Late May 2022

31st May. Some early morning rain, clear until mid-morning and then more continuous rain. Few birds on the move, just a few House Martin and Swallow, but a Yellowhammer south down the East Dunes was unusual. 30 Common Scoter were offshore with 30 Little Tern and 4 Common Tern south. The 2 Curlew Sandpipers remained on Tennyson's Sands where 3 Mediterranean Gull dropped in during the evening.

 A rain-delayed morning ringing session in East Dunes produced 2 new birds: a Chaffinch and a Dunnock; and 6 retraps: a Dunnock, a Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Wren, a Blackbird and a Robin.

Curlew Sandpipers 31st May. Photos: Nige Lound

Mediterranean Gulls 31st May. Photo: Nige Lound

30th May. A generally quiet morning all round, in part, due to very low coverage and afternoon rain. A brief sea-watch early morning was rewarded with a Great Northern Diver flying high north. Few birds on the move overland but a late Tree Pipit flying south was notable. There was no further sign of the Pectoral Sandpiper and Black-tailed Godwit numbers were down to 5, but the 2 Curlew Sandpipers remained on Tennyson's Sands and a Common Sandpiper was a new arrival there. When the rain cleared, early evening, a Golden Oriole started singing from the Plantation.

The fourth session of CES was done this morning. The 4 new birds were a Blackcap, a Whitethroat, a Sedge Warbler and a Tawny Owl; and the 20 retraps were a Tawny Owl, 2 Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Robin, 3 Dunnock, a Song Thrush, 3 Sedge Warbler, a Great Tit, 3 Blue Tit, a Willow Warbler, 2 Wren and a Long-tailed Tit.

29th May.  Increasing north-westerly wind, with occasional rain from to late mid morning. Sea watching highlights included 5 Manx Shearwater, 12 Common Scoter, 5 Kittiwake, 11 Razorbill, 1 Guillemot, 13 Unidentified Auks, 3 Fulmar, 37 Gannet north. The 2 Curlew Sandpipers remained on Tennyson's Sands and a Pectoral Sandpiper was a new arrival here mid evening.

 A weather-shortened morning ringing session in East Dunes provided 3 new birds: a Robin, a Skylark and a Starling; and 3 retraps: a Dunnock, a Lesser Whitethroat and a Whitethroat.

Pectoral Sandpiper 29th May. Photos: Kev Wilson

Skylark, ringed 29 May 2022.
Photo - George Gregory

Evening Rainbow. Photo: Nige Lound
28th May. Waders on Tennyson's Sands included 35 Black-tailed Godwits and the 2 Curlew Sandpipers still present. A Greenshank was on the Haven. Turtle Dove records have exceeded last year's totals already, but  as with most, this morning's individual looked like it was passing through. Sea watching highlights included a Manx Shearwater, 5 Fulmar, 7 Gannet, 15 Common Scoter, 28 Kittiwakes, 28 Unidentified Auks, a Razorbill, 2 Guillemots, 54 Sandwich Tern and 34 Little Terns all moving north and a Mediterranean Gull went south.

 A morning ringing session in East Dunes produced just a retrap Wren.

Kestrel 28th May. Photo: Kev Wilson

Broscus cephalotes - a characteristic beetle of the strandline 28th May. Photo: Kev Wilson

Southern Wood Ant (dealate queen). The first record of the species for the Reserve and a mystery as to its origins 28th May. Photo: Kev Wilson

27th May. Increasing westerly wind. An hour seawatch this morning produced 5 Fulmar, 5 Gannet, 20 Sandwich Terns, 3 Common Terns and 6 Little Terns moving south. Small parties of summer plumaged Sanderling were arriving again (total 98). A single Jay was in the East Dunes, a Short-eared Owl was hunting the Old Saltmarsh, a Grasshopper Warbler reeling at the north end of the Mere could be a new arrival and a Grey Wagtail was at the Sailing Club. 3 Spoonbills and 2 Curlew Sandpipers were on Tennyson's Sands, including the bird from last week. A Hobby was hunting Hirundines over Croftmarsh in the evening.

 A wind-shortened morning ringing session in East Dunes, with Kyle Campbell, resulted in 5 new birds: a Reed Bunting, 3 Robin and a Sedge Warbler; and a retrap Dunnock.

Sea Sandwort. Photo: Kev Wilson

26th May. An hour seawatch early morning produced a summer plumaged Black-throated Diver south, groups of Common Scoter moving south, totaling 46, with a further 24 on the sea and a Whimbrel. A Wheatear was on the beach.

A morning ringing session in East Dunes, with Keith Collett, provided 2 new birds: a Chaffinch and a Blackbird; and 3 retraps: a Lesser Whitethroat, a Robin and a Whitethroat.

Ringing Control: Goldfinch, ringed GPBO 8 March 2019, controlled Fife Ness, Fife 12 April 2022.

Four-spotted Chaser. Photo: Kev Wilson

25th May. Increasing south-westerly wind. A generally quiet day around the dunes, marshes and at sea. A single Jay was in the East Dunes and a Ruff, 4 Spoonbill and a Mediterranean Gull were on Tennyson's Sands. Small parties of Sanderling were arriving in the Wash during the early morning.

 A wind-shortened morning ringing session in East Dunes produced 2 new birds: a Robin and a Dunnock; and 4 retraps: 2 Robin, a Dunnock and a Blue Tit.

Southern Marsh Orchid, Adder's-tongue Fern. Photos: Kev Wilson

Sand Dart. Photo: Nige Lound

24th May. Early morning rain. A Golden Oriole flew across the Old Saltmarsh from the East Dunes towards the Plantation shortly after the rain had eased - presumably yesterday's bird relocating. Just a few Sandwich Terns, Little Terns and Common Scoter offshore and only low numbers of finches, Hirundines and Swifts moving, probably due to the moderate westerly wind. However, at around 0800, A Bee-eater appeared low over the seaward side of the East Dunes and made its way south, circling occasionally and gaining height, eventually lost to view over the Wash after 10 minutes. A Wood Sandpiper was a new arrival on Jackson's Marsh. Also around were a Hobby and 2 Wheatear.

 A rain-delayed morning ringing session in East Dunes yielded just a retrap Blue Tit.

Sunrise 4th May. Photo: Nige Lound

Shelducks 24th May. Photos: Tom Baker

Jackdaw 24th May. Photo: Tom Baker

Wood Sandpiper 24th May. Tom Baker

23rd May. Occasional early morning light rain. A Golden Oriole arrived from the north-west, flew across the Freshwater Marsh and into the East Dunes early morning. A Turtle Dove flew south later. A Spotted Flycatcher was in the West Dunes.

 A rain-restricted morning ringing session in East Dunes provided 11 new birds: a Willow Warbler, a Chiffchaff, 2 Linnet, a Robin, a Whitethroat, 2 Goldfinch, a Spotted Flycatcher and 2 Dunnock; and 2 retraps: a Whitethroat and a Blue Tit.

Canada Goose and goslings, Mallard ducklings, Sedge Warbler and Cuckoo 23rd May. Photos: Tom Baker

Spotted Flycatcher, ringed 23 May 2022.
Photo - George Gregory

Obscure Wainscot, Flame Wainscot and Scorched Wing moths 23rd May. 
Photos: Nige Lound

22nd May.  The 6th Golden Oriole of the month (a female or immature bird) flew south over the East Dunes at 0855. A vocal Serin then flew south at 0920. (Atfer an excellent series of Serin records in 2018, 2019 and 2020, the species was not recorded at all in 2021). A moderate Hirundine passage was underway with a few Swifts and a few Linnet and Goldfinch, but a Grey Wagtail south was the only other notable migrant. Offshore, three groups of adult Kittiwakes moving south totaling 59 was unusual !

A morning ringing session in East Dunes produced 3 new birds: a Chiffchaff, a Whitethroat and a Dunnock; and 2 retraps: a Meadow Pipit and a Whitethroat.

Gadwall, Spoonbill with Avocet, Avocets in flight, Mute Swan with Greylag Goose and chick, Short-eared Owl 22nd May. Photos: Tom Baker

Oak Eggar caterpillar 22nd May. Photo: Tom Baker

Lesser Sea Spurrey and Sea Milkwort 22nd May. Photo: Kev Wilson

21st May.  A Turtle Dove was purring on the West Dunes, with a Common Redstart also there. Offshore, 60 sandwich terns and 30 Common Terns were fishing and moving slowly south. 2 Many Shearwater flew south and then returned north. A good day total of 6 Cuckoo involved the hepatic individual, seen twice previously. An Osprey was reported flying south into the Wash early morning. Other birds of prey included 5 Sparrowhawk, 5 kestrel, 3 Buzzard, 3 Marsh Harrier, a Hobby and a Short-eared Owl. Vis mig involved a steady passage of Swallows, with fewer House Martins, small numbers of Linnet and Goldfinch and 5 Jays. On the lagoons, two pairs of lapwings with chicks and 4 Spoonbills but a Fox was predating Black-headed Gull chicks and eggs. 

A morning ringing session at Aylmer Avenue, including the third session of CES, resulted in 14 new birds: 3 Blackcap, 4 Sedge Warbler, a Reed Warbler, a Robin, a Lesser Whitethroat, a Blue Tit, 2 Whitethroat and a Cetti's Warbler; and 18 retraps: 2 Willow Warbler, a Robin, a Song Thrush, a Blackcap, a Blue Tit, a Dunnock, a Lesser Whitethroat, a Cetti's Warbler, 3 Sedge Warbler, 2 Whitethroat, a Great Tit, a Chiffchaff and 2 Long-tailed Tit.

Spoonbill 21st May. Photos: Kev Wilson

Swallow, Blackcap and Fox 21st May. Photos: Paul Johnson

Lapwing with two large chicks 21st May 2022. Photo: Kev Wilson