All week I had promised myself a day out, my wife Christine was in Brighton living it up with her sisters Pat and Margaret, I thought strike why the iron is hot, so to speak. Minsmere was the destination, Thursday I was free, after all the glorious weather we have had it then decided to turn overcast and cold, Minsmere was now not so inviting so I reverted to plan B, I went to Canvey Point.
I was not expecting much as it was so early in the year, the tide was still out on arrival at 7.10, the weather as promised was crap, bloody cold with a biting north easterly but none the less I persevered until the tide came in.
Nothing that really stood out other than the Bar Tailed Godwits movement, highlights were
2 Little Egrets
237 Dark Bellied Brent Geese - a flock of 137 in front of me and a 100 distantly looking towards the pier, I imagine these will go very shortly.
180 Bar Tailed Godwits - 80 going out @7.19am and then another flock of 100 @ 7.35am going out as well, both flocks were obviously on migration and were last scoped going towards Southend Pier. Rather early I am thinking for any movement?
50 Knot – these were seen heading to roost.
All the other commoner waders were seen with good numbers of Curlew and Oystercatcher present, Turnstones as well.
|Pair of Mediterranean Gulls|
|Part of the first group of Bar Tails going through|
|Part of the 2nd group with a bit of auto contrast|
Checking the roost and it was quite clear there were more Bar Tailed Godwits; they seemed mainly to arrive with the Knot as opposed to their namesake, Black Tailed Godwit.
At high tide I did a count and recorded the following:
Knot – 230
Black Tailed Godwit – 140
Bar Tailed Godwit – 47
Ringed Plover – 1
Dunlin – 1
Redshank – 18
All in all, a total of 227 Bar Tailed Godwits recorded, the first 2 flocks seen continued on their way towards the pier and Foulness beyond, with the roost count it is an impressive number of birds in the area.
|Colour ringed Balck Tailed Godwit|
|Black, Bar Tailed Godwit and Knot|
|Colour ringed Bar Tailed Godwit|
I checked both the Portland Bill and Dungeness websites for any movement; none whatsoever so it appears this was an isolated event.