Friday, 21 July 2017

Late July 2017

The Visitor Centre, with cafe, is now open to visitors from 10 am to 3.45 pm.

For further information regarding the Reserve and its wildlife, please contact Kevin Wilson at:

July 25th. Soggy start, gradually drying out.
 Birds around included 3 Spoonbill and 3 Marsh Harrier. On Millennium Ridge were 2 Little Stint; and on Tennyson's Sands 2 Greenshank, a Knot and 4 Ruff. Heading south were 2 Sand Martin.
 The ninth session of CES was done this morning. The 17 new birds were 3 Wren, 5 Chiffchaff, a Willow Warbler, 3 Blackcap, 2 Whitethroat, a Blue Tit, a Robin and a Great Tit. The 13 retraps were a Song Thrush, a Blackcap, 2 Willow Warbler, a Blue Tit, a Dunnock, a Great Tit, a Wren, a Whitethroat, 2 Chiffchaff and 2 Long-tailed Tit.

July 24th. Rainy spells.
 Around were 5 Spoonbill, 2 Common Sandpiper, 5 Yellow Wagtail, 60 Starling and 3 Siskin. On Tennyson's Sands were a Water Rail and 2 Kingfisher. On and off the shore were 30 Common Scoter, 2 Arctic Tern, 300 Sandwich Tern, 5000 Knot, 2500 Sanderling, 800 Dunlin, 24 Black-tailed Godwit and 150 Ringed Plover. Flying south were 12 Common Scoter, 8 Whimbrel, 7 Arctic Skua, 250 Swift and 300 Swallow; north 3 Arctic Skua; and north-west 35 Swift.

July 23rd. Rainy spells.
 Around were 3 Spoonbill, a juvenile Marsh Harrier, 3 Little Ringed Plover, 3 Greenshank, a Snipe, a Curlew Sandpiper, a Snipe, 24 Black-tailed Godwit and 2 Yellow Wagtail. On Tennyson's Sands were an adult Mediterranean Gull, a Water Rail, a Common Sandpiper, a Ruff and 30 Black-tailed Godwit; and on Jackson's Marsh 2 Black-tailed Godwit. Sea-watching produced 250 Common Scoter, 5 Gannet, 520 Sandwich Tern, 2 Little Tern, 4 Arctic Skua, 26 Whimbrel, 2000 Oystercatcher, 15000 Knot, 1500 Sanderling, 300 Ringed Plover and 20 Dunlin. Going south were 15 Sand Martin; and north a Fulmar.

July 22nd. Occasional rainy spells.
 On Tennyson's Sands were 4 Spoonbill, a Water Rail, 2 Mediterranean Gull, a Little Ringed Plover, a Spotted Redshank, 2 Ruff, a Knot and 56 Black-tailed Godwit; and on Jackson's Marsh 17 Black-tailed Godwit. Off Millennium Ridge were 2 Little Stint. Around were a Peregrine, a Hobby and 4 Arctic Skua. Heading south were an Eider, 7 Gannet, 2 Swift, an Alba Wagtail, 21 Sand Martin and 80 Swallow; and north 40 Common Scoter.

July 21st. Moderately strong southerly wind.
 On Tennyson's Sands were a Little Ringed Plover, 64 Black-tailed Godwit, a Knot and a Spotted Redshank; and on Jackson's Marsh 2 Common Sandpiper. Around were 5 Spoonbill, 3 Greenshank, 2 Ruff, 4 Whimbrel, 1200 Sanderling, 250 Sandwich Tern, an Arctic Tern, 9 Arctic Skua, a Cuckoo, a Grasshopper Warbler and 2 Treecreeper. Flying south were 5 Turnstone, 800 Swift and 16 Sand Martin.
 A wind-restricted morning ringing session in East Dunes resulted in 5 new birds: a Wren, a Linnet and 3 Whitethroat; and 4 retraps: a Wren, a Whitethroat and 2 Dunnock.

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Mid July 2017

July 20th. Intermittent heavy rain showers.
  Birds around included 6 Spoonbill, a Grey Partridge, 700 Sandwich Tern, a Kittiwake, 4 Arctic Skua, 14 Turnstone, a Green Woodpecker, a Short-eared Owl, a Grasshopper Warbler, a Siskin and 4 Yellow Wagtail. On the water bodies were 2 Snipe, 2 Wood Sandpiper, 7 Common Sandpiper, 3 Ruff, 3 Little Ringed Plover, 80 Redshank, 3 Greenshank, 4 Common Tern, 51 Avocet, 96 Black-tailed Godwit and a Kingfisher. Going south were a Black Tern, a Golden Plover, 11 Swift and 200 Starling; and north 40 Teal and 11 Common Tern.

Colour-ringed Black-tailed Godwit, 20th July 2017
Photo - Richard Doan
July 19th. Quite strong easterly wind, with early morning rain.
 Around were 2 Whimbrel, 800 Curlew, 3 Little Ringed Plover, 3 Ruff, 4 Greenshank, a Hobby, a Peregrine and 2 Green Woodpecker. On Tennyson's Sands were 5 Spoonbill, 4 Common Sandpiper, 150 Redshank and a Sandwich Tern; and on Fenland Lagoon 180 Redshank and a Kingfisher. Moving offshore were 20 Gannet, a Great Skua, 74 Knot, 40 Whimbrel, 3 Tufted Duck and 15 Common Scoter. In off the sea came 2 Grey Heron.

July 18th. A Broad-billed Sandpiper was discovered in the Shorebird Sanctuary. Later it flew off down the Wash. On Tennyson's Sands were 4 Spoonbill, an adult Mediterranean Gull, 4 Greenshank and a Ruff. Birds around included a Greenshank, 3 Whimbrel, 2 Green Woodpecker and 4 Yellow Wagtail. Heading north-west were 17 Cormorant; and south a Swift.
 A morning ringing session in East Dunes provided 9 new birds: 2 Wren, 2 Whitethroat, 2 Blackcap, a Robin, a Great Tit and a Lesser Whitethroat; and 7 retraps: 2 Whitethroat, a Great Tit, 3 Dunnock and a Lesser Whitethroat.

July 17th. On Tennyson's Sands were 3 Spoonbill, a Water Rail, 2 Greenshank and a Ruff; and on the Mere a Water Rail. Around were 2 Peregrine, a Green Woodpecker and 3 Yellow Wagtail. Flying south were a Swift, 3 Sand Martin and 3 Swallow; and north-west 26 Cormorant.
 A morning ringing session in East Dunes produced 7 new birds: 2 Whitethroat, 3 Linnet, a Meadow Pipit and a Dunnock; and 3 retrap Whitethroat.

July 16th. On Tennyson's Sands were 5 Spoonbill, an adult Mediterranean Gull, a Water Rail, 50 Black-tailed Godwit and 3 Ruff; and on Fenland Lagoon a Green Sandpiper. Birds around, including those trapped, were 6 Whimbrel, a Greenshank, a Green Woodpecker, a Kingfisher, a Grasshopper Warbler and 3 Yellow Wagtail. Going south were 3 Swift and 3 Sand Martin.
 A morning ringing session in East Dunes resulted in 19 new birds: 3 Wren, a Willow Warbler, a Chiffchaff, 2 Whitethroat, a Robin, a Great Tit, 2 Meadow Pipit, 2 Linnet, 2 Yellow Wagtail, 3 Dunnock and a Starling; and 5 retraps: a Blackcap, a Dunnock, a Lesser Whitethroat and 2 Whitethroat.

Juvenile Yellow Wagtail, ringed 16th July 2017.
Photo - George Gregory
Essex Skipper on Sea Holly, 16th July 2017.
Photo - Rob Watson
Fly, 16th July 2017.
Photo - Rob Watson
July 15th. On Tennyson's Sands were 5 Spoonbill, 350 Redshank, 3 Little Ringed Plover, 3 Ruff, 50 Black-tailed Godwit and a Kingfisher. Around were a Whimbrel, 2 Greenshank, a Common Sandpiper, a Turnstone and a Stonechat. Heading south was a Mediterranean Gull and 20 Swift; and southwest 250 Swallow.
 A morning ringing session in East Dunes provided 18 new birds: 2 Wren, 3 Blackcap, 9 Linnet, a Sedge Warbler, a Whitethroat, a Dunnock and a Song Thrush; and 7 retraps: 2 Linnet, 2 Wren, a Dunnock, a Great Tit and a Lesser Whitethroat.

July 14th. Birds around, including those trapped, were 5 Spoonbill, 2 Ruff, 2 Little Ringed Plover, 2 Greenshank, a juvenile Peregrine, a Green Woodpecker, a Kingfisher and 5 Yellow Wagtail. On Tennyson's Sands were 74 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Greenshank and a Water Rail. Flying south were 200 Swift and 7 Sand Martin.
 The eighth session of CES was done this morning. The 28 new birds were 10 Chiffchaff, a Wren, 5 Blackcap, 5 Whitethroat, 6 Dunnock and a Kingfisher. The 9 retraps were 2 Wren, 2 Blackbird, 3 Dunnock and 2 Whitethroat.

Kingfisher, ringed 14th July 2017.
Photo - George Gregory
July 13th. On Tennyson's Sands were 4 Spoonbill, 63 Black-tailed Godwit and a Ruff. Around were a Whimbrel, a Greenshank, a Marsh Harrier,  and 3 Yellow Wagtail. Going south were 100 Common Scoter, 296 Swift, 3 Sand Martin and 2 Yellow Wagtail.
 A morning ringing session in East Dunes produced 10 new birds: 2 Wren, 5 Linnet, a Blackcap, a Whitethroat and a Dunnock; and 7 retraps: a Blackcap, a Wren, a Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Whitethroat and 2 Dunnock.

July 12th. Quite strong north-easterly wind.
 On Tennyson's Sands were 5 Spoonbill, 5 Ruff and 35 Black-tailed Godwit. Birds around included a juvenile Hobby. Going north were 7 Arctic Skua, 40 Gannet, 120 Common Scoter and 2 Auk Spp.

July 11th. On Tennyson's Sands were 6 Spoonbill, a Green Sandpiper, a Ruff, 41 Black-tailed Godwit and a Spotted Redshank. Around, including birds trapped, were a Little Ringed Plover, a Whimbrel, 2 Greenshank, 1000 Dunlin, 348 Redshank, 200 Sanderling, 400 Curlew, a Green Woodpecker and a juvenile Cuckoo. Heading north was a Kittiwake.
 A morning ringing session in East Dunes yielded 17 new birds: 4 Wren, 6 Linnet, a Whitethroat, 3 Reed Bunting, 2 Blackcap and a Cuckoo; and 9 retraps: 2 Sedge Warbler, a Lesser Whitethroat, 3 Dunnock and 3 Whitethroat.

Common Tern feeding chick, 11th July 2017.
Photo - Stuart Ainsworth
Marsh Harrier, 11th July 2017.
Photo - Stuart Ainsworth
Spoonbills on Tennyson Sands, 11th July 2017.
Photo - Stuart Ainsworth
Juvenile Cuckoo, ringed 11th July 2017.
Photo - George Gregory

Saturday, 1 July 2017

Early July 2017

July 10th. On Tennyson's Sands were 2 Spoonbill and 25 Black-tailed Godwit; and on Fenland Lagoon a Little Ringed Plover. Birds around included a Common Buzzard, 6 Greenshank, an adult Spotted Redshank, a Green Sandpiper, a Ruff, 40 Sanderling, 2 Kingfisher, a Wheatear and 3 Yellow Wagtail. The first juvenile Little Egret of the year appeared. Flying north were 2 Gannet.

Gatekeeper, 10th July 2017.
Photo - Rob Watson
Black-tailed Skimmer, 10th July 2017.
Dune Robberfly (Philonicus albiceps) 10th July 2017.This species is  to be expected in numbers on open sand, with eggs laid among Marram Grass roots.
Juvenile Robin, 10th July 2017.
Juvenile Wheatear, 10th July 2017.
Photo - Paul Neale
Spoonbills, 10th July 2017.
Photo - Paul Neale
Spoonbill, 10th July 2017.
Photo - Paul Neale
July 9th. On Tennyson's Sands were 3 Spoonbill and 43 Black-tailed Godwit; and on Fenland Lagoon 3 Greenshank, 2 Ruff and 3 Little Ringed Plover. Around were a first-summer Little Gull, 187 Curlew, a Green Sandpiper, a female Marsh Harrier, a Hobby, a Grasshopper Warbler, a Wheatear and a Yellow Wagtail. Going south were 120 Swift, 2 Sand Martin and a Grey Wagtail.
 A morning ringing session in East Dunes provided 6 new birds: 3 Chiffchaff, a Long-tailed Tit, a Willow Warbler and a Whitethroat; and 7 retraps: 2 Dunnock, 2 Wren, a Whitethroat, a Lesser Whitethroat and a Song Thrush.

July 8th. On Tennyson's Sands were 4 Spoonbill and 49 Black-tailed Godwit; and on Jackson's Marsh a Grey Wagtail. Birds around included a Golden Plover, 350 Curlew, a Whimbrel, 2 Ruff, 4 Greenshank, 300 Dunlin, 200 Sandwich Tern, 5 Arctic Tern, a Marsh Harrier, a Cuckoo and a Green Woodpecker. Flying south were a Golden Plover, 4 Whimbrel, a Hobby, a Swift, 20 Sand Martin, 2 Yellow Wagtail and 2 Grey Wagtail.
 A morning ringing session in East Dunes produced 30 new birds: 7 Wren, a Chiffchaff, 7 Whitethroat, a Blackcap, 2 Great Tit, 8 Linnet, a Lesser Whitethroat, a Robin, a Dunnock and a Blackbird; and 5 retraps: 2 Sedge Warbler, 2 Dunnock and a Whitethroat.
 A White-letter Hairstreak was seen again in the West Dunes.

White-letter Hairstreak, 8th July 2017
Photo - Richard Doan
July 7th. On Tennyson's Sands were 4 Spoonbill, 18 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Greenshank, 2 Ruff, 2 Common Tern and a Common Sandpiper. Hunting the fields beyond the scrapes were 2 Barn Owl. Around, including birds trapped, were 300 Redshank, 200 Curlew, a Grey Heron, an adult Mediterranean Gull, 26 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Whimbrel, an adult Cuckoo, a Green Woodpecker, a Bullfinch and a House Sparrow. Going south were a Whimbrel, 7 Swift and a Sand Martin.
 A morning ringing session in East Dunes yielded 17 new birds: 2 Wren, a Chiffchaff, 2 Blackcap, a Robin, 3 Whitethroat, a Chaffinch, a Meadow Pipit, a Bullfinch, 3 Dunnock, a Starling and a Woodpigeon; and 4 retraps: a Blackcap, 2 Dunnock and a Chaffinch.
 A Silver-washed Fritillary was present on the reserve.

Juvenile Bullfinch, ringed 7th July 2017.
Photo - George Gregory
Silver-washed Fritillary, 7th July 2017.
Photo - Kevin Wilson
Silver-washed Fritillary, 7th July 2017.
Photo - Kevin Wilson
 July 6th. On Tennyson's Sands were 3 Spoonbill, 3 Wigeon, a Great Crested Grebe, a Spotted Redshank and 26 Black-tailed Godwit. Birds around, including those trapped, were a Grey Heron, 2 Little Ringed Plover, a Whimbrel, 37 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Greenshank, a Green Sandpiper, a Snipe, a Treecreeper, 1700 Starling and 35 Swallow. Heading south were 2 Whimbrel and 19 Swift; and north a Razorbill, a Gannet and 950 Common Scoter.
 A morning ringing session in East Dunes provided 11 new birds: a Wren, 4 Whitethroat, 5 Linnet and a Goldfinch; and 12 retraps: a Linnet, 4 Dunnock, 2 Sedge Warbler, a Great Tit, a Wren and 3 Whitethroat.
 A morning ringing session at Aylmer Avenue by Mike Polling provided 10 new birds: 2 Wren, a Treecreeper, 4 Whitethroat, a Lesser Whitethroat, a Blackcap and a Dunnock; and 2 retraps: a Wren and a Chiffchaff.
 A Banded Demoiselle flew across Tennyson's Sands.

July 5th. A Spoonbill was near Millennium Ridge. On Tennyson's Sands were a male Pochard and a Black-tailed Godwit. Around were 2 Wigeon, 6 Shoveler, a Little Ringed Plover, a Spotted Redshank, 3 Greenshank, a Green Sandpiper, a Whimbrel, 2 Mediterranean Gull, 300 Starling and a Yellow Wagtail. Offshore were 20 Sandwich Tern and 8 Common Tern. Flying south were 10 Black-tailed Godwit, a Hobby, 300 Starling, 17 Sand Martin and 2 Yellow Wagtail; and north an Arctic Skua, 5 Gannet and 8 Eider.
 A morning ringing session in East Dunes produced 28 new birds: 4 Wren, a Chiffchaff, 8 Whitethroat, 7 Linnet, 2 Great Tit, 2 Blackcap, a Lesser Whitethroat and 3 Dunnock; and 5 retraps: a Wren, a Linnet, 2 Dunnock and a Whitethroat.

Swallow, 5th July 2017.
Swallow, 5th July 2017.
Black-tailed Godwits, 5th July 2017.
Lapwing, 5th July 2017.
Lapwing, 5th July 2017.
July 4th. On Tennyson's Sands were 3 Spoonbill and 14 Black-tailed Godwit; and on Croftmarsh a Grey Heron. Offshore were 350 Common Scoter. Birds around included 2 Wigeon, a Marsh Harrier, a Peregrine, a Snipe, a Turtle Dove, a Yellow Wagtail, 50 Swallow, 10 Mistle Thrush and a Grasshopper Warbler. Going north was a Whimbrel; and south were 19 Redshank, 3 Black-tailed Godwit, 50 Swift, 26 Sand Martin and 32 Swallow.
 The seventh session of CES was done this morning. The 29 new birds were 2 Chiffchaff, 5 Wren, 3 Willow Warbler, 5 Blackcap, 3 Robin, 4 Whitethroat, 5 Dunnock and 2 Blackbird. The 9 retraps were 2 Whitethroat, 2 Wren, a Willow Warbler, a Blue Tit, a Dunnock, a Blackcap and a Chiffchaff.

Grasshopper Warbler, 4th July 2017.
Photo - Paul Neale
Grasshopper Warbler, 4th July 2017.
Photo - Paul Neale
Roe Deer, 4th July 2017.
Photo - Paul Neale
July 3rd. On Tennyson's Sands were 2 Spoonbill. Later, 4 Spoonbill were on Millennium Ridge. A juvenile Wheatear was near the Shorebird Hut. Around, including birds trapped, were 17 Teal, 2 Shoveler, 300 Common Scoter, 3 Little Ringed Plover, a Whimbrel, a Greenshank, a Common Sandpiper, a Green Sandpiper, 50 Curlew, 4 Black-tailed Godwit, a Kingfisher, a Cuckoo and 40 Swift. Heading south were 31 Gannet, 24 Curlew, 2 Grey Heron, 350 Swift, 2 Yellow Wagtail, 37 Sand Martin and 14 Swallow.
 A morning ringing session in East Dunes resulted in 18 new birds: 5 Wren, a Willow Warbler, a Chiffchaff, 2 Linnet, a Blackcap, a Robin, 3 Whitethroat, a Great Tit, a Dunnock, a Kingfisher and a Woodpigeon; and 4 retraps: 2 Dunnock, a Wren and a Whitethroat.
 Butterflies included 2 White-letter Hairstreaks; and mammals 2 Water Voles.

Essex Skippers, 3rd July 2017
Photo - Rob Watson

Six-Spotted Burnett, 3rd July 2017
Photo - Rob Watson

Comma, 3rd July 2017
Photo - Rob Watson

Black-tailed Godwit, 3rd July 2017.
Photo - Paul Neale
Black-tailed Godwits, 3rd July 2017.
Photo - Paul Neale
Avocet, 3rd July 2017.
Photo - Paul Neale
Avocet, 3rd July 2017.
Photo - Paul Neale
Kingfisher, ringed 3rd July 2017.
Photo - George Gregory
July 2nd. On Tennyson's Sands were 4 Spoonbill, a Black-tailed Godwit and a Barnacle Goose; and on Fenland Lagoon 3 Little Ringed Plover. Birds around included 26 Teal, 3 Marsh Harrier, 80 Curlew, a Common Sandpiper, 2 Grasshopper Warbler, a Goldcrest, 7 Sand Martin, 45 Swallow and 3 House Sparrow. Offshore were 400 Common Scoter. Going south were 110 Starling and a Bullfinch.
 A morning ringing session in East Dunes provided 23 new birds: 2 Wren, 3 Chiffchaff, a Willow Warbler, a Linnet, 5 Whitethroat, a Meadow Pipit, a Sedge Warbler, 2 Great Tit, a Lesser Whitethroat, 4 Dunnock and 2 Song Thrush; and 10 retraps: 3 Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Whitethroat, 3 Dunnock and 2 Wren.
 In Beach (North) Car Park were 2 Hummingbird Hawkmoths.

Essex Skippers, 2nd July 2017.
Photo - Rob Watson
Comma, 2nd July 2017.
Photo - Rob Watson
Six-spot Burnet, 2nd July 2017.
Photo - Rob Watson
July 1st. Flying south was a Honey Buzzard. On Tennyson's Sands were 2 Spoonbill. Offshore were 300 Sandwich Tern, an Arctic Tern, 4 Common Tern, 70 Little Tern, 500 Common Scoter and 10 Gannet. Around were 174 Shelduck, 150 Curlew, a Whimbrel, a Common Sandpiper, 3 Turnstone, a Little Gull, 2 Sand Martin, a Grasshopper Warbler, 60 Starling and a Crossbill.
 Dragonflies included a Red-veined Darter.