20th. I met Steve Ashton at the high tide roost at Seasalter for some camera work and almost immediately a wheatear jumped up on a post by the tractor which posed quite nicely for us. The brents were gathering around the 'island' plus all the waders were doing mass flybys along the beach giving us a chance for 'flock' photos but as usual not enough depth of field and too long lenses and not close enough. As we left a clouded yellow was floating over the grassy 'village green' but didn't pose for photos.
Moving up to the LNR at the Sportsman we headed for the seawall as the tide was now at the bottom of the beach and the brents were dabbling right along the edge. Many of the brents feeding on the edge were juveniles and usually accompanied by their parents, it looks as if they had another good breeding success this year. Fairly quiet otherwise, a few turnstones and a grey plover on the breakwaters plus two swallows going west.
21st. Went to Long Rock, a very windy morning, the tail end of hurricane 'Gonzalez', spent a bit of time photographing the brents surfing the waves before it became to windy to stand properly.
23rd. Today, I did a visit to most of the local patch starting at Wraik Hill Reservoir finding song thrushes, 1 mistle thrush, jays, green woodpkers etc. and a buzzard coming over Willow Woods. I moved off to Wraik Hill reserve and a quick walk around which produced nothing, just a chaffinch and overflying gulls.......strange, why is it so many 'reserves' contain little yet other non reserves show plenty, its often the same at S.Swale LNR. Anyway onto the Levels where I met Amy the RSPB warden and Nick for a brief chat on the roadside. Further on at the seafront I ticked of all the usual waders and a walk into the plots revealed two fieldfares, my first this winter plus a couple of black-billed blackbirds, a jay and a few reed buntings etc.. The list was up to 43 so far and moving up to the S.Swale LNR I found just one wheatear, a green sandpiper flying west over the back fields, stonechat, some skylarks, a merlin sat out in the stubble and a grey plover on the breakwater. Back at the car I checked the field opposite the Sportsman which contained 23 lapwings, curlews and starlings. Total 51
Curlew and Dunlin