Sunday, 25 January 2015

Ups and Downs

15th Jan.

I went down to the high tide roost by the tractor at Seasalter  finding 69 ringed plovers, 8 sanderling, 7 barwits, 28 redshanks, 45 brent, c.1000 dunlin plus some turnstones and a g c grebe on the sea.

Looked pretty quiet so I drove over to Stodmarsh where it  rained all morning, I got to the Reedbed hide seeing 3 beardies, 1 pochard, a few gadwall displaying and mallard.

Displaying Gadwall

Whilst looking after the two 'herberts' Geoff sent a message late pm saying he was watching a SE owl at Seasalter. I managed to get an hour off and got down to see it plus a  bush full of linnets.

I made the journey down to Pett expecting to see the lesser yellowlegs but par for the course it was not there and had been refound at Rye. By then rain had set in but I sat it out at Pett whilst having lunch hoping it might return. Plenty of wigeon, lapwings etc to see but at 2.00pm I aborted and called in at Chilham on the way home seeing the shrike again.


Another visit to Seasalter in a raw north wind and only 4 degrees C.. I managed to clock up 40 species which included 84 ringed plover on the roost, 3 gadwall, 2 coots and 30 teal in the NRA dyke, 2 snipe, 2 goldfinches, 1 song thrush, 24 brents and c.300 lapwings opp the Sportsman.On the LNR, 2 stonechats, 19 skylarks on the path feeding, rather unusual and c.800 feeding close to the beach as the tide came in. Returning to the HT roost I saw 5 sanderling, and c.400 dunlin


It was a sunny day as I drove east to Sandwich BBOT but as I passed Reculver the sun had gone in, mist and cloud ahead and stayed there all morning (sunny at Whitstable all am)! However, not to be put off I continued and at the obs 3 yellowhammers feeding on the track with lots of chaffinches etc.. Parking up I walked down to the Restharrow Scrape where there were numerous teal, gadwall, shoveler, little grebes etc.. After a short stay I walked along to the YC meeting Nick and Adam but no sign of the black redstart. Finally found it out on the beach track but very distant and not worth chasing in the cold (2 deg).  On route back the stonechats performed admirably for the camera albeit at very high ISOs and I called in at the hide again but nothing new.


Spent a few minutes down on the beach at Seasalter as still sunny taking wader photos.


A nice sunny morning, only had a couple of hours as guests for lunch arriving  so where to go?   Thornden woods seemed a good bet and I still needed treecreeper and firecrest maybe a bit of luck. At first the area seemed empty but I saw one tiny bird in the undergrowth which was a firecrest, brilliant. Another half hour still no flock but eventually some long tails came in plus a couple of nuthatches, goldcrests coal tit and 2 treecreepers. Three great spots close by were arguing most of time when the firecrest came into view again. I tried for a photo but no light as usual however, using ISO 2500 I managed to get a record shot, they are so fast.


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