Thursday 20 August 2020

Early warblers and a late skua

With a band of rain passing through overnight and a brisk south-easterly I thought that this morning had potential for a few migrant passerines to be dropped in and I was partially right. So an early-ish start was required and I was down on the patch just before the sun came over dunes. It started quietly, I checked the plantation and the bushes around the entrance and their was little life - three Swifts flew south, could they be the last of the year? There was a strong southerly movement of Barn Swallows too.

I wandered up the road and when the sun hit the bushes, things livened up. The sheltered spot by the path the path to the hides was alive with warbler, mostly Willow Warblers with the odd Chiffhcaff and Whitethroat. These weren't all local birds although some were as the adult feeding two freshly-fledged young proved.  A few of the Willow Warblers were attempting a song, as was a Chiffchaff or two, I fancy these are males of the year, testing out their singing abilities.

A moulting chiffchaff

Willow Warbler

male Goldfinch

I estimated 52 Willow and about 20 Chiffchaff and a few Whitethroat and Blackcap - no Sedge again though. A lot of warblers but no scarcities. A Grey Wagtail flew south, a scarce patch bird normally only seen on viz-mig in the autumn. On the Budge fields, there were two Ruff still and a handful of Dunlin and Redshank. These two Mute Swans made a splash-landing scattering the waders. 

Splash landing

I popped back to the patch this evening, the light was awful for the Budge fields so, as the wind had swung easterly again, I had a look on the sea. It was fairly quiet to sea until I picked up an Arctic Skua, way out, it came closer until it was just over the beach, harrying a group of Sandwich Terns and allowing a few pics.

Spot the odd-one-out

Despite a few folk being around there were 45 Sanderling and 18 Ringed Plover on the beach. 

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