Donna Nook 30/8/09

Moderate to strong SW's didnt bode well for there being much in the bushes and that proved to be the case. Walking south from Stonebridge to Quad 3, I only managed 2 Whitethroats, 2 Lesser Whitethroats, 2 Willow Warblers & a Spotted Flycatcher. 6 Wheatears were on the saltmarsh. 2 Marsh Harriers were soaring in the distance above Grainthorpe Marsh.
I then joined Graham Catley and Neil Drinkall out on the tide edge for 3 hrs until the rain came down to add to the strong winds and we called it a day. In that time c4,000 Common Terns arrived from the SE but bizzarely heading up river rather than south. What few Sandwich Terns there were all went south. Also seen: a few Gannet heading upriver, 1 Fulmar, 1 Arctic Tern, 7 Black Tern, 1 summer plumaged Red-throated Diver, 10 Common Scoter, 4 Teal, 1 Whimbrel & the surprise of the night - an early juv Purple Sandpiper which landed very close to where we was standing - click here for a photo of the bird on Graham's Blog.

I think this Whitethroat has seen better days

Little Egret - more common than Grey Heron along the Lincs coast these days

Redshank - sentinel of the marshes

Pied Fly

With brief SE's forecast in the night I took a 3hr walk this pm from Stonebridge car park to the southern end of Donna Nook (Quad 3). It was generally quiet, though a Pied Flycatcher was picked up calling and then showed in sycamores at the RAF base. Apart from a flyover Yellow Wag & 4 flushed Snipe there was nothing else of note.

British Birdwatching Fair

Made the annual pilgrimage to the British Birdwatching Fair today. I invested in a few books but undoubtedly the most useful item I got was a free chart showing how to identify a Slender-billed Curlew, just in case one day one of those Lincolnshire Curlews looks a bit odd.
Birdwise, I did manage to see 2 Ospreys (including one low over our car park), Green Sandpiper, 3 Ruff, 2 Black-tailed Godwits, Common Tern & Yellow Wagtail.

Although Ospreys are without doubt cracking birds, the bird I had really hoped to see at the fair today didn't show...

Bird fair no-show

Cleethorpes 19/08/09

The high tide at Cleethorpes this evening was quite disappointing. Only 24 terns in total - 23 Common & a solitary Sandwich. A Med Gull moulting from juvenile to 1st winter plumage & juv Marsh Harrier in off from Spurn were the best birds. 2 Little Egret, 22 Curlew, 220 Redshank & a single Yellow Wagtail were also noted.

Horseshoe Point

Did the high tide roost at Horseshoe this evening. 1000+ Common Tern with c200 Sandwich Tern there. Bizarrely I couldn't pick out a single Med amongst the throngs of gulls. A Spoonbill flew over the marsh briefly before disappearing down a creek. A Little Stint was with a 50-strong mixed flock of Dunlin & Ringed Plover. Also seen: 2 Marsh Harrier, 7 Greenshank, 10+ Whimbrel, 2 pale-phase Arctic Skuas & a Corn Bunting (the latter singing in the same area as 5/8).

Back to the patch

It was dead for wildlife at Pyes Hall today
Can anyone put a name to this? If so, they seriously need to get out more.

Back on the patch today after a 2 month absence. Late June to mid-August is generally quiet at Donna Nook/Pyes, but from mid-August the 1st Pied Flys & Redstarts of the autumn will start moving through, with the chance of a rarity in amongst them (Red-backed Shrike, Greenish & Icterine Warblers etc). Still early, I didn't expect much today. 2 Marsh Harriers were over Grainthorpe Marsh, 4 Greenshank were down the haven at Pyes along with 2 Common Sands. 2+ Whimbrel, 2 Yellow Wags & a Kingfisher also noted. There were signs of some passerine migration with 2 Willow Warblers calling in the bushes.
Went to Paradise to check for waders and found 5 Common Sands there with a further 10 down Saltfleet Haven. Greenshank & 3 Whimbrel also seen at the haven.

Horseshoe Point

Had a look off Horseshoe this evening where the main highlight was the number of Common Terns present - 1160 in total with regular groups of birds ranging from 30 - 90 birds gaining height & heading high inland. 250 Sandwich Tern were also present. 3 adult Med Gulls were in the roost & waders for the night were: Green Sandpiper, Greenshank & 6 Whimbrel. My first Merlin of the autumn was on the marsh. Hirundines were moving south with a mixed martin flock of 50 birds & a 30-strong flock of Swallows through. A Corn Bunting was singing next to the airfield.