Sunday 3 January 2016

North Kent 2/1/16

Straight back into the North Kent survey yesterday in blustery conditions, though a touch milder than the last couple of days.

Small birds were fairly thin on the ground due to the strong south easterly blowing across the site, but a big increase in waders were noted.  Especially Black-tailed Godwit and surprising Avocet.  The latter normally arriving in March coming from East Tilbury.  Were these just seeking protection from the wind or are they about to disperse for breeding?  I hear of several east Anglian reserves that have them already.

The Peregrine pair were back on site having not seen them for some time, and even manage to watch the female take a kill with the tiercel flying alongside almost chaperoning the larger female.

The river was productive with five GREAT SKUA heading out east and a flock of eleven LITTLE GULL (all adults) west late morning.

No sign of any Merlin today but this Short-eared owl continues to show well, assuming this is the same bird we had back in November.

A stop of at Aveley Bay on the way home produced a flock of nine LITTLE GULL lingering in front of Erith yacht club, were some of these part of the flock from this morning?

Five Brent Geese on the reserve were also a good patch year tick.

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