Monday, 24 August 2009

Yet another MARSH HARRIER and MEDITERRANEAN GULL and an excellent BLACK TERN passage

(incorporating some Sunday sightings too)

SSE winds continued overnight but as the day progressed they veered more westerly so that by evening quite a fresh SW was blowing. Temperatures again held up high at around 22 degrees C with dark clouds occasionally sparking off the odd light shower.

(1300-1415 hours; 1830-2000 hours)
(water level very low providing superb muddy foreshores around entire perimeter)

Great Crested Grebes (20)
Little Grebes (3 present)
Continental Cormorant (25 roosting)
Grey Heron (8)
LITTLE EGRETS (at least 5 still present)
Mute Swan (44 present this evening)
WHOOPER SWANS (adult pair moving over much of Wilstone and very vocal at times; flew off east this evening)
Greylag Geese (16)
Canada Geese (55 flew in this evening)
RUDDY SHELDUCK (the highly mobile pair were seen briefly on 22 August - DB)
Mallard (171)
Gadwall (9)
Shoveler (large increase - 58+ now on site)
Eurasian Wigeon (single drake)
Common Teal (45)
Pochard (7)
Tufted Duck (large increase - now 45)
*MARSH HARRIER (a juvenile lingered over the reedbed in the SE corner from 1605-1618 hours before drifting off east - Steve Rodwell)
HOBBY (juvenile hunting over reedbed)
WATER RAIL (an adult feeding on open mud to right of the Drayton Bank Hide - SR)
Moorhen (77 along margins)
Coot (362 in 3 main dredging concentrations)
Lapwing (416+)
COMMON GREENSHANK (5 juveniles still present - highly mobile)
COMMON SNIPE (1 feeding to right of hide on 23 August)
Black-headed Gulls (68 on 23 August; at least 104 today)
COMMON GULL (1 adult over this evening - DB)
**MEDITERRANEAN GULL (Steve Rodwell discovered this 'new' juvenile on Startop's End Reservoir this morning, DB photographing it shortly later - see images above. SR then relocated it on Wilstone, where all three of us obtained excellent views of it as it commuted between the bay to the right of the hide and the bund to roost until at least early afternoon. It was still predominantly in juvenile plumage with a strong chocolate-brown tail-band but was quite grey in the mantle)
Lesser Black-backed Gull (10 flew NE this evening)
Common Terns (11)
**BLACK TERNS (strong passage with 27 present all day on 23 August - including four juveniles. Just one adult remained at dawn, increasing to 8 by mid-morning and then increasing to 18 this evening - again including at least 4 juveniles - 45 in total) (see Dave Bilcock's excellent images above)

House Martins (25 moved through this evening)
Pied Wagtails (13 at roost)
Grey Wagtail (1)
Western Reed Warbler (1)
Jay (3 by hide)


Very quiet, the highlight being the two adult COMMON RAVENS in fields opposite Town Farm.

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