I was awake at 5.15am again this morning and after clearing the frost off the car was on my way driving the Reculver lanes. It was -2 degrees but with clear skies and little wind I was hopeful for some Owl action. Most readers will know I often drive around the lanes in the hope some Owls will be seen or hear but this morning was one of those great early morning sessions. As I drove the lanes I saw 1 Barn Owl sitting on the top of telegraph poles followed by 3 Long eared Owls. 1 flew out of a bush as I was driving down a lane and I had good views as it flew away into the darkness and 2 were seen together a while later as it got light. Add to this 4 calling Red legged Partridge, 4 Grey Partridge and 1 Woodcock and it was a very good start to the day. After parking up at Chambers Wall I took a walk down to Coldharbour and west towards the towers for a while on the seawall before returning the way I had come. The weather was stunning with not a breath of wind, a beautiful sunrise and the crisp noise of frost underfoot.
Sunrise at Reculver
I managed to see 1 adult Mediterranean Gull (107), a year tick and also noted were 188 Cormorant, 25 Fieldfare, 1 Wigeon heard, 2 Grey Heron, 1 Marsh Harrier, 4 Reed Bunting, 1 flock of 35 Curlew were seen at dawn giving a nice chance of a silhouette shot as they flew into the sky against the sun.
There were 5 Shelduck displaying to each other, 17 Redshank, 3 Grey Plover, 5 Oystercatcher, 4 Shoveler west, 25 Linnet, 1 Turnstone, 18 Golden Plover were flushed from fields, 2 Skylark were singing, 1 Peregrine was noted hunting unsuccessfully, 3 Mistle Thrush and 3 Mallard. Meeting Julian Perry at the crossing on my way back he joined me where we drove over to West Brook valley where we met Phil Parker who wanted to see the Siberian Chiffchaff that has been in the area. After trudging through a bit of mud we finally arrived with the fog now descending quickly hiding the sun for the rest of the session. We noted here 13 Redwing, 10 Chiffchaff, 1 Siberian Chiffchaff but it remain very elusive and often stays in the brambles just giving brief views every now and then, 2 Grey Wagtail flew over,1 Woodcock was flushed and the Rooks were back at their nests in preparation for the breeding season. A pleasing session and most quality birds seen before many had even got out of bed. Its the best time of day! Hopefully back out tomorrow to see what is around and maybe another trip for the Sibe, maybe it will give itself into me soon.