Monday, 8 July 2019


A mallard was being ultra cautious with her brood of seven very young ducklings as they swam along the dyke near Coopers Beach on Sunday 7th. As there was nowhere easy for the ducklings to hide, they all huddled motionless and silent close with mum, until I'd finished walking on by.
Another brood of seven young mallards was at the west end of the dyke as was another older brood of three.
Two little egrets and a grey heron roosted on a bush in the middle of the day during the high tide.
Offshore a Mediterranean gull, 4 common terns, 7 great crested grebes and 8 curlew were noted.

One of the last breeding pairs of meadow pipit on the Island is on the grass fields near Coopers Beach. This male spent some time hiding in the long grass, and at other times rising in the air to sing.

A male kestrel was hunting by the seawall, 4 linnets and 4 goldfinches were also noted. A juvenile carrion crow with striking white wing bars was seen near the caravan park.

Half a dozen swallows were hawking over the Coopers caravan park with this recently fledged youngster waiting to be fed by a parent.

Excavations on the Rewsalls marshes have already begun to create a new boating lake.

There's a good display of narrow-leaved birds foot trefoil on a track near the Coopers Beach football pitch.

Earlier in the day the coal tit was heard singing and showed again in Fishponds Wood, having first been found on Friday. It was also seen on Saturday by Martin Cock.

On Saturday 6th along the Strood a male marsh harrier was hunting low over the fields, the regular common buzzard was keeping an eye on a recently cut hay crop with a second buzzard seen over Peldon. A kestrel also hunted over the fields while a sparrowhawk was seen over Firs Chase.
In the Strood channel 70 redshank, common tern and a great crested grebe were noted, while 2 yellow wagtails were also seen by the seawall.

It was ideal warm weather for making hay on Friday 5th at Reeveshall.
Four marsh harriers including a couple of juveniles on Langenhoe were seen, a distant hobby and two common buzzards were also seen over the Ranges.
Along the channel during the low tide were 16 avocets, greenshank, 12 black-tailed godwits, 20 redshank, golden plover, ten lapwing including an apparent parent calling anxiously by the pool maybe with a chick nearby. Also in the Pyefleet were 20 shelduck and a brood of ten juveniles, 2 common terns and 6 great crested grebes

On Reeveshall a flock of 200+ jackdaws and rooks were feeding, a sand martin flew over the Pyefleet, a yellowhammer sang in Shop Lane and a coal tit was heard singing in Fishponds Wood - probably the first breeding bird for several decades on the Island.

There were good numbers of meadow brown butterflies along the Reeveshall seawall on Friday with 100+ seen along with several Essex / small skippers and one or two gatekeepers. Two purple hairstreaks were seen by Fishponds Wood in Shop Lane.

On Thursday 4th along the Strood seawall, 4 common buzzards were in the air together, singers included corn bunting, 2 reed buntings and 4 reed warblers while 2 yellow wagtails and 25 swifts were noted over the fields. In the channel were 2 common terns, 30 curlew, 20 redshank and 4 little egrets.

Five birds of prey were the highlight on Wednesday 3rd along the Strood seawall with a peregrine drifting high over the fields, a hobby caught a swallow/ house martin and carried it over to Ray Island, while a buzzard and kestrel hunted over the Strood fields and a marsh harrier hunted over Peldon fields. The corn bunting was singing, 3 yellow wagtails, 20 swifts, 10 curlew and 50 redshank were also noted.
A Mediterranean gull flew over Firs Chase later on Wednesday.

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