Late May

Ringing Recovery: Blackbird, ringed GPBO 17 October 2013, ring only found with a metal detector from a Racoon Dog faeces pile, the so-called toilet, Joen rata, Finland 20 May 2024.

May 25th. Light north-easterly wind with light rain developing late morning.

 A morning ringing session in East Dunes provided 2 new birds: a Goldfinch and a Coal Tit; and a retrap Sedge Warbler. The Coal Tit show the blue-grey back, grey-tinged flanks and very large black bib of the continental subspecies.

Coal Tit, ringed 25 May 2024.
Photo - George Gregory

Coal Tit, ringed 25 May 2025.
Photo - George Gregory

Coal Tit, ringed 25 May 2024.
Photo - George Gregory

May 24th. Cloudy, with moderate south-westerly wind. There was good visibility over the sea early on at which time a Great Northern Diver and a Little Gull flew south with an unusual number of Kittiwake - 79 headed south in 3 flocks. After yesterday's movement, there were few Swift but it was great to watch migrating Swallow moving through, low over the beach. Sanderling numbers continue to build on spring migration with approximately 2100 - mostly summer-plumaged birds. For the third day in a row, vocal parties of Ringed Plover were leaving the Haven and heading high north - presumably Tundra subspecies birds. Elsewhere, a vocal Bee-eater went over the Visitor Centre early morning and a Spotted Flycatcher was in East Dunes. 

 A morning ringing session in East Dunes produced 8 new birds: 2 Long-tailed Tit, a Chaffinch, a Whitethroat, a Reed Bunting and 3 Dunnock; and 3 retraps: a Whitethroat and 2 Dunnock.

 A morning ringing session at Aylmer Avenue by David Vincent produced 2 new birds: a Sedge Warbler and a Great Tit; and 9 retraps: 4 Sedge Warbler, a Chiffchaff, a Great Tit, 2 Wren and a Dunnock.

Long-tailed Tit, ringed 24 May 2024.
Photo - George Gregory

May 23rd. Cloudy, with increasing south-westerly wind. The wind direction meant that attention returned to recording visible migration overland, and despite the wind strength there was a very good movement of Swift - 1100 passing south in 2 hours with 110 Swallow, 60 House Martin, some late Chaffinches and a Red Kite. Offshore, 2 Little Gull moved south while the regular 3 Little Gull were on Tennyson's Sands with 3 Spoonbill. A male Red-backed Shrike was found along the seaward edge of the East Dunes, north of Mill Hill and showed well. Other birds around included 2 Grasshopper Warbler, 3 Cuckoo, a Hobby, 2 Common Sandpiper and 3 Red-breasted Merganser. 

Red-backed Shrike, 23rd May 2024. 
Photo - Kev Wilson

Red-backed Shrike, 23rd May 2024. 
Photo - Kev Wilson

Common Sandpipers, 23rd May 2024.
 Photo - Jason Virgin

Red-breasted Mergansers, 23rd May 2024.
 Photo - Jason Virgin

May 22nd. Overnight rain continued through the day with few breaks until it ceased mid afternoon. The wind changed from northerly to south-westerly. There was low coverage today due to the rain. Highlights were 3 Spoonbill and 3 Little Gull around the lagoons, 5 Whimbrel, 2 Yellow Wagtail and a Greenshank. A movement of Geese was noted in the evening with large parties exiting the Wash to the north-east. 420 were Brent Geese but another 350 were too distant for positive identification, the possibility of Pink-footed Geese not eliminated.

May 21st. Mostly cloudy, with moderate northeasterly wind.

 Spoonbills had increased to a flock of 7 on Tennyson's Sands this morning. Offshore, highlights were Red-throated Diver, 3 Fulmar, 35 Common Scoter and a flock of 11 Razorbill north and a further 20 Common Scoter on the sea. Other birds seen included a Woodlark, a Hobby, a Marsh Harrier, 2 Little Gull, a Barn Owl and 2 Little/Temminck's Stint that flew north.

Spoonbills, 21st May 2024. 
Photo - Annabel Kemp

Spoonbills, 21st May 2024. 
Photo - Annabel Kemp

Spoonbill, 21st May 2024. 
Photo - Rikki Clark

Marsh Harrier, 21st May 2024. 
Photo - Rikki Clark

Marsh Harrier, 21st May 2024. 
Photo - Rikki Clark

Meadow Pipit, 21st May 2024. 
Photo - Rikki Clark

Chinese Water Deer, 18th May 2024.  
Regular sightings of this species used to occur around areas of saltmarsh until late 2013 when it is thought that they may have been impacted by the surge tide. This is one of few recent records. Photo - Rikki Clark.

Brown Hare, 21st May 2024. 
Photo - Rikki Clark

Mid May 2024

May 20th. Another cool, cloudy start, with slowly increasing north-easterly wind.

 With the northerly wind, sea-watching was the best option and provided some good birds for late Spring; a Black-throated Diver, 3 Red-throated Diver, a Velvet Scoter, 17 Common Scoter, 2 Fulmar a flock of 5 Razorbill and various other unidentified Auks along with 20 Gannet, 15 Sandwich Tern and 12 Little Tern north. Other birds around included 3 Cuckoo, 2 Little Gull, 5 Spoonbill, a Tawny Owl and a Hobby.

 The third session of CES was done this morning. The 2 new birds were a Chiffchaff and a Dunnock; and the ten retraps were 3 Blue Tit, 4 Dunnock, a Wren, a Chiffchaff and a Blackcap.

Common Tern 19th May 2024. 
Photo - Jack Hood

May 19th. Cool, cloudy start, gradually clearing and becoming sunny, with increasing northerly wind.

 No sign of the Icterine Warbler this morning, but Little Gulls had increased to 4 and there was another Turtle Dove sighting. A good day for birds of prey included ringtail Hen Harrier, 3 Marsh Harrier, Hobby and Peregrine. A few Gannets and Sandwich Terns headed north but there was little coverage of the sea. Other birds around included 2 Spoonbill, 2 Grasshopper Warbler and 6 Whimbrel. 

 A wind-shortened morning ringing session in East Dunes produced 3 new birds: a Goldfinch and 2 Dunnock.

Spoonbills, 19th May 20214. 
Photo - Paul Neale

Shelduck and Spoonbill, 19th May 20214. 
Photo - Paul Neale

Avocets, 19th May 20214. 
Photo - Paul Neale

Linnet, 19th May 20214. 
Photo - Paul Neale

Orange Tip, 19th May 20214. 
Photo - Paul Neale

Green-veined White, 19th May 20214. 
Photo - Paul Neale

May 18th.  A cold and foggy start to the morning with a northerly wind. The Icterine Warbler was still present and singing well from 0700hrs, but became elusive later in the morning. Other birds around included 3 Little Gulls, 2 Spoonbills and a Hobby. A small number of Hairy Dragonflies are around the ponds and ditches bow and a Painted Lady was the first of the year.

 A morning ringing session in East Dunes yielded 4 new birds: a Long-tailed Tit, a Wren, a Reed Bunting and a Lesser Whitethroat; and 3 retraps: a Wren, a Robin and a Blue Tit.

Spoonbill, 18th May 2024. 
Photo - Jeremy Eyeons

Skylark, 18th May 2024. 
Photo - Jeremy Eyeons

Reed Warbler, 18th May 2024. 
Photo - Jeremy Eyeons

Roe Deer, 18th May 2024. 
Photo - Jeremy Eyeons

May 17th. Soggy, misty start, gradually drying out, then becoming quite sunny, with light mostly southerly winds. 

 A movement of Brent Geese was noted in the morning, with several groups  totaling 120 heading out north-east. Also offshore, 2 Red-throated Diver, 4 Great Crested Grebe and 80 Sandwich Terns north. An Icterine Warbler was a new arrival near Mill Hill, initially giving short, subdued song phrases and no views, but after 30 minutes breaking into full song and showing quite well.  Also around were 70 Dark-bellied Brent Goose, Little Gull, Spoonbill, Greenshank, Garganey, Spotted Flycatcher, ringtail Hen Harrier and 4 Cuckoo. In the evening, parties of Oystercatcher were heading out north-east and a Wood Sandpiper went high north.

 A morning ringing session in East Dunes provided 6 new birds: 2 Chiffchaff, a Blackcap, 2 Sedge Warbler and a Dunnock; and 3 retraps: a Robin, a Lesser Whitethroat and a Chiffchaff.

 A morning ringing session at Aylmer Avenue, by Mike Polling, provided 7 new birds: a Wren, 5 Sedge Warbler and a Dunnock; and 5 retraps: a Sedge Warbler, a Blackbird, a Wren and 2 Dunnock.

Icterine Warbler, 17th May 2024. 
Photo - Kev Wilson

Sedge Warbler, ringed 17 May 2024.
Photo - George Gregory

May 16th. A cool, calm, overcast morning, dry first thing with rain from around 0900hrs.  An exciting day for scarce migrants! 2 calling Hawfinches dropped in from the north, a Woodlark flew west over the East Dunes, a Golden Oriole arrived from the north and flew the length of the East Dunes, continuing south west, and then a pristine male Red-backed Shrike appeared north of Mill Hill. An opportunity to check the sea after days of poor visibility was rewarded with a Great Northern Diver, a Black-throated Diver north, 2 Red-throated Divers, 4 Great Crested Grebe and 13 Common Scoter, a large flock of feeding Gulls, 30 Sandwich Terns mixed in and a further 40 Sandwich Terns and 6 Little Terns moving north. Other birds around included a Turtle Dove, 3 Little Gulls, a Hobby, a Wheatear, a Spotted Flycatcher, a Grey Wagtail and 2 Crossbills.

Red-backed Shrike, 16th May 2024. 
Photo - Kev Wilson

Red-backed Shrike, 16th May 2024. 
Photo - Sam Goddard

Red-backed Shrike, 16th May 2024. 
Photo - Kev Wilson

Spotted Flycatcher, 16th My 2024. 
Photo - Nige Lound

May15th. Drizzle all morning with heavier rain at times and a cool easterly breeze off the sea. A drier, brighter afternoon. Today's sightings were mostly from the afternoon when up to 3 Little Gulls were on Tennyson's Sands, with one later flying out to sea, an Osprey also giving good views over there, having previously been fishing on Cowbank Drain (presume yesterday's bird still around), a feeding flock of over 100 Hirundines and a Hobby.

Little Gulls, 15th May 2024. 
Photo - Nige Lound

May 14th. Overcast with a strong easterly breeze keeping temperatures down. Drizzle then rain during the morning and another shower mid afternoon. A Hobby flew north early morning, landed on the beach during bad weather and then continued north. Also new arrivals were up to 11 Crossbills, with a party of 3 and then 6 passing through as well as 2 singles later. A Spotted Flycatcher was around the Plantation and another Osprey passed through having been seen inland earlier. Visibility was largely too poor for sea-watching but a group of duck close in contained 3 Common Scoter and 4 Eider, and a pair of Scaup flew south. Swifts and Swallows moved south in small numbers as yesterday and there was a build up of Hirundines over the lagoons involving 90 House Martins. Another Hobby arrived from inland early afternoon and headed north-east. 2 Spoonbill and a Ruff remained on Croftmarsh and the regular Little Gull was joined by a second individual. Other birds around included 4 Cuckoo and 4 Grasshopper Warbler.

Little Gulls, 14th May 2024. 
Photo - Jack Hood

Swallow, 14th May 2024. 
Photo - Tom Baker

Avocet and Black-tailed Godwit, 14th May 2024. 
Photo - Tom Baker

Ruff, 14th May 2024. 
Photo - Tom Baker

Leveret at Sykes Farm, 14th May 2024. 
Photo - Cheryl Bromwich

Leveret at Sykes Farm, 14th May 2024. 
Photo - Cheryl Bromwich

Small Copper, 12th May 2024. 
Photo - Kev Wilson

May 13th. A mix of misty and sunny periods during the morning, then mostly sunny and warm later, with slowly increasing southerly wind.

 A few light pulses of Swallow and Swift migration throughout the day with fewer Sand and House Martins, Linnets and Goldfinches. An Osprey came in from the west and continued east straight out to sea in the mist. Later, 3 Red Kites, 7 Buzzards and a Marsh Harrier drifted south. Wildfowl were represented by 80 Dark-bellied Brent Goose, 2 Egyptian Goose, 2 Pink-footed Goose, a Black Swan and a late Goosander flying south. Also around were the regular Little Gull, a Greenshank, a Spoonbill, 4 Cuckoo and a Sparrowhawk.

 A morning ringing session in East Dunes produced 2 new birds: a Whitethroat and a Goldfinch.

Red Kite, 13th May 2024. 
Photo - Tom Baker

Pink-footed Goose and Coot, 13th May 2024. 
Photo - Tom Baker

Whitethroat, 13th May 2024. 
Photo - Tom Baker

Linnet, 13th May 2024. 
Photo - Tom Baker

Green Hairstreak, 13th May 2024. 
Photo - Tom Baker

May 12th. Mostly clear and sunny, with slowly increasing easterly wind.

 Birds around included 80 Dark-breasted Brent Goose, 5 Cuckoo, a Little Gull, a Mediterranean Gull, a Caspian Gull, 3 Spoonbill, 2 Whooper Swan, 8 Whimbrel, a Wood Sandpiper, 2 Little Stint and a Merlin. An Arctic Skua flew low north over the Haven and out to sea. A Black Swan appeared on Jackson's Marsh.

 A morning ringing session in East Dunes yielded 5 new birds: a Willow Warbler, 2 Reed Bunting and 2 Goldfinch; and 2 retraps: a Lesser Whitethroat and a Dunnock.

Whooper Swans with Black Swan, 12th May 2024. 
Photo - Caroline Sedgely

Sedge Warbler, 12th May 2024. 
Photo - Caroline Sedgely

Mediterranean Gull, 12th May 2024. 
Photo - Kev Wilson

Green Hairstreak, 12th May 2024. 
Photo - Caroline Sedgely

Marram Weevil, 12th May 2024. 
Photo - Caroline Sedgely

May 11th. Foggy start, with slowly increasing easterly wind. Bird recording was hard work in the persistent fog, not least for the monthly WeBS count of waders etc. on the high tide. The guided walk for Lincolnshire Bird Club was rewarded with many singing warblers, some vocal Cuckoos, Little Gull, 2 Spoonbills and 2 Whooper Swans. Other birds around were 2 Grasshopper Warbler, a Turtle Dove, a Greenshank, a Great White Egret, 2 Mediterranean Gulls and a Crossbill. The Black-winged Stilt had returned to Frampton Marsh. 

 A morning ringing session in East Dunes provided a new Reed Bunting; and 4 retraps: 2 Chaffinch, a Dunnock and a Whitethroat.

Male Reed Bunting, ringed 11 May 2024.
Photo - George Gregory


The Aurora borealis was spectacular overnight. 
Photos - Paul Edwards