Strong north westerlies prompted me to get down to Seasalter beach again for a sea watch, conditions seemed just right with high tide at 12.30pm.. Parking by the Ski Club the tide was already crashing up on the beach, its gonna be high! Straight away two juvenile gannets were seen flying close inshore but first I walked back along Marine Parade where yesterday Derek Flint saw a snow bunting but of course no sign of it this morning. Plenty of waders along the water's edge feeding amongst the flotsam/weed etc. that the tide was washing up onto the beach.
Redshank feeding amongst the flotsam
From the Ski Club I saw about 80 gannets in the Swale plus 14 scoter and 2 wigeon and just off Whitstable there was possibly a couple of little gulls but it was too far away to be sure. A total of 110 gannets for the morning.
Mostly juvenile gannets seen this morning- Sheppey on the left
Gannets with the western edge of Shellness in the background
Adult and almost adult Grt.B.B. Gull
In front of the clubhouse parties of turnstones, ringed plover and dunlin were dodging the foam as the tide was sweeping further up the beach.
Dodging the waves
I moved along to S.Swale NNR where the high tide was eating into the 'hard' section of the beach between the concrete seawall and the beach huts. It won't be long before it spills over into triangle section of the reserve which is considerably lower.......should be good! Its lost about 30 feet over the last few years.
The sea eating back into the land
Clods of land being reclaimed by the sea
I walked up to the white post seeing the c.500 strong flock of brent now on the arable crop which won't please the farmer and on the next field c.1250 golden plover and c.500 lapwing. A couple of times when sea watching I looked back to see them all in the air, no doubt a peregrine or something. A couple of mipits and skylarks plus a stonechat on the wall were the only passerines seen.
I made my way back to the beach huts where I sat on a wicker chair that seems to have got lost but made a useful piece of kit as I watched and photographed the turnstones, ringed plover and dunlin etc. on the water's edge. Quite a good morning I thought, plenty of fodder for the camera.
By mid to late morning the wind had eased slightly and the sky had brightened up which signalled all the dog walkers to come out but by this time I had done all my photography and none of the birds on the water's edge would be chased off.
Quite a few of the dunlin had these longish bills, bigger than I normally see, maybe the alpina race from N. Scandinavia or perhaps I should study them closer next time.