31st July 2017

Another relatively busy few days, with lots of variety and quality on offer as early autumn migration continues to entertain. The unseasonal female Red-backed Shrike remains faithful to the eastern end of Long Hedge and has been present for a week now, while the season’s first Tree Pipit and 150 Swifts went south at the Gap this morning; an Arctic Skua and 600 Puffins did likewise there yesterday, with a Sooty Shearwater and 650 Puffins south there on 29th. 

Mediterranean Gull, East Lea (Mark Pearson)

A male Merlin flew east over East Lea and hung around the Top Fields on 28th (MJP, YP et al.), with an adult Mediterranean Gull also at East Lea on the same morning, when a Marsh Harrier went south over the Country Park and a Hobby and an Arctic Skua went south at the Gap; five Black-tailed Godwits also went south there, with a further five at the Dams. 

The Dams has held a variety of waders in addition to the godwits, including up to 35 Lapwings, three Green Sandpipers and two Common Sandpipers, as well as a regular Little Egret. Otherwise, warblers are on the move generally (with 12 Reed Warblers ringed at the Dams on 27th), and odd Yellow Wagtails are also beginning to pass through.