Birdline East Anglia bird news for August 2008 by Robin Chittenden
With south-westerly winds throughout most of August, it was not surprising that passerine migrants were thin on the ground. Despite that fact a few did get through, although it looked for most of the month there were going to be more Pied Flycatchers in Cambridgeshire than Norfolk! In the last few days of August the situation changed and the winds moved to a more favourable quarter. This resulted in a few more migrants arriving including a 'fall' of twelve Redstarts on Blakeney Point and several Pied Flycatchers along the Norfolk coast.
Highlights were a Tawny Pipit was on Blakeney Point 8th-26th but it remained difficult to locate during its unusually protracted stay. There were three Wrynecks with birds at Kelling Heath 23rd-29th, Holme 30th and Blakeney Point 1st. There were two Icterine Warblers at Snettisham CP 24th and Blakeney Point 1st. A Common Rosefinch was also on the Point 30th and a Barred Warbler was at Cley 31st. A Red-backed Shrike was at Warham Greens 31st and another at Sea Palling 31st.
There were a few unusual waders, the best being a juvenile Marsh Sandpiper at Hickling Broad NWT 18th-30th. A White-rumped Sandpiper put in a brief appearance at Cley NWT 4th and the Pectoral Sandpiper at Titchwell RSPB, first seen in July, remained until 5th. Another seen on the beach at Great Yarmouth 1st.
A Cattle Egret was at Cley NWT and Blakeney Freshmarsh NT 12th-15th and Spoonbills were at Cley NWT, Stiffkey Fen, Titchwell RSPB, Breydon Water and Welney WWT. Roseate Terns were seen off Cley NWT, Sheringham, Holme and Eccles. An adult male Honey Buzzard was seen over the Kelling 'Triangle' followed by a juvenile nearby at Cley Hangs 29th.
Two Common Cranes were again at Welney WWT more off then on during August and two were seen at Hardley Marshes 22nd.
Seawatching season kicked off with an adult Long-tailed Skua (without a long tail) very close in at Sheringham and an adult Sabine's Gull passed Holme 8th. A Cory's Shearwater flew past Sea Palling 9th. But disappointingly there were no truly favourable winds for great seawatching.
Surprise mammal of the month goes to the two Long-finned Pilot Whales seen off Holme 5th.
With south-westerly winds throughout most of August, it was not surprising that passerine migrants were thin on the ground. Despite that a few did get through, although it looked for most of the month there were going to be more Pied Flycatchers in Cambridgeshire than Suffolk! In the last few days of August the situation changed and the winds moved to a more favourable quarter.
Languard NR turned up a Citrine Wagtail 29th, the fifth for Suffolk and the first for Landguard. Other highlights were a Melodious Warbler was at Sizewell 26th and a Barred Warbler was at Bawdsey 23rd. A Serin was at briefly Dunwich 20th and Reydon 23rd. Landguard NR had a string of good birds with a Wryneck 22nd a juvenile Red-backed Shrike 25th-28th and a Wood Warbler 4th. Another Red-backed Shrikes were found at Thorpeness 27th and Kessingland 30th-31st.
Top wader in August was a summer plumaged Pacific Golden Plover at Havergate Island RSPB, it being only the second record for Suffolk 3rd. A massive flock of nineteen Spoonbills hung out at Havergate Island RSPB during August. A Juvenile Kentish Plover was at Minsmere RSPB briefly 25th. A Purple Heron was at Minsmere RSPB 29th.
A male Montagu's Harrier flew south at Trimley Marshes SWT 8th. A Honey Buzzard flew south at Dunwich 23rd and another was seen Therberton 27th.
Some good seabirds were seen. The first Balearic Shearwater was seen off Minsmere RSPB 2nd and a Cory's Shearwater was seen off Kessingland and Lowestoft 30th. A Storm Petrel flew north past Orfordness NT 13th and Bawdsey 18th. A Roseate Tern was at Minsmere RSPB. The most unusual insect was a male Yellow-winged Darter was at Corton Sewage works 14th.
Essex (to listen to Essex bird news only press *10 while listening to any part of the message on 09068 700245)
The second juvenile Marsh Sandpiper in East Anglia this autumn was found at Heybridge GPs 24th-30th. An Ortolan Bunting at Rainham marshes RSPB 30th was an outstanding find. The adult White-winged Black Tern as at Thamesmead was also viewable from the north side of the river at Barking Bay 10th-14th.
Holland Haven CP had a run of some good birds with the Pectoral Sandpiper found in July remaining until 1st. A Storm Petrel was offshore 17th and a Temminck's Stint was there 17th-22nd. Up to two Wrynecks were at there 30-31st at least. A Temminck's Stint was still at Old Hall Marshes RSPB until 2nd and another was found at Abberton Reservoir 18th. A flock of twenty Curlew Sandpipers were at East Tilbury 17th and twenty-one were at Abbotts Hall Farm EWT 19th.
Twenty-three Black-necked Grebes were at William Girling Reservoir 23rd. A Stone-curlew was seen in flight at Stewardstone Marsh 30th and a Woodlark was at Cudmore Grove CP 18th.
The Ring-billed Gull returned to Westcliff-on-Sea for its tenth winter 30th. Lucky seawatchers had a Sabine's Gull on the sea at Canvey 31st.
Cambridgeshire (to listen to Cambridgeshire bird news only press *11 while listening to any part of the message on 09068 700245)
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