Monday 27th June
Back on morning shifts so the early starts begin again. Nothing much happened up at ponds today in reasonably nice weather. An impressive count of 114 Dunlin was probably the best of it, although the Cuckoo still present was nice and 5 teal on the water was unusual. There were also three summer plumaged Bar-tailed Godwits which was very nice. I spent most of my time practicing photographing Little Terns, although the light was far from useful and most of my photos are very dark.
Beacon Ponds: Bar-tailed Godwit, Dunlin, Redshank, Little Tern, Black-headed Gull, Gannet, Mallard, Ringed Plover, Oystercatcher, Swallow, Sand Martin, Yellow Wagtail, Pied Wagtail, Curlew, Teal, Herring Gull,
Tuesday 28th June
Today there were a few more notable birds on the ponds, starting with the first Common Sandpiper of the summer back. This was quickly followed by a nice juvenile Great-crested Grebe on which spent all day on the ponds. It was joined at one point by a flock of 4 Tufted Ducks. A Barn Owl was also present early morning, and a Snipe went over. Impressive numbers of both Dunlin, 133, and Little Tern, 54, were around the ponds. The terns were joined early afternoon by a pair of Common Terns, but they only stuck around briefly.
Beacon Ponds: Little Tern, Oystercatcher, Ringed Plover, Common Sandpiper, Great-crested Grebe, Mute Swan, Avocet, Yellow Wagtail, Gannet, Dunlin, Common Snipe, Pheasant, Woodpigeon, Barn Owl, Pied Wagtail, Meadow Pipit, Reed Bunting, Guillemot, Black-headed Gull, Little Egret, Grey Heron, Curlew, Tufted Duck, Sandwich Tern, Swallow, Grey Plover, Teal, Common Gull, Knot, Redshank, Common Tern,
Wednesday 29th June
Wednesday 29th June
Another morning at the ponds which was very quiet. The undoubted highlight was an adult Little Gull that flew through calling. Aside from that it was very much the regular species still present. The Great-crested Grebe was still on the ponds and seemed happy frequently diving and catching fish. The Little Terns seemed to have picked up in their activity as well but we will see on that one.
As the morning wore on there came strong westerlies and a weather front of quite extreme rain. With it came an incredible Swift movement. In over an hour more than 1000 birds had flown through the ponds. They were flying from all directions, often very low and only just above my head. It was the incredible movement we had been waiting for. Sadly it slowed down when the rain intensified, but by then my shift was done and I could haul up in the warm obs. Swift migration is spectacular when you catch it right and today was certainly one of those days.
Beacon Ponds: Little Tern, Cormorant, Little Gull, Great-crested Grebe, Skylark, Yellow Wagtail, Meadow Pipit, Oystercatcher, Ringed Plover, Common Gull, Black-headed Gull, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Common Teal, Mallard, Mute Swan, Dunlin, Grey Plover, Sandwich Tern, Carrion Crow, Swift, Swallow, Sand Martin, House Martin, Redshank, Gannet, Curlew,
Thursday 30th June
A rather uneventful morning, followed by an afternoon of recovering sleep. Birds on the ponds were made up of a limited number of the usual suspects. Dunlin eclipsed 100 but aside from that and 1 Greenshank it was all fairly regular.
Beacon Ponds: Little Tern, Cormorant, Great-crested Grebe, Skylark, Meadow Pipit, Oystercatcher, Ringed Plover, Common Gull, Black-headed Gull, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Common Teal, Mallard, Mute Swan, Dunlin, Sandwich Tern, Carrion Crow, Swift, Swallow, Sand Martin, House Martin, Redshank, Gannet, Curlew, Greenshank.
Friday 01st July
Friday 01st July
Another day of very little occurring. The only real thing of note was a flurry of Swifts late afternoon following a front of rain. Over 200 went through in about 5 minuets, really impressive to see. The Great-crested Grebe remained present, seemingly in no hurry to move off.
Beacon Ponds: Little Tern, Common Gull, Sandwich Tern, Dunlin, Common Sandpiper, Black-headed Gull, Swift, Little Egret, Mallard, Linnet, Skylark, Meadow Pipit, Avocet, Redshank, Oystercatcher, Ringed Plover, Swallow, Sand Martin, Gannet, Herring Gull, Great-crested Grebe, Great Blacked-backed Gull, Common Scoter, Grey Heron, Knot,
Saturday 02nd July
Missing the high tide during the morning shift means I generally miss most of the birds too. And today was no exception. Ponds was a very familiar spot with not many birds around. 3 Little Gulls that came through offered some respite from the general lack of birdlife. A few Swift also continued to move but passage was pretty much as dead as the ponds themselves.
Beacon Ponds: Little Tern, Wigeon, Little Gull, Knot, Redshank, Dunlin, Oystercatcher, Ringed Plover, Linnet, Skylark, Little Egret, Grey Heron, Mallard, Mute Swan, Swift, Swallow, House Martin, Sand Martin, Sedge Warbler, Pied Wagtail,
Sunday 03rd July
With the tides getting later every day, the high tide finally clashed with the earliest part of my shift, rewarding me with decent wader numbers around the ponds and wetlands. 2 Whimbrel were the first returning birds of the Autumn. Over 200 Dunlin were present and about 50 Redshank. 67 Curlew were roosted out on the wetlands. Sadly they all cleared out not long after I started my shift but its nice to see that wader numbers are picking up daily. All ready for when I start the afternoon shift next week.
Beacon Ponds: Curlew, Whimbrel, Wigeon, Greenshank, Dunlin, Little Tern, Redshank, Knot, Oystercatcher, Ringed Plover, Teal, Mallard, Sandwich Tern, Carrion Crow, Black-headed Gull, Herring Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Little Egret, Grey Heron, Gannet, Greylag Goose, Swallow, Sand Martin, Woodpigeon,