Thursday, 5 February 2015

Raven Brightens Up The Morning

Thurs. 5th.

Another cold morning, 2 deg and an icy blast from the north again plus several rain/sleet showers that persuaded me to bird in a different way.  Covering just the Seasalter coast I decided to do a 'from the inside the car' list. I parked up by the Ski Club and picked up most of the waders although knot was missed, they rarely get down this far plus no sign of any cormorants despite several searches throughout the morning. Moving onto the pumping station or NRA (National Rivers Authority, as it was) where a big number of duck were present.

These included; 26 gadwall, 4 shoveler, c.100 teal and an unusual amount of 19 coots plus a few moorhens. During this time a female marsh harrier flew about over the 'sitting' ducks for some time but none of them took flight, finally the harrier dropped onto the side of the dyke with a couple of corvid guards.

Thereafter, I moved further west looking for blackbird, robin, Grt bb gull dunnock, blue tit, grt crested grebe and wood pigeon, all that can normally be seen from the road but no luck, no woody, that's incredible they are normally everywhere.

 However, a large flock of goldies were on the sheep fields where I also picked up a buzzard which must be attracted to the sheep which are now lambing. I saw a stonechat from the entrance to the sub-station but little else so I retraced my steps back to the ski club picking up several skylarks in the 'Alberta field' and 2 swans in the dyke. 

Late morning, the weather had now improved so I did another about turn and going past the YC towards the Sportsman, going around the corner  I was met by this enormous black corvid twenty or thirty feet above the seawall. Yes, the raven again, I stopped on the side of the road, grabbed the camera and got a couple of record shots, unfortunately it was mainly flying away and the light was not the best so had to be satisfied with all that I could get.

Finishing up, I saw a sanderling on the sandy patch viewable from the NRA bringing the final total to thirty species but with lots of gaps forty could easily be on the cards.  So even with bad weather its no excuse......... start a 'from inside the car list'!

PM; I drove over to Monkshill Farm at Waterham noting several hundred fieldfares and redwings in the pastures opposite.

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