Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Three Mornings at Seasalter

13th April

A lovely bright and still morning so I went up to Wraik Hill hoping for nightingales, none singing but a willow warbler, blackcap and chiffs on the top of the hill but no nightingale. Couldn't hear any on Foxes Cross Hill slope but a call later from GB alerted me to return as he had now heard one in song which I heard from the car!  Down at the seafront there were quite a few sedge warblers, chiffs plus a whitethroat and a couple of stonechats.  Brian Watmough recorded a white-spotted bluethroat on the LNR early morning.  


Another sunny day where I walked along the LNR hoping for yesterday's WS bluethroat but no luck, instead, 1 swallow, 2 house martins and a wheatear. Back at the NRA and 'island' 16 ringed plovers and 1 dunlin (first this month).


Today, loads of sedge warblers but couldn't hear a reed warbler (maybe the ears) however, I clearly heard several reels of one or perhaps two grasshopper warblers. Also, 4 cetti's, 1 marsh harrier, whitethroat, 5 swallows, a couple of blackcaps and a cuckoo, my first this year. Out on the sea 2 lesser black-backed gulls and two grebes in courtship. By the YC 2 Sandwich and one common tern and by the huts 2 wheatears, a dozen plus linnets and goldfinches. Nice to hear all the skylarks singing, seem to be making a come back here.

 Sedge Warbler

Linnet female

Meadow Pipit



Whinchat by Geoff Burton

A  late pm visit to Seasalter by Geoff Burton found and photographed this whinchat and also saw a redstart.

Stodmarsh Again plus Reculver

11th April

I needed to make the most of the day even with rain threatening so I headed for the Reedbed hide again where it rained most of the morning. Just a few gadwall and shoveler plus the marsh harriers put in a show but no garganey.

12th April

First stop was Reculver finding 3 ring ouzels at the back of the old caravan park then over to the Reedbed hide again although, I quickly dropped into Grove on the way where I heard a sedge warbler singing away.  I stayed all morning at the hide and at c.12.30 the pair of garganey appeared and later came right under the front of the hide.



8th April

At first I took a quick look at Seasalter which seemed very quiet apart from 1 swallow and a few shelduck offshore. I had to get home for an appointment with Anglian so I didn't out until the afternoon when I went to Stodmarsh hoping to see some garganey but failed. However, a few ducks and a treecreeper provided fodder for the camera but a view of a ringtail at the Marsh hide did not oblige.

Friday, 10 April 2015

Spring at Last

7th April

A beautiful sunny morning, just the day for a trek around the patch. I didn''t go to WraikHill and just concentrated on the seafront and Seasalter Lane.  Along the lane, cetti's, skylarks, lapwings, wrens, 1 egret and c.60 teal out over the levels. At the seafront 6 grebes were on the sea with just a few oystercatchers and curlew plus 3 brents and 4 lesser b.b.gulls then later 3 egrets, one allowing me a photo as it fished in one of the pools.

Out on the plots, the usual haul, including stonechat, linnets, goldfinches, cetti's, chiffchaff, sparrowhawk (one I'd not seen for a while here}, song thrush and reed buntings etc..  Another look out to sea revealed 9 grey plovers, 7 which were resting the other two flybys, 2 redshanks, 2 shelduck, 3 turnstones, 1 common gull and 9 g.b.b.gulls. Back over the plots were 8 buzzards circling high up together which was the same amount I saw a couple of days ago......maybe the same local birds?  Fairly pleased with the final total of 50 species for the morning.

Sunday, 5 April 2015

The Reedbed Hide

Friday 3rd April

Another grim day so it was over to the Reedbed Hide at Stodmarsh meeting  Mr.Robin Blythe. Nothing much doing although the kingfisher did five flybys eventually landing on one of the posts plus marsh harriers and grebes did their usual displays.

Thursday, 2 April 2015

At Last A Day Out

2nd April

The wifes' gone to Bluewater with a friend for the day, there are no kids to look after plus its not a bad day, great.   First stop was Seasalter as the wind had subsided and the tide was rapidly coming near to the beach. Hardly any waders left just half a dozen redshank and several turnstones plus a surprise to see 12 sanderling still present but no dunlin or brents.  In the plots a stonechat and in the dyke a shoveler and a couple of coots, mallard and moorhens, the teal may have been deeper in the marsh but I didn't see any.

A walk along the beach showed how much the tide had recently swept stones etc. to fill in the tiny causeway that had been developing over the last couple of years.  The 'island' is now no longer so I am wondering how this will effect the safe roost that birds had, already I see people walking out on it. 

After an hour or so I went to see the Shrike at Chilham, now in its seventh month now, early October until now at least. It was in its usual spot and doing its sudden disappearing acts. I saw it fly into the hedge and keeping my eye on it as I approached a bit closer it somehow vanished, I think it has a series of tunnels where it dives into and comes up somewhere else.

Taken from a distant section of the wire

I left just after midday as I had to be 'in' for the Pilgrims Hospice driver to pick up a sofa, so it wasn't a completely free day. However, he was there at 1.30 allowing me to go to Seasalter again and how the weather had perked up.  Hoping to see the SEO and perhaps get a photo I didn't stop long around the plots and made my to the Sportsman. It was soon on show and later I was joined by Mark Chidwick where we together got a few owl shots.

Going back to the car I couldn't resist taking this photo of a magpie