Saturday, 14 December 2013

Seasalter Visits

I had three visits down to the patch this week, nothing much but a couple of birds were of interest. On the 9th I picked up 45 species including a kingfisher by the pumping station and the usual 8 gadwall, 3 coots and 1 teal etc. were still present. A flock of 145 lapwing were in the field next to the Sportsman plus a similar number of curlew and on the flats c.1250 knot. Very few small birds about, 3 mipits, a pair of pied wagtails and 13 linnets.
After becoming a fully fledged pensioner this week with a day off I duly went back down to the Swale on the 12th finding very little except a buzzard hovering over the fields behind S.Swale near the sub-station plus 51 seals on Horse Sands. Busied myself making one of the gates less muddy to walk through whilst behind me a couple of black-tailed godwits came in fairly close at the bottom of the beach.

Today, the sea was a flat calm and  a beautiful, clear sunny day,  finding the scope buried in the boot I got set to do some sea-watching. Almost straight away a great northern diver flew east followed later by two red throats and whilst counting the 41 g.c.grebes I picked up a velvet scoter on the sea.
Moving onto the plots I found 6 reed buntings, 8 goldfinches, 1 wren and a rare surprise finding 2 bearded tits plus a marsh harrier when leaving.
Stopped on the beach by the chalets to do some photography and whilst wedged against a breakwater I watched two pied wagtails having a set too, finally moving out over the sea. The resulting 'fight' finished with one of the birds being forced down into the water but after a little swim it flew off again.

It's ok, I can swim

As the tide left the beach the expected big flock of waders coming in for photos didn't happen, just a handful of dunlin and oystercatchers which were all too distant and a group of 117 brent were feeding near the start of the concrete seawall.

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