August on The Great Stour

Updated: Nov 17, 2019


It is often said (not without good reason) that the month of August is a quiet month ornithological speaking. The breeding season has, by and large, come to an end but autumn migration is yet to get going. There are however, still plenty of wildlife watching opportunities on offer. A 2 hour trip aboard the Sandwich River Bus from Sandwich town centre to near enough the mouth of the Great Stour last Tuesday (14th August) provided sightings of Common Sandpiper (c.25 birds), Green Sandpiper (1), Greenshank (1), Marsh Harrier (1♀), Starlings (>200), Redshank (c.10), Sandwich Tern (2), Black Headed Gull (>100), Herring Gull (>100), Little Egret (15), Oystercatcher (>200).

A further highlight was the colony of Common (Harbour) Seals that live on the mudflats and sand banks in and around Sandwich bay and the mouth of the Great Stour. A few of them appear bright orange – the result of lying in mud that is rich in iron oxide. However, the nearest mudflats and sandbanks where this phenomenon occurs are in Essex, so it is reasonable to infer that the orange animals have travelled from there to Sandwich.


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