A four-hour walk around the local saltpans certainly gave us an appetite for Sunday lunch but it provided no real surprises among the birds seen. A Kingfisher was probably the least expected among about 45 species recorded. A temperature of no more than 22°C and a slight breeze made for a pleasant morning.
There’s clearly been some breeding success for Kentish Plovers, Black-winged Stilts and Avocets and we saw at least one juvenile Common Redshank but quite a few Avocets in particular do appear to have failed and we could find no Little Tern chicks at all. Ominously, more Yellow-legged Gulls have nested than we have seen in previous years and it may well be that there has been an increased level of predation on eggs and young birds.
Other waders included about 100 Black-tailed Godwits, plus a few Dunlin, Curlew Sandpipers, Oystercatchers and a Grey Plover. On the adjacent tidal area there were more Oystercatchers and a few Bar-tailed Godwits, Turnstones, Whimbrels and Curlews. Greater Flamingos continue to increase in number and we found a couple of Spoonbills hiding amongst them.
A flock of about 25 Audouin’s Gulls included a colour-ringed bird that we had seen in almost the same place two years ago. It was ringed in the Ebro Delta in Spain in 2002. Completing the gulls were a few Black-heads and a couple of Meds. Several times recently we have seen two Slender-billed Gulls but there was no sign of them this morning.
2 weeks ago