Thursday 20th May 2021

A Cuckoo was calling as I made my way over to check that the Little Ringed Plover was OK. She was incubating and still no sign of chicks for her or for the nearby Avocets on Gt Marsh. I did notice that the Avocets seemed a little less tolerant of my presence so perhaps they somehow know that chicks are imminent.

I had feared that the three Lapwing chicks at MMs had all perished as I hadn’t seen any for more than a week. However, the two well grown chicks which I saw at Wheatear Corner may well be the MM chicks and they’ve just walked over.

On the sea a handful of distant Gannets headed west and a distant pale phase skua was too far out for me to say whether it was Pomarine or Arctic. It seemed large and bulky and I may have seen or imagined spoons looking like ‘trailing feet’, Pomarine is possible but I couldn’t be sure.

Three Kittiwakes included a 1st summer bird headed west. I saw three Little Gulls all of them 1st summer birds in a similar state of moult, two west and one east and so there may be duplication.

Mediterranean Gull

A male Red-breasted Merganser from the west was a surprising unseasonal record. I hadn’t seen one for nearly two months. It could be the male that has been seen in Lymington and Christchurch Harbour recently.

After sea-watching Dimitri and I headed to the hides where I collected my trail camera footage. I had captured a Fox, Grey Squirrel, Roe Deer buck and a crèche of 20 Canada Goose goslings being taken to the water by four adults at 5:10am.

Canada Geese with 20 goslings

We arrived at JV hide to see one of the White-tailed Eagles heading over Wigeon Fields towards the Reedy Ditch and we later saw it again over G West. Back at S Hide we watched the Swallows who have made a nest in the toilet thus making it out of bounds for the next month or so.

Swallow pair nesting in the toilet, photo by Dimitri Moore

Another short sea-watch produced six Common Scoter and just as we were finishing a pair of adrenaline charged pale phase Arctic Skuas blasted past us heading west close to the shore.

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