Bird News: short-eared owl 1 (but 2 reported), wheatear 2, avocet 1, yellow wagtail 1, redwing 20+, song thrush 20+, bearded tit 15+, merlin 1, red-breasted merganser 9.
Saturday started well with bright sunshine and the Bushes were alive with thrushes, including a good few redwing and migrant song thrushes, there were also blackbirds, but try as I might I could not find a ring ouzel. The warblers are falling in numbers rapidly now and I saw only a few blackcap and about 10 chiffchaff all day. I might have done better had I not wasted the first hour of the day waiting in vain for the lorry to come to empty the cess pit.
Eventually I decided enough was enough and set off round the reserve. There were good numbers of brent close in off the southern seawall, but before I could get to them a Chinook fly low over the Harbour and most flew off in the mayhem. In the big flush of birds I did pick up the avocet flying about calling excitedly. The remaining brent did include one pleasing sight, a single juvenile bird, so at least there will be some youngsters. The first to arrive are always the failed breeders so seeing a juvenile when perhaps only a quarter of the birds have arrived is a good omen.
In the Point Field a short-eared owl gave a brief display and a pair of stonechat were on the brambles. In the Harbour a merlin was chasing the waders and a wheatear was on Baker’s Island. I could not get a picture of the owl but I did get this red admiral.
Looking of the Point there were 9 red-breasted merganser and a merlin hunting the wader flocks. A single yellow wagtail was still with the cattle and a few swallow and house martin were flying over heading east.
After lunch I headed north of the road to see how the ponies were doing, it was pretty quiet apart from 4 or so chiffchaff and this commathe I found resting on a fence post.