Tennyson's Sands were 2 Green Sandpiper, 4 Dunlin, 3 Greenshank, a Snipe and 17 Spoonbill.

 A morning ringing session in East Dunes, with Liam Andrews, yielded 8 new birds: a Wren, 3 Willow Warbler, a Pied Flycatcher, a Whitethroat, a Sedge Warbler and a Song Thrush; and 2 retraps: a Wren and a Chiffchaff.

Pied Flycatcher 13th August 2022. 
Photo - Kev Wilson

Mixed waders at roost, 13th August 2022. 
Photo - Kev Wilson

Marsh Mallow, 13th August 2022. 
Photo - Kev Wilson

Jackson's Marsh largely dried out in the drought, 13 August 2022.
Photo - George Gregory

Tennyson's Sands largely dried out in the drought, 13 August 2022.
Photo - George Gregory

August 12th. Birds around, including those trapped, were 4 Pied Flycatcher, 2 Wheatear, a Redstart, the Long-eared Owl again and 3 Marsh Harrier. On Tennyson's Sands were a Green Sandpiper, a Spotted Redshank, a Ruff and 13 Spoonbill; and on the Mere 3 Spotted Redshank and  a Green Sandpiper. The hightide roost in the morning held 32,000 Knot but were disturbed by a walker, a drone and then two paramotors. 4 Arctic Skuas moved south. 

 The eleventh session of CES, with Liam Andrews, was done this morning. The 16 new birds were 2 Wren, a Chiffchaff, 2 Pied Flycatcher, a Robin, a Sedge Warbler, 4 Blackcap, 2 Whitethroat, a Song Thrush and 2 Blackbird; and there were 2 retrap Blackcap.

On the evening tide 4000 Sanderling, 2750 Dunlin and 450 Redshank came up to roost.

Green Sandpiper, 12th August 2022. 
Photo - Jeremy Eyeons

Greenshank, 12th August 2022. Photo - Jeremy Eyeons


Spoonbill, 12th August. Photo - Jeremy Eyeons


Oystercatcher and Knot 12th August 2022. Photo - Darren Marsh

Weasel 12th August 2022. Photo - Kev Wilson

August 11th. Around, including birds trapped, were a Whimbrel, 5 Willow Warbler and 4 Pied Flycatcher. On Tennyson's Sands were a Ruff and 13 Spoonbill. Flying north overland were 14 Sandwich Tern.

 A morning ringing session in East Dunes provided 8 new birds: 5 Willow Warbler, 2 Pied Flycatcher and a Whitethroat; and 5 retraps: a Wren, a Robin, a Blackcap and 2 Dunnock.

In the evening the Mere held a Greenshank, 3 Spotted Redshank and 2 Little Egret. A Caspian Gull was on the beach. A Badger was out in broad daylight along the outer bar at high tide possibly seeking fresh water.

Pied Flycatcher, ringed 11 August 2022.
Photo - George Gregory

Caspian Gull, 11th August 2022.
Photo - Kev Wilson

Badger 11th August 2022, 
Photo  Kev Wilson

Early August 2022

August 10th. Around, including birds trapped, were a Marsh Harrier, a Sparrowhawk, a Pied Flycatcher, a Spotted Flycatcher and 15 Willow Warbler. On Jackson's Marsh were a Water Rail and a Greenshank; on Tennyson's Sands a Green Sandpiper and a Ruff; and on the Mere, 2 Green Sandpiper, a Common Sandpiper and a Water Rail. Going south were 900 Sandwich Tern, 25 Common Tern, 30 Commic Tern, 4 Greenshank, a Green Sandpiper, an Arctic Skua, 13 Spoonbill and 8 Little Egret.

A morning ringing session in East Dunes, with Liam Andrews, produced 3 new birds: a Willow Warbler, a Sedge Warbler and a Song Thrush; and 2 retraps: a Dunnock and a Chiffchaff.

  In the evening the Mere held 5 Greenshank, a single Spotted Redshank and 4 Black-tailed Godwit, whilst a couple of Cetti's Warblers were calling from along Millpond Road just east of the Mere hide. Tennyson's Sands held 9 Greenshank, 2 Spotted Redshank, 4 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Green Sandpiper and 13 Spoonbill.

Common Toads and Frogs occur here at very low densities - so it was great to find a Common Toad today.

Common Toad 10th August 2022. Photo - Jim Shaw 

Rock Sea Lavender. Photo - Kev Wilson

August 9th. Birds around, including those trapped, were a Whimbrel, 4 Willow Warbler and a Greenfinch. On Tennyson's Sands were 4 Snipe, a Common Sandpiper and 4 Dunlin. A Black Tern flews south.

 In the evening there were 4 Black Tailed Godwit, 1 Green Sandpiper and 8 Greenshank on the Mere whilst on Tennyson's Sands there were 2 Green Sandpiper, 2 Common Sandpiper, a single Curlew Sandpiper, 6 Greenshank, 2 Spotted Redshank, 6 Black Tailed Godwit, 7 Snipe, a Ruff and 28 Avocet. There were several small family groups of Whitethroat much in evidence along both the east and west dunes and also along mill pond road all seemingly fresh out of the nest with a couple of similarly young family groups of fledgling Reed Warblers along the cycle track

 A morning ringing session in East Dunes resulted in 17 new birds: 4 Willow Warbler, a Linnet, 10 Whitethroat, a Blackcap and a Greenfinch; and 9 retraps: a Dunnock, a Great Tit, 3 Long-tailed Tit, a Blackcap, a Chiffchaff, a Whitethroat and a Wren.

Greenfinch, ringed 9 August 2022.
Numbers here are still very low following the Trichomonosis epidemic.
Photo - George Gregory

August 8th. Around, including birds trapped, were 2 Spotted Flycatcher, a Redstart, 20 Willow Warbler and a Grasshopper Warbler. On Tennyson's Sands were 4 Snipe, 2 Common Sandpiper, 5 Greenshank, 11 Dunlin and 4 Spoonbill. Heading south was a Whimbrel.

 A morning ringing session in East Dunes provided 4 new birds: 2 Willow Warbler, a Grasshopper Warbler and a Dunnock; and 4 retraps: 2 Wren, a Robin and a Willow Warbler.

Grasshopper Warbler, ringed 8 August 2022.
Photo - George Gregory



Greenshanks, Teal, Little Egret, 8th August 2022.
Photos - Tom Baker

August 7th. A reduction in Willow Warbler numbers overnight and a seemingly slow start to the morning. However, some good sightings followed. A juvenile Black Tern was feeding close inshore for five minutes before moving strongly south. A Long-eared Owl was a surprise find in East Dunes, where a Redstart was also new in and a Tree Pipit may have been the same bird seen recently. Swallow were moving in small numbers from first thing but a strong passage was underway between 0830 and 0930hrs when over 1000 headed south low over the beach, including 300 in a 5 minute period. Other birds around included a Cuckoo, 3 Arctic Skua, a Mediterranean Gull, 5 Greenshank and a family party of 5 Cetti's Warbler near North Car Park.

 A morning ringing session in East Dunes, with Liam Andrews, produced 12 new birds: 5 Willow Warbler, 3 Linnet, a Whitethroat, a Reed Warbler, a Sedge Warbler and a Sparrowhawk; and 6 retraps: a Blackcap, a Chiffchaff, a Dunnock, a Linnet and 2 Wren.

Willow Emerald Damselflies can be seen often perched on dead branches around the Plantation.

Sparrowhawk, ringed 7 August 2022.
Photo - George Gregory

Spoonbill, 7th August 2022.
Photo - Richard Brown


Willow Emerald Damselflies.
Photos - Steve Clipperton

Azure Damselflies.
Photo - Steve Clipperton


August 6th. A good arrival of Willow Warblers with 85 counted. Also, 35 Chiffchaff,  95 Whitethroat. 24 Blackcap, 16 Lesser Whitethroat, a Grasshopper Warbler and a Garden Warbler. A Pied Flycatcher was around the Plantation. Other birds around were a Green Woodpecker, a Merlin and 2 Marsh Harriers. On Tennyson's Sands were 11 Dunlin and 4 Greenshank. Heading south were 4 Whimbrel and 40 Swallow.
 
 In the evening the Mere held singles of Common and Green Sandpiper along with 8 Black Tailed Godwit and 2 Greenshank. On Tennyson's Sands there were 4 Greenshank, 1 Spotted Redshank, 4 Black tailed Godwit, 2 Little Ringed Plover, 3 Common Sandpiper, 3 Green Sandpiper and 4 Snipe.

 A morning ringing session in East Dunes resulted in 7 new birds: a Willow Warbler, 2 Linnet, 3 Whitethroat and a Robin; and 5 retraps: a Blackcap, 2 Wren, a Great Tit and a Whitethroat.

Robin, ringed 6 August 2022.
Photo - George Gregory

Sandwich Tern, 6th August 2022.
Photo - Ste Taylor

Peregrine Falcon, 6th August 2022.
Photo- Steve Clipperton

Ringing Recovery: Starling, ringed GPBO 23 June 2022, found dead Hubberts Bridge, Lincolnshire 2 August 2022.

August 5th. A quiet morning for passage over land and sea. Around, including birds trapped, were 3 Whimbrel, 9 Lesser Whitethroat, 25 Willow Warbler, a Tree Pipit and the first Merlin of the autumn. On Tennyson's Sands were 20 Spoonbill, 4 Greenshank and 8 Dunlin.

 A morning ringing session in East Dunes provided 4 new birds: 2 Wren, a Willow Warbler, a Blackcap and a Whitethroat; and 5 retraps: 3 White, a Dunnock and a Willow Warbler.

Willow Warbler, ringed 5 August 2022.
Photo - George Gregory



Pintails, Green Sandpiper, Pied wagtail, 5th August 2022. 
Photos - Steve Clipperton



Hoverflies, 5th August 2022.
Photos - Steve Clipperton

August 4th. Most Terns were passing distantly offshore from early morning but as the tide rose many settled on the beach, including 45 Arctic Tern. Wader passage continued at a fairly slow pace today but Hirundines picked up by around 0730hrs with good periods of mainly Swallow passage over the beach. 90 Swift were over the west side, but few were moving today. A light arrival of Willow Warbler was apparent, with the first Pied Flycatcher and Garden Warbler of the autumn. A few Linnet and Meadow Pipit were moving south down the East Dunes with 8 Yellow Wagtail and a Tree Pipit. 4 Tree Sparrow moving south were unusual for this period. On Tennyson's Sands were 2 Snipe, a Green Sandpiper, a Spotted Redshank, 90 Avocet, 200 Black-tailed Godwits and 20 Spoonbill. A Peregrine caused a mass flush of waders etc here mid morning.

  In the evening the Mere held 21 Black tailed Godwit, along with singles of Green Sandpiper and Common Sandpiper. Jackson Marsh had 2 Green Sandpiper and a single Common Sandpiper along with 65 Avocet. A juvenile Cuckoo was taking grief from Avocets in-between Jacksons Marsh and Tennyson's Sands whilst on Tennyson's Sands there were 4 Snipe, 2 Green Sandpiper, 3 Common Sandpiper, 2 Little Ringed Plover, 4 Black tailed Godwit, 28 Avocet, 3 Greenshank and a Spotted Redshank. The East Dunes had a group of 12 Long Tailed Tits accompanied by 6 Willow Warblers with various areas of both Dune systems holding further small numbers of Chiff Chaff and Willow Warblers. 6 Kestrels were hunting on the reserve.

 A morning ringing session in East Dunes produced 14 new birds: 5 Willow Warbler, a Wren, 4 Whitethroat, a Garden Warbler, a Linnet, a Dunnock and a Blackbird; and 4 retraps: 2 Chiffchaff, a Whitethroat and a Dunnock.

 A morning ringing session at Aylmer Avenue, by Mike Polling, produced 14 new birds: a Chiffchaff, a Willow Warbler, 4 Whitethroat, a Cetti's Warbler, a Blackcap, a Dunnock, a Song Thrush, 3 Blackbird and a Great Spotted Woodpecker; and 3 retraps: a Goldcrest, a Blackbird and a Dunnock.


Juvenile Cuckoo, 4th August 2022. 
Photos - Steve Clipperton

Garden Warbler, ringed 4 August 2022.
Photo - George Gregory

Green sandpiper, 4th August 2022.
Photo - Steve Clipperton


Spoonbills, 4th August 2022. 
Photo - Steve Clipperton

August 3rd. Moderately strong south-westerly wind. 

 Highlights of an early morning seawatch were a flock of 6 Goosander moving south and 5 Arctic Skua moving south close in: two dark phase adults together followed by three pale phase adults. 

 Around were 2 Whimbrel and 2 Spoonbill (beach). On Jackson's Marsh were a Common Sandpiper and a Spotted Redshank; and on Tennyson's Sands a Little Ringed Plover, 2 Green Sandpiper, a Greenshank, a Common Sandpiper, 4 Snipe, 8 Dunlin and 21 Spoonbill. Heading south were good numbers of Swift and Hirundines.

 In the late afternoon/early evening there was a build up of Hirundines, peaking at 500 Swallow over the Old Saltmarsh, 750 Swallow over the freshwater bodies and West Dunes with small numbers of House Martin mixed in with them. Whilst a further 500 Swallow were to be found on the foreshore down from Mill Hill, this group could be found often relaxing in the late afternoon sun on the shingle in one big flock before occasionally being disturbed by a menacing Larid. A single Spoonbill was feeding in Greenshanks Creek. The Mere meanwhile held a single Green Sandpiper and 14 Black-tailed Godwit. Over on Tennyson's Sands there were 4 Snipe, 4 Black-tailed Godwit, 22 Avocet, 2 Little Ringed Plover, 2 Common Sandpiper, a single Spotted Redshank and 4 Spoonbill

Snipe with Green Sandpiper, 3rd August 2022. 
Photo - Tom Baker

Spoonbill with Black-tailed Godwits 3rd August 2022. 
Photo - Tom Baker

Pink-footed Geese, 3rd August 2022.
Photo - Tom Baker

Lots of flying ants emerging in the afternoon sun were the reason for the build of Hirundines on the Reserve with the South Marsh Road being covered in them early evening.

Photo - Michael Briggs


Swallows in Hawthorn in West Dunes late afternoon following a flying ant emergence.
Photo - Michael Briggs

August 2nd. Moderately strong south-westerly wind, with mid morning rain.

 Birds around included 2 Whimbrel. On Tennyson's Sands were 2 Snipe, a Green Sandpiper, a Greenshank and 30 Spoonbill. Flying south early morning were 500 Swift.

 In the evening there were small parties of Swift (20) and Swallow (40) moving south through East Dunes between 8pm and 9pm. On the Mere there were 8 Black-tailed Godwit and singles of both Wood Sandpiper and Common Sandpiper. Tennyson's Sands held 4 Little Ringed Plover, 3 Green Sandpiper and 2 Common Sandpiper, 3 Snipe and 3 Greenshank.

August 1st. Another very good morning for waders arriving and moving south along the shore during the early morning; 478 Knot, 358 Oystercatcher, 317 Dunlin, 186 Redshank, 181 Sanderling and 102 Whimbrel being the main species involved. 7 Little Ringed Plover south was a notable count - a further 10 were feeding on the waterbodies. Additionally, on Jackson's Marsh were a Common Sandpiper and 2 Green Sandpiper; and on Tennyson's Sands, 3 Common Sandpiper, a Curlew Sandpiper, 2 Green Sandpiper, 5 Greenshank and 16 Spoonbill.

At sea, 520 Sandwich Tern moved south with single Arctic Skua and Grey Heron whilst 22 Manx Shearwater and an Arctic Tern moved north.

 In the evening the very dark juvenile Marsh Harrier was hunting over the Old Saltmarsh, whilst on the Mere there were singles of Common Sandpiper, Black-tailed Godwit and Greenshank. 

 A morning ringing session at Aylmer Avenue, including the tenth session of CES, with Liam Andrews and Kyle Campbell, was done this morning. The 46 new birds were 5 Wren, 2 Chiffchaff, 8 Blackcap, 9 Whitethroat, a Linnet, a Goldfinch, 6 Great Tit, a Lesser Whitethroat, a Cetti's Warbler, a Reed Warbler, 4 Dunnock, a Song Thrush and 6 Blackbird; and the 16 retraps were 2 Blackcap, 2 Wren, 2 Whitethroat, a Blue Tit, a Blackbird, 2 Great Tit, 3 Chiffchaff, a Robin, a Dunnock and a Sedge Warbler.

A White-letter Hairstreak was photographed along the Cycletrack.

Juvenile Redshank on the Mere, 1st August 2022, (this bird was reported as a Wood Sandpiper on occasions). Photo - Tom Baker

Spotted Redshank, 1st August 2022. 
Photo - Tom Baker
Knot, Grey Plover and Dunlin, 1st August 2022. 
Photo - Kev Wilson

Juvenile Cetti's Warbler, ringed 1 August 2022.
Photo - George Gregory

White-letter Hairstreak 1st August,
Photo- Steve Hibbard

Fox, 1st August 2022. Photo - Tom Baker