I had thought thaty 2014 would be the first year I failed to see a Turtle Dove in the UK [I've heard a couple], but yesterday we saw one perched obligingly on the wires at the ARC pit. As if to bring home the perils of migration, examination of the photos showed a few spots of blood on its feathers.
As usual the ARC pit was full of birds, including the regular Glossy Ibis and 2 Black-necked Grebes, but rising water levels have reduced the wader habitat and we saw just 2 Snipe. Elsewhere on the reserve were 2 Great White Egrets, just one Common Sandpiper on Burrowes Pit-very little mud in front of Firth Hide. In a sunny part of the trail we saw a Clouded Yellow, and then came across a mating pair flying clumsily and then posing well on the ground. There were no Terns at the patch, but a few Sandwich and Common Terns off the fishing boats attracted an Arctic Skua.
NE f4 occ 5, early mist clearing later
St Leonards 6.05 AG
A Lapwing flew in off the sea.
Galley Hill 6.40 - 8.15 AG
Kestrel 2 W, Dunnock 2 over and passage East of;- Meadow pipit 602, Pied wagtail 7, Grey wagtail 5, Yellow wagtail 4, Swallow 50 and House martin 40.
18 Robins and 6 Chiffchaffs.
Pebsham marsh - Bulverhythe fields 8.25 - 11.00 AG
Passage East of;- Meadow pipit 150, Pied wagtail 1, Grey wagtail 2, Yellow wagtail 5, Swallow 222, House martin 13 and Chaffinch 2.
1 Whinchat and 14 Chiffchaffs.
East Hill 07.00 - 08.30 SB
Passage east of:- Meadow Pipit 673, Swallow 72, House Martin 34, Pied Wagtail 3, Grey Wagtail 1, Chaffinch 1. 6 Chiffchaffs. Also a sparrowhawk hunting.
ENE f3 early mist clearing to 1/8ths, warm
East Hill 6.30 - 8.30 AG, SB
Passage East of Grey heron 1, Meadow pipit 766, Swallow 856, Sand martin 14, House martin 350, Yellow wagtail 7, Grey wagtail 9, Pied wagtail 5,Reed bunting 3 and Linnet 1. 1 Yellowhammer, 9 Chiffchaffs, 1 Blackcap. Also a male sparrowhawk hunting in, and along the cliff edge.
St Leonards 11.00 AG
Occasional notes of birds coming in;- Grey wagtail 1, Meadow pipit 5 and Swallow 8.
Wader highlights this morning included 350 Oystercatcher, 210 Golden Plover, 112 Curlew, 65 Ringed Plover, 2 Greenshank, 2 Little Stint, 8 Knot. Several Kingfishers were again around the new saltmarsh area, two Firecrest in the bramble scrub near Parkes Hide were a nice treat and at least 300 Meadow Pipits were on the move around Harbour Farm. Also of note 18 Sandwich Tern and 4 Wheatear. Yesterday while improving viewing from the hide at Castle Water a Grey Wagtail, Water Rail, 40 House Martin and 2 Ruff were the pick of the bunch (but of course there was lots of disturbance).