|Little Egret - a permanent late summer / early autumn presence|
Ok, so bear with me - a lot has happened of late, but instead of letting it all slide, I'm committed to catching up (even if it results in a temporary lowering of the bar regarding quality of content)....
|Swallow, Carr Naze Pond|
First up, then - August. With plenty more going on besides straight-up birding (fieldwork, reports, weekends in London and a long-overdue trip back to Berlin), it came and went in somewthing of a flash from an avian perspective; arguably no bad thing, because in truth, even when conditions were promising and the decks were clear, it hardly set the world on fire.
|An oddly pale Kestrel frequenting the Top Fields at the end of the momth|
The sea had its moments, as it always does in early autumn. An always impressive Cory's Shearwater cruised effortlessly north on 19th (the same day as a Blue Fulmar and five Sootys), several small groups of Little Terns passed the Brigg (in a particularly good year here for this only-just-annual species), and all four skuas were present and correct (thanks in no small part to two Long-tails and three Poms on a great evening seawatch on 26th, which also included a Black Tern, 20-odd Arctic Skuas and big numbers of gulls and terns).
|Greenshank - pleasingly regular at the Dams and East Lea|
The Dams and (especially) East Lea attracted a rich and varied cast of waders to their muddy fringes, where up to ten species per day became an impressive norm; numbers of Ruff were especially notable, often in double figures and reaching 16 on one ot two dates. Despite reasonably good coverage, no scarcity as yet; still, they have a better track record for attracting oddities in Sep and Oct, so plenty to play for yet.
|A brief Common Tern - far from it at the Dams|
Talking of scarcities, for the first August since moving here I had no luck with finding a rarer passerine this time round, despite potentially promising conditions towards the end of the month; I must've used up my annual Icterine quotent in the spring, and if there were Wrynecks and Barred Warblers out there (which there surely were), they beat me this month. No matter, September has already redressed the balance, and most of the autumn is still to come....
|Wall - a good year for this species locally|
|Arctic Skua in the Bay Corner|
|A Wheatear showing off its sense of direction in the caravan park|
|Blue-morph Budgerigar in the coastal hedges....|
|A fantastically tame and inquisitive Wheatear on Carr Naze|
|Marsh Harrier - happily an expected August fly-through these days|
|Fishing competitions continued to bring in the punters at East Lea...|
|....while hirundines fed on insects on the dry mud cliffs of Carr Naze|