Thursday 13th May 2021

A Cuckoo was calling as I walked over to MMs. It was the 7th time I’ve heard one since 18th April which makes me wonder if it may be one or two individuals on territory. I later saw it flying over Gv Marsh with its flickering wings never going above the horizontal.

I checked MMs and could only find one Lapwing chick. From there I walked to the beach house to see if the Little Ringed Plovers were ok, which they were. The female was on the nest and the male was nearby.

Little Ringed Plover

The water levels at Gt Marsh looked a little high and some of the Avocet nests looked perilously close to the water. It started to rain and in the strong breeze I decided I needed shelter which I found in the lee of the hut. From there I noticed a wheeling melee of feeding gulls just off shore. The gulls at the front kept peeling off and circulating to the back of the line like time trialers do in a bicycle race. It was difficult to watch any particular gull for long, there were Sandwich Terns, Black-headed Gulls, Common Terns, Herring Gulls and a single Mediterranean Gull. I was hoping for a Little Gull and I was delighted to find a first summer bird loitering at the back of the group although it soon disappeared.

Little Gull just right of centre

Towards the Isle of Wight a couple of Gannets headed west and a flock of seven Sanderling headed east, a mix of summer and winter plumaged birds.

The Garden Warbler was still singing in the beach house scrub as I headed back to Gt Marsh where I found another 1st summer Little Gull resting and preening on one of the tiny islands. I was much closer here and got a few better shots. The amount of black in the head suggests that this bird and the off shore bird were different individuals.

Little Gull

On nearby Gv Marsh I was pleased to see all four of the Lapwing chicks and a pair of brown hares resting in the warm sun.

Brown Hare pair

After a coffee in the car I headed to the hides. An adult Spoonbill on DL’O flood was the first I’ve seen for more than five weeks. A mixed group of four Black-tailed Godwit and three Bar-tailed Godwit were feeding on DL’O scrape and a Whimbrel was in the grass alongside them. From the new viewing screen I was pleased to find a smart Hobby, probably newly arrived sat on the fence line which separates Three Fields East and Centre Field.

Hobby

When it’s cold and windy you don’t see Butterflies and Dragonflies but the hardworking bumblebee is out in all weathers. My first Early Bumblebee of the year was collecting pollen from Sea Campion out on the point gorse bushes. Given the weather I thought another hour or so sea-watching might be worth it and so I headed back to MMs. On the way I found a Ringed Plover nest with two very young chicks, perhaps a day old. The second chick is underneath the breast feathers of the adult.

Ringed Plover and chicks

The gull and tern flock had disbanded but there was still a small passage of terns heading east. Nearly all Sandwich Terns and Common Terns but with an Arctic Tern amongst them. The translucent primaries and secondaries were very obvious in the strong back lighting giving the bird a two toned appearance. The belly also appeared a shade darker and it dived in stages looking slightly hesitant.

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