So with another windy day forecast another sea watch was on the cards, Stephen and I arrived at Shellness around 7.30am almost the first bird was a LEACH'S PETREL! the first of 8 sightings through the day of probably between 3 and 5 birds. More BONXIES, ARCTIC SKUAS and LITTLE GULLS were also seen today. There were a couple of little surprises, a SNOW BUNTING flew north up the beach mid morning and a SHAG, not a bird I've seen many of in Kent was in the surf just off the beach. As the wind dropped we headed to Warden Point in a downpour in difficult conditions we picked up a few REDWING, CHIFFCHAFF and a handful of FIELDFARE. The wind picked up again so it was back to Leysdown and some sea-watching from the car, there was much of the same but we added SANDWICH TERN and a second ARCTIC TERN of the day, the most noticeable movement was of 1500-2000 BRENT GEESE mainly heading into the Swale, a quick walk around the bushes did produce a single BRAMBLING.
The only pics this week are from the Shellness trip.
|Early morning at Shellness Point|
|Different takes on this young Little Gull, click for larger image, not sure if it helps though!|
|Just a few of the Brent Geese seen|
|A small flock of Turnstone|
Before a short account of yesterdays guided walk, I did find a STONECHAT (101) last week to add the year list which was a bird I thought might could miss this years list.
So yesterday at 7am, 11 of us set off from the car park, there were lots of ROBINS and one of the first birds that went on to the list was a flyover BRAMBLING, 1 of 3 during the day. It was apparent that things were moving as REDWINGS, CHAFFINCHES and PIPITS were whizzing over. Within half an hour we had amassed 24 species. I happened to look up when we were in the wood and picked up a flock of about 100 BRENT GEESE flying south-west another unexpected addition to the list. In the wood we added all the Tit species including a very obliging MARSH TIT which fed above our heads for a few minutes. A single LESSER REDPOLL near the ticket office meant that by breakfast at 9.15 we were on 45 species, with a walk round the fields to come it was a good total. After breakfast we added the expected SKYLARK, YELLOWHAMMER and eventually COMMON BUZZARD of which, we had 9 in the air at once, a record for here! A couple of GREYS came next in the form of HERON and WAGTAIL. 2 late SWALLOWS were over the ploughed fields near Digdog Lane and probably the highlight of the walk came when all the STARLINGS in Rares hedge got up and just above was a fine male MERLIN! (102) which carried on high south west. In the end we had 55 species for the morning in beautiful sunshine and light winds quite a contrast from the previous two days.