On the 16th a trip to Deal in the hope of seeing the shorelarks failed yet again but consoled with views of some of the red kites that flooded into Kent that day, 6 in the air together at one time! After that it was just a few trips out to Seasalter and on the 17th. 28 g.c.grebes offshore, 2 cetti's plus 6 redwings in the sheep field when I was looking for the hoodie which seems to have cleared off. The next day I ventured over to Bossenden Wood seeing c.70 redwings in a field at Dargate, then at the wood a couple of nuthatches on the log. I didn't stop there long and took a walk around the wood finding two treecreepers and a marsh tit.
Next on the 25th I intended an intensive search around Seasalter hoping for a big list, (still no wheatear). Started well with a pair of stonechats by the NRA, cetti's and marsh harrier over the plots but moving onto the S.Swale LNR things went pear-shaped. The tide was a mile out, the mudflats like a desert, only on the far distant tide line a few birdy specks could be made out. I managed to tease out a couple of reed buntings and a mipit and along by the white post two peregrines flew over to Sheppey, what a surprise! I've still not recorded a bearded tit this year yet, hopefully soon, or is it my ears. Still no photos. Cheesed off I went over to Snodland to see the hoopoe in the afternoon and what an elusive devil that was but finally latched onto it at 4.30. Still no photos.
Today, I thought I would check the Seasalter high tide roost, luckily a nice flock of 29 sanderling were resting on the 'island' (now after the last few years joined to the beach by a thin isthmus). also here were; 3 redshank, 6 dunlin,18 ringed plovers and c.50 turnstones plus c.70 oystercatchers and a few curlew. Just off the beach were c.70 brents, this number have been hanging about here for the last couple of weeks - a chance for a photo before the shutter seizes up from lack of use!
29 Sanderling - one of my highest counts (very little sand here)!
C.70 Brents still at Seasalter.
Went over to Grove afterwards where I met Steve Ashton but a rather wasted drive. Nothing from the Feast Hide except 4 tufted ducks and 4 marsh harriers overhead. A paddle to the Harrisons Drove revealed just 3 coots on the expanse of water and the flooded fields opposite attracted half a dozen lapwings. Very little to see and no photos! It will all change this weekend!!