Thursday, 1 November 2012

Thursday 1st. November 2012

Being busy for the rest of the week , and reading of other Bloggers making visits to Reculver and finding some good species , I decided to chance my luck on Tuesday morning . I arrived to a cool , windy Reculver , with only three cars in the car park , I was wondering if I had made a good decision . Wrapping up in several layers I headed up to the towers , checking the blocks for any signs of Black Redstart , but there were not .The tide was almost right in , but surprisingly there were only a few Turnstones down by the waterline . The bushes by the caravan park produced one Dunnock but the wires just beyond held four Meadow Pipits , the first of many seen , and the one I photographed
was very heavily marked . Only more Turnstones and the odd Ringed Plover and Redshank and I was best part of the way down to Coldharbour . Then a movement on the shingle and my luck had
changed , with the sighting of a Shore Lark , one of the species I was hoping to find . As I followed it in the viewfinder , another patch of yellow appeared , another of the same species , busily searching
for food amongst the shingle . They only stayed in view for 3/4 minutes , then dropped over the edge and out of sight . Looking along the sea wall both ways , there wasn't another person within a quarter of a mile , I had had them all to myself . Another 100 yards along the wall , with the sun starting to show , and more movement on the shingle , this time the other species that I was hoping to find ,
Snow Buntings , two together and one a few yards behind . If I found nothing else , my day had already been made , which was just as well as Coldharbour produced just a pair of Mute Swan , a Black-headed Gull and a single Redshank . On one of the groynes , a flock of Turnstone and just
a single Redshank , landed to wait out the top of the tide . With the weather improving , I carried on towards Minnis Bay , finding another nice species on another groyne , a female / juvenile Black
Redstart . I also started finding small numbers of Brent Geese flying westwards towards the Towers .
A few Oystercatchers were competing with the Turnstones at the waters edge and as the beach
flattened out , a single Sandering . I started to walk inland at Plumpudding Stables , but soon realised that the sun was not conducive for spotting birds in this direction , so returned to the seawall and started to retrace my steps back towards the Towers at Reculver , that seemed a long distance away .
In the same area where I found the Black Redstart , I found another , this time a fine male on the shingle . Heading back towards Coldharbour I found both male and female Reed Buntings along with

lots of Goldfinch , Linnet and more Meadow Pipits . From Coldharbour I started meeting birders looking for the Shore Larks , having seen the Snow Buntings along the way . I checked the area where I had seen them , but no sign . A passing birder had seen a Short-eared Owl fly in off the sea , but I unfortunately missed that . Two large flocks of Brent Geese flew off the fields and settled
on the sea , and having drifted in towards land , flew back into the fields , passing over an unknown number of Golden Plover , as they were in line with the low sun . I found the Snow Buntings again , they had moved 100 or so yards towards the Towers , but were now in the shade of the sea wall .
Almost back at the Towers and a flash of white announced a very late Wheatear . Whilst looking at
that , a very colourful male Stonechat briefly stopped on the same groyne . The last shot I took was of
two Cormorants , who reminded me of the 'top dog - underdog' positions . I got back to the car about 1400 , and decided to stop off at Oare Marshes on my way back . Pulling up , the flood still held good
numbers of Black-tailed Godwit , along with the usual , Lapwing , Golden Plover and Cormorants .
Out front of the East Hide , it was nice to see three Pintail , two drakes and a duck . Beyond the hide I found a small group of birders , just starting to break up and heading further along the path . I asked if there was anything about , to be told that they had just spent the last ten minutes watching a Penduline Tit , just a short distance away in a ditch , which had just flow off to a large patch of Bulrush , but it should come back . I followed them to the patch of Bulrush , backed by a large area of Phragmites . A couple of glimpses amongst the reeds , then nothing for some time . Another movement , then briefly at the top of a reed , but too quick and far for a shot . Whilst waiting , three late Swallows passed over , heading South . Then the Penduline Tit appeared again and flew back towards the hide , then into a Hawthorn , then back to the Bulrush that it was seen on previously . We made our way carefully back and eventually got within range , and I managed to get a
few record shots , as it was on the far side of the Bullrush head , and often enveloped within it whilst searching for seeds . Unfortunately it didn't stay long this visit , returning to the large patch . The sun was going down now and the temperature was dropping , and although a couple more glimpses were obtained , it never really came out of the reedbed . I decided to have one last look at the flood , and
took this shot of a pair of Mute Swan having a wash and brush up in the quickly fading light . I headed off home , thinking that it was a good decision after all .


Marc Heath said...

That sounds like a very good trip indeed.

Warren Baker said...

Well done Greenie, looks like you found all the goodies today - very satisfying I should imagine.

Soon be time for some garden photo's over a long leisurely breakfast wont it ?

Alan Pavey said...

A really rewarding day Greenie, some great quality birds there, well done with all the pics too :-)

Mike H said...

Sounds like you had truely great day out with some wonderful sightings and photo's to back it up.

Rohrerbot said...

You've captured all those little birds so wonderfully! I hope to see lots of them someday:)

ShySongbird said...

A wonderful collection of sightings and photos Greenie! Quite a lot here which I have never seen such as the lovely Shore Lark, Snow Bunting and Black Redstart, the first two I am not likely to, without travelling a very considerable distance, although there have been a few Snow Buntings at Draycote from time to time. As for the Penduline Tit, how exciting! I doubt I will ever see one of those! A really interesting post Greenie.