July 31st. Very hot and sunny.
On the beach were 2 juvenile Yellow-legged Gull. Birds around included 4 Whimbrel, 600 Sandwich Tern, a Kingfisher, 2 Kestrel and 2 Swallow. Other Swallows were beginning to congregate on wires northwest of the reserve.
Moths included 2 Hummingbird Hawkmoth.
A morning ringing session in East Dunes yielded 8 new birds: 2 Wren, a Linnet, 2 Reed Bunting, a Meadow Pipit, a Great Tit and a Kingfisher; and a retrap Dunnock.
|Kingfisher, ringed 31 July 2020.|
Photo - George Gregory
July 30th. On the Mere was a Great White Egret. At North End were 6 House Sparrow, and on the River Steeping 2 Common Sandpiper. Around were a Whimbrel, a Kingfisher, a Merlin, 400 Starling, a Whinchat, 6 loafing Swallow, a Chiffchaff, a Willow Warbler, a Whinchat, 2 Wheatear and 3 Crossbill. Heading south were a Collared Dove, 3 Swift and 7 Swallow. In off the sea came a Kestrel.
A morning ringing session in East Dunes produced 17 new birds: a Wren, a Willow Warbler, a Chiffchaff, a Robin, 2 Blackcap, 3 Reed Warbler, 2 Linnet, 2 Goldfinch, 2 Reed Bunting, a Whitethroat and a Dunnock; and 6 retraps: a Robin, a Wren, 2 Whitethroat and 2 Dunnock.
A morning ringing session at Aylmer Avenue by Mike Polling produced 39 new birds: 3 Willow Warbler, 6 Chiffchaff, 5 Wren, 4 Reed Warbler, 4 Blackcap, 5 Whitethroat, a Goldfinch, a Sedge Warbler, 3 Great Tit and 7 Dunnock; and 12 retraps: 3 Blackcap, a Blackbird, 2 Dunnock, a Long-tailed Tit, a Great Tit, a Blue Tit, a Whitethroat, a Wren and a Robin.
July 29th. Two Wood Warbler were discovered, one trapped and ringed in East Dunes (later in the Plantation) and one in the north of West Dunes. Going south were 440 Swift, 65 Sand Martin, 12 Swallow and 7 House Martin. Birds around included an escaped Black Swan, 2 Eider, 10 Spoonbill, a Grey Heron, 6 Whimbrel, 70 Curlew, 20 Black-tailed Godwit, 1100 Sanderling, 2050 Dunlin, 2 Common Sandpiper, a Green Sandpiper, a Spotted Redshank, 3 Greenshank, a Mediterranean Gull, 1800 Sandwich Tern, 44 Little Tern, 16 Common Tern, 2 Arctic Tern, a Sparrowhawk, a Green Woodpecker, 6 Kestrel, a Peregrine, a Treecreeper, 85 Starling, 21 Reed Warbler (water bodies and reedbeds) 10 Willow Warbler, 2 Yellow Wagtail, 2 Tree Pipit and 2 Siskin.
A morning ringing session in East Dunes provided 14 new birds: 2 Willow Warbler, a Wood Warbler, 2 Robin, 2 Linnet, a Lesser Whitethroat, 5 Whitethroat and a Dunnock; and 4 retraps: a Linnet, a Dunnock, a Whitethroat and a Wren.
|Wood Warbler, ringed 29 July 2020.|
Photo - George Gregory
July 28th. Offshore were 94 Gannet and many Sandwich Tern. Birds around included 6 Eider, 15 Spoonbill, 5 Whimbrel, 2 Common Sandpiper, a Spotted Redshank, 3 Greenshank, a Mediterranean Gull, 1650 Sandwich Term 50 Little Tern, 19 Common Tern, a Grey Heron, a Cuckoo, a Tawny Owl, a Green Woodpecker, 5 Kestrel, a Peregrine, 15 Willow Warbler, a Goldcrest, a Treecreeper, 210 Starling, 3 Mistle Thrush, a Yellow Wagtail and 4 Siskin. Flying south were 46 Gannet, a Red Kite, 600 Dunlin, many other waders, 382 Swift, a Hobby, 26 Sand Martin, 4 Swallow, 4 House Martin, 15 Crossbill and 6 Siskin.
July 27th. Near gale force winds and occasional showers made for uncomfortable viewing during the morning watch, the main theme of which was the arrival of northern waders. There were some superb groups of summer-plumaged Knot, Dunlin, Sanderling and Turnstone including a smart flock of 22. Sandwich Tern were still in good numbers and noisy all along the beach and moving south offshore and even inland. Local Little Tern were struggling to fish offshore, while a small number of migrant Little Tern were already heading south with several Arctic Tern. Pulses of Swift passage were noted during the day. Around were 6 Eider, a Spotted Redshank, 2 Greenshank, a Mediterranean Gull, 6 Common Tern, 18 Spoonbill, 2 Grey Heron, a Sparrowhawk, a Marsh Harrier, a Tawny Owl, a Short-eared Owl, a Green Woodpecker, 6 Kestrel, 2 Treecreeper and 2 Yellow Wagtail.
July 26th. While carrying out daily livestock checks one staff member turned up four Cattle Egret with the cows around Freshwater Marsh, providing an unexpected patch tick for a visiting local bird-watcher. Sandwich Tern numbered 600 with many feeding close inshore. A Roseate Tern with full tail streamers passed close inshore before heading across the Wash to Norfolk. Going south were a Wood Sandpiper, 48 Swift, 32 Sand Martin, 8 Swallow, several Alba Wagtail, several Yellow Wagtail and 10 Crossbill, Three Wheatear on Rock Ridge included a very young juvenile. Other birds around included 16 Spoonbill, a Great White Egret, a Grey Heron, a Marsh Harrier, 48 Black-tailed Godwit, a Ruff, a Green Woodpecker, a Tawny Owl, a Peregrine, a Treecreeper and 3 Yellow Wagtail.
A morning ringing session in East Dunes resulted in 13 new birds 3 Willow Warbler, a Wren, 2 Whitethroat, 3 Blackcap, 2 Linnet and 2 Dunnock; and 3 retraps: a Blackbird, a Whitethroat and a Blackcap.
July 25th. Moving south were 24 Whimbrel, 10 Arctic Tern, 4 Common Tern, 64 Sandwich Tern, 4 Yellow Wagtail, 6 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 10 Bar-tailed Godwit, 130 Sand Martin, 8 Swallow, 70 Swift, 6 Alba Wagtail, 2 Yellow Wagtail and a Wood Sandpiper. On the water bodies were 120 Redshank, 180 Black-tailed Godwit, 35 Avocet, 60 Lapwing, 4 Greenshank, 3 Spotted Redshank, a Green Sandpiper and a Great White Egret. On the foreshore and Haven were 4600 Knot, 4500 Dunlin, 2200 Sanderling, 800 Sandwich Tern and 14 Arctic Tern. Around were 6 Eider, 2 Turnstone, a Common Sandpiper, 2 Greenshank, a Mediterranean Gull, 9 Common Tern, a Marsh Harrier, a Peregrine, a Treecreeper, 190 Starling and 2 Siskin.
July 24th. Dunlin and Sanderling numbers increased to 4000 and 2200 respectively. Two Peregrine were hunting together over the Haven with a fantastic performance involving much calling and one came away with a Knot. A build up of Swallow occurred, with 150 feeding over the flooded saltmarsh and many off south. Other birds around included 3 Eider, a Great White Egret, 15 Spoonbill, 6 Whimbrel, 8 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Turnstone, 2 Mediterranean Gull, 1500 Sandwich Tern, 47 Little Tern, 19 Common Tern, a Marsh Harrier, a Common Sandpiper, a Green Sandpiper, 3 Spotted Redshank, a Green Woodpecker, a Short-eared Owl, a Peregrine, a Treecreeper, 320 Starling, a Yellow Wagtail and 2 Siskin. Heading south were 28 Common Scoter, 64 Swift, 2 Fulmar, 28 Sand Martin and 4 House Martin.
A Lesser Emperor Dragonfly was a new arrival along the dune at Greenshanks Creek. Also along the outer Dunes were two Emperor Dragonflies and a Brown Hawker.
A morning ringing session in East Dunes produced 11 new birds: 3 Wren, a Willow Warbler, 2 Blackcap, 2 Whitethroat, a Swallow, a Dunnock and a Green Woodpecker; and 5 retraps: a Wren, a Dunnock and 3 Whitethroat.
|Green Woodpecker, ringed 24 July 2020.|
Photo - George Gregory
July 23rd. On the estuary an increase in wader numbers was apparent, with 3500 Knot, 800 Sanderling, 400 Oystercatcher and 3000 Dunlin. A Curlew Sandpiper was amongst the latter.More waders were arriving down the tideline early morning, whilst Swift and Sand Martin were moving south over the dunes in moderate numbers. Swift numbers picked up in the afternoon when 3900 passed through in one hour. Other birds of note moving south were a male Marsh Harrier, 3 Shoveler and 40 Gannet.
The ninth session of CES was done this morning. The 48 new birds were 4 Wren, 8 Willow Warbler, 4 Chiffchaff, a Robin, 12 Blackcap, 7 Whitethroat, 2 Blue Tit, a Great Tit, 3 Linnet, a Coal Tit, a Reed Warbler, a Dunnock, 2 Blackbird and a Great Spotted Woodpecker. The 18 retraps were 3 Dunnock, 2 Whitethroat, 2 Blue Tit, 2 Sedge Warbler, a Blackcap, a Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Wren, 4 Blackbird and a Chiffchaff.
July 22nd. The main focus of the morning watch was the arrival of waders again, with regular parties of Knot, Whimbrel, Dunlin, Sanderling, Curlew and Redshank arriving, including the familiar white-capped partially leucistic Redshank returning to its favourite haunt at Greenshanks Creek. Going south were 70 Gannet, 10 Mute Swan and an escaped Black Swan, and north a flock of 90 Common Scoter. On the water bodies Spoonbill increased to 19, and a Great White Egret was present.
Moths included a Hummingbird Hawkmoth.
A morning ringing session in East Dunes provided 14 new birds: a Willow Warbler, a Lesser Whitethroat, 7 Linnet, 2 Goldfinch, 2 Whitethroat and a Blackcap; and 4 retraps: a Great Tit, a Whitethroat, a Robin and a Dunnock.
July 21st. An obvious influx of Knot brought 2350 up to roost. Again a light southerly movement of waders was evident along with a few Swallow, Sand Martin, Yellow Wagtail and Siskin. A Bullfinch was new in East Dunes, and a Kingfisher was over East Dunes then on the River Steeping. Amongst the gulls was an adult fuscus Lesser Black-backed Gull candidate and the first juvenile Herring Gull of the year.
A morning ringing session in East Dunes yielded 16 new birds: a Wren, a Willow Warbler, 3 Whitethroat, a Blackcap, 2 Robin, a Lesser Whitethroat, 4 Linnet, 2 Dunnock and a Kingfisher; and 5 retraps: a Blackbird, a Wren, a Linnet, a Dunnock and a Whitethroat.
|Kingfisher, ringed 21 July 2020.|
Photo - George Gregory
Ringing Control: Sedge Warbler ringed Tour aux Moutons, Loire-Atlantique, France 1 September 2019, controlled GPBO 27 May 2020.
Ringing Recovery: Greenfinch ringed GPBO 2 October 2019, found dead Skegness 20 July 2020.