Friday, 22 April 2016

22nd April 2016 Birling NE5-6 Overcast 7am - 9.30am

We arrived to an unpleasant strong cold north-easterly wind and sea-watched from 07.00-09.30 in what felt grey overcast wintry conditions. A barrel of a second-calendar year Glaucous Gull flying east at 7.35am did little to dispel that thought although a few flocks of Whimbrel proved it really is Spring and were the first I've seen this year. We then covered the Hotel Garden, Icky Ridge, the Cliff Path, the Old Trapping Area and Chat Vale where not surprisingly passerine migrants were at a premium albeit a surprise highlight did appear in the form of our first Swift of the year seen arriving in off the sea over Icky Ridge.
Gannet 50 E
Little Egret 1 in off the sea and headed over the cliffs and inland
Common Scoter 15 E
Red-breasted Merganser 2 E
Bar-tailed Godwit 1 E
Whimbrel 37 E
Glaucous Gull 1 E @ 07.35 second-calendar year
Sandwich Tern 5 E
Swift 1 in and departed N
Swallow 1 in off the sea
Wheatear 1
Common Whitethroat 1
Blackcap 1
Chiffchaff 2
Willow Warbler 1

Little Egret arriving in off the sea at Birling
Flying into the wind low over the water proved no problem for this bird but every time it reached cliff-top height the poor bird was blown back out to sea. It thankfully did make it on its third attempt!

Second-calendar year Glaucous Gull passing Birling

Whimbrel passing Birling

Common Swift arriving in off the sea over Icky Ridge