Monday, 26 June 2017

June Black-tailed Godwits

It was easy to count, just 1 record 1/28th 2011 Sandford (RNM & SPD).

But the first week July has a few more;

2014 - 1/2nd Tern scrape (Linda Martin) Islandica race flew in 09:13 to 10:15 only
2013 - 7/1st LFGP 13:00 only (Bert May)
2008 - 1/7th Ad summer Tern Scrape 17:00 (FJC et al), til 8th evening (M Whitney)

With flocks of 8 in Hertfordshire yesterday & Bucks today (same birds?), I'm fingers crossed for LFGP pulling a few in any day and I hope our little puddle we made in the shingle gets them to land and the SW corner brings them closer



Saturday, 24 June 2017

June Common Sands

Today's 2 Common Sandpiper were fairly unusual, so I thought why not put up all the past June records?

2017 - 2/24th LFGP (FJC)
2016 - 1/17th LFGP (Les Blundell)
2013 - 1/23rd LFGP NE corner (RNM), & 1/29th (FJC)
2012 - 1/23rd LFGP (H Whitall & RBryant)
2010 - 2/30th LFGP, in front of hide (RNM)
2004 - 1/7th (OU), 1/12th Lavell's (K Girling) & 1/22nd (TL)
1995 - 1/13th (OU)
1994 - 1/15th Lavell's,
1992 - 1/26th onwards

Just into July
2017 - 1/2nd LFGP (FJC)
2016 - 1/1st LFGP (RNM & FJC)
2015 - 1/2nd LFGP (A Rymer)
2014 - 1/7th LFGP (RNM)
2012 - 2/1st LFGP (A Rymer)
2009 - 1/4th LFGP (FJC), 2/7th (A Rymer)
2008 - 1/6th Tern Scrape (MFW)
2007 - 2/8th onwards LFGP (FJC)
2006 - 1/9th onwards
2005 - 5/7th BSL (ADB), 1/8th BSL (A Slater)
2004 - 2/10th BSL (B Hollands)
1997 - 1/7th
1995 - 1/3rd
1994 - 1/3rd

I like to ask folks to read into it what they will, for me this says it was random until LFGP came along, but now it is looking like the last 5-7 years a new pattern of earlier arrivals, which led to my feeling that a Common could turn up any day prior to today's find...nice to have 2 as well.

There are many in July, but the trend of first passage date has come forward quite some amount since the 80's.

Blink and we're there

I put out the request for information on unrecorded species, Phil fires back Kestrel and Hobby, then Jenny and Steve spot 2 Peregrines over yesterday and at 07:30 this morning I found not 1 but 2 Common Sandpiper...putting us on 90 for June matching last year.

Perhaps we can still add Little Grebe, is there a Water Rail lurking in a ditch, how about a secret spot for breeding Willow Warbler, will a Shelduck fly in??? I think Little Grebe is out there somewhere allowing us to push the June total one higher than ever.

So back to them Common Sandpipers, here is what I saw first;


I'll forgive myself for being a bit quick off the blocks and calling one a Green, but shortly after my first WhatsApp message the truth became clear, not great shots of course


Same 3 Teal, 3 Grey Wagtail and for me first views of Common Tern chicks


Friday, 23 June 2017

Inspired by the changes over time

After reading up all the dates and highs, I felt it might be worth publishing once again the figures, which might point to one, or two things, or both.

January's - Low : 75, High : 90, Difference 15
90 in 2016
87 in 2011
86 in 2012, 16 & 17
84 in 2015
83 in 2005, 06 & 13
81 in 2004 & 14
79 in 2007
76 in 2009
75 in 2003 & 2008

February's - Low : 74, High : 93, Difference 19
93 in 2016
92 in 2012
88 in 2008
87 in 2013
86 in 2017
84 in 2003
83 in 2011
81 in 2004 & 2010
80 in 2014 & 2015
79 in 2009
78 in 2006 & 2007

74 in 2005

March's - Low : 85, High : 100, Difference 15
100 in 2016
95 in 2011
93 in 2006 & 2012
92 in 2010, 13 & 17
91 in 2007 & 2014
87 in 2004
86 in 2005
85 in 2003, 07 & 15

April's - Low : 101, High : 114, Difference 13
114 in 2013
111 in 2003
108 in 2016
106 in 2015
105 in 2014
104 in 2006, 08, 12
102 in 2011
101 in 2007

May's - Low : 84, High : 103, Difference 19
103 in 2017
96 in 2012 & 2016
93 in 2011 & 08
92 in 2007, 2014 & 15
90 in 2003
88 in 2004, 06, 09 & 10
87 in 2013
84 in 2002 & 05

June's - Low : 76, High : 90, Difference 14
90 in 2016
89 in 2017
87 in 2010 & 2012
85 in 2006 & 13
82 in 2007 & 15
81 in 2004
80 in 2003 & 11
78 in 2005 & 08
77 in 2009

76 in 2002 & 14

July's - Low : 75, High : 94, Difference 19
94 in 2013
91 in 2015
90 in 2014
89 in 2006
88 in 2010 & 16
86 in 2011 & 12
83 in 2003, 04 & 07
82 in 2008
79 in 2001
78 in 2002

75 in 2005 & 09

August's - Low : 87, High : 103, Difference 16
103 in 2015
100 in 2016
99 in 2013
97 in 2014
93 in 2012
92 in 2011
89 in 2006
88 in 2009

87 in 2010

September's - Low : 74, High : 104, Difference 20
104 in 2012 & 2015
102 in 2016
97 in 2010
96 in 2014
95 in 2008  2011
92 in 2013
90 in 2009
83 in 2007
81 in 2006
75 in 2004

74 in 2005

October's - Low : 81, High : 99, Difference 18
99 in 2016
96 in 2015
93 in 2010 & 12
91 in 2011
90 in 2009
89 in 2014
88 in 2013
87 in 2007

81 in 2006

November's - Low : 78, High : 90, Difference 12
90 in 2011
86 in 2016
85 in 2015
84 in 2010 & 13
82 in 2014
81 in 2012
80 in 2009
79 in 2008

78 in 2007

December's - Low : 75, High : 87, Difference 13
87 in 2016
86 in 2010
84 in 2011
83 in 2009 & 15
81 in 2007 & 2006
80 in 2014
78 in 2004 & 2013
77 in 2005 & 2008

75 in 2012

Have we magically become better at finding more species, has the site become much better for a bigger range of species, is the coverage better?

For me it is more of the latter, but certainly that Lea Farm G.P. has had a very positive effect on both the coverage so it is more this than anything. But waders and a variety of other things do get seen more often than before the LFGP era, even if many of the species that drop in, are only doing so briefly.

I'll do the annual figures when I have more time, but I think it tells the same story.

Half way mark

As we approach the last week of June, we are nearly half way through the year, but much further into the expected total species list with 133 being seen so far.

The two months of the year to date

May
133 in 2017
132 in 2012
131 in 2003
129 in 2016
127 in 2008 & 02
125 in 2013 & 16
123 in 2011
122 in 2006 & 04

June
134 in 2012
133 in 2017
131 in 2003
129 in 2016
127 in 2001, 02 & 08
125 in 2013
124 in 2006 & 11
122 in 2004
121 in 2007
120 in 2010

By end of May we were 1 ahead of the best ever year total in 2012, with a week to go we might get lucky with a wildcard, perhaps an early Black-tailed Godwit, but to be honest I rarely expect a year tick in June.

The last two month totals

May
103 in 2017
96 in 2012 & 2016
93 in 2011 & 08
92 in 2007, 2014 & 15
90 in 2003
88 in 2004, 06, 09 & 10
87 in 2013
84 in 2002 & 05

Clearly May blew all previous Mays away.

June
90 in 2016
88 in 2017
87 in 2010 & 2012
85 in 2006 & 13
82 in 2007 & 15
81 in 2004
80 in 2003 & 11
78 in 2005 & 08
77 in 2009

76 in 2002 & 14

May still offers potential Little Grebe, which might be hiding at the balancing pool, or Mungell's Pond and could breed at either site. We have also had a few June records of Common Sandpiper, Yellow-legged Gulls are appearing in Oxon, so one could fly over or rest for a while? Other possibles include a Peregrine, a Shelduck, there are even 3 historic records of June Black Tern and with the SW corner looking so good, it's not impossible to imagine an early Black-tailed Godwit dropping in.


Monday, 19 June 2017

Same again

Out extra early on Sunday morning, the 3 LRP were still present, a lone Oystercatcher flew in again, the female Shoveler materialised in the SW corner, I admired the Sand Martin young being fed in the wall. A Tufted female had 8 young swimming happily.

I was about to leave when the familiar Med Gull call came from the SW corner and was already there when I checked.


At BSL 2 juvenile Grey Wagtail played with my photography skills.




Saturday, 17 June 2017

A break in services

After what feels like 10 weeks of constant 05:45 starts, I took a break, some of it driven by work, some because I felt like it. As it happens I've missed being out and generally woke around 06:30 and 04:00 a few times too.

I had forgotten my 07:00 bird walk on the 11th, which amounted to 2 Mistle Thrush which I guess either failed with a nesting attempt or were foo gathering? A Redshank, 2 LRP and a Barn Owl at LFGP.

Yesterday Richard had male Pochard, which occurs most years, but always nice in June.

Today a late start around 08:00, was very pleasant, 2 male Teal, a pair of Shoveler, 3 LRP, a Little Egret. Avery quick check back and I can only see years 2014, 2013 & 2007 where all 3 ducks were seen in June. Perhaps like 2014 & 2010, we might see Wigeon late in the month too?

Tons of Sand Martins feeding young and even adults mating, so it looks like we may have additional, or second broods coming up.



After a nice chat with Brian it was time for me to go, but it wasn't too long after Alan was sending a picture of a 1st summer Mediterranean Gull on Tern scrape, so I headed back quickly and caught a couple of nice'ish shots before it headed off toward Sandford around 11:09.




127 species marks my 8th highest year list, 2 more to match 2009.

Yesterday I had no choice but to go to Pagham to see my good friend AJ's Elegant Tern, it scared me a bit as it waited for over hours to show itself. I don't twitch for competition with others, but if you're curious my UK life list is 421.