On Thursday 11th I had a visit to Swalecliffe seeing c.80 scoter, 3 gannets and a dozen brents. I nipped back to Seasalter hoping to see some brents but only found c.100 scoter on the sea and 1 juv. gannet.
Friday 12th I returned to SS and found 21 brents at Castle Coote plus 10 wigeon and 2 wheatears on the way up.
On Saturday 13th I thought I would try Foreness but on arrival I couldn't muster the enthusiasm to get out and look for birds and didn't know the best areas to find all these reported chats etc..
Sunday 14th. I took a walk around SS church where I found a small pool had been constructed at the edge of the new playing field. Fortunately, a large dragonfly was circling the edges and settled long enough for a couple of photos which I identified as a southern hawker.
At the seafront I counted 32 egrets feeding along the mudflats plus 6 teal and a count of 195 grey plovers. In front of the YC c.600 golden plovers were roosting on the 'hard', a regular spot and inland a marsh harrier.
On misty Monday the 15th., I went to Wraik Hill seeing 19 jays over the reservoir plus a chiffchaff along the footpath. Nothing much on the 'reserve' except a flyby sparrowhawk so I moved on and stopped at the Mt Pleasant corner seeing mistle thrush (not so easy) plus a cetti's was sounding off and nice to record a stonechat here again.
At the S.Swale LNR, just past the Sportsman, 5 whinchats, 2 stonechats and 3 wheatears.
Tuesday 16th was much the same when I visited the LNR except the 'ringers' were present by the reedbed. It was still foggy with loads of mipits (c.50) about, it was interesting to see that one or two were hanging up in the nets which attracted others to come and look at their plight in the nets. The ringers had to evacuate quickly as the farmer came along to take the cows out, not giving them any real time to pack up!
Wednesday 17th., still misty but mild. As I got out of the car a hobby flew over the field opposite the Sportsman which returned later enabling me to point it out to two bait diggers who seemed quite interested. I walked up to the bend, halfway to C.Coote and on route saw; 2 whinchats, 4 wheatears plenty of linnets, mipits and goldfinches. On the flats, 87 brents, 42 wigeon and 3 teal, overhead a small trickle of swallows and a couple of house martins.
Thursday 18th. back on the seafront again at hightide, a rough count of 415 ringed plovers on the 'island' and c.200 turnstones on the oyster barge just off the beach. Couldn't find any dunlin or sanderling but as the tide went out there were good numbers of waders further west arriving with c,300 grey plovers, a few knot, barwits and dunlin. Half a dozen grt b.b gulls, 2 lessers, herring, common and blk hd gulls were coming onto the exposed mud to feed plus one Sandwich tern.
Further on by the Sportsman, 1 gannet in the sea mist plus 6 brents on the fresh mud in front of the huts. Along the wall it was much the same as usual with 3 wheatears and 7 whinchats although most of the whinchats were on the vegetation behind the reedbed. Two clouded yellow butterflies were desperately looking for some nectar to feed on but there was nothing left except poo! However, the cow pats give the chats something to dig around in!
Several reed buntings are back on site or making themselves apparent a few coming up on the wall and fences with the chats and linnets.