August was another excellent month with a good array of waders, raptors and passerines passing through the reservoirs although their visits were often frustratingly brief. Records included the first Wood Warbler since 2016 and the first Marsh Harrier since 2018 as well as Pied Flycatcher, Great Egret and Black Tern. Skylark, belatedly, and Common Redstart were also added to the annual list.
The month also saw the second and third Ospreys and Greenshanks of the year and the second Turnstone as well as tagged Mediterranean Gulls and Tufted Ducks which proved again how far some birds come to enjoy the safe haven the reservoirs provide. The seven new species take the 2020 year list to 130 - four more than this time last year.
At least two young Shelduck liked the Wetlands so much that they stayed on No 3 right through the month despite the disappearance of their parents and siblings to the coast. The reservoirs remain a nationally-important site for Tufted Ducks to carry out their post-breeding moult. A count early in the month recorded 2,100 across the reservoirs, slightly down on last year's 2246 but above the 1900 of the year before. Among them on High Maynard on the 7th &10 was a bird fitted with a nasal saddle at Mayenne, 140 km WSW of Paris in June 2018. It is the third time that Tufted Ducks from the French ringing scheme have been recorded at the Wetlands in recent years. Teal, Shoveler and Gadwall all returned in small numbers with seven Shoveler back on East Warwick by the 30th.
The Wetlands continued to draw in waders with 11 species seen during the month, a far better performance than last year. A flock of eight Oystercatchers over west on the 23rd was the largest number that can be recalled with, more typically, one on the 3rd while a single Lapwing was seen on East Warwick on the 14th &15th. A Whimbrel flew south on the 13th while another Black-tailed Godwit rested on the East Warwick raft on the 4th. After the first Turnstone for three years last month, it was inevitable that the second would follow almost immediately with a single photographed by SN flying south over Lockwood on the 8th.