The first day of my two week break saw me leaving home at 5.45am in sleet which occasionally turned more snowy as I drove around Reculver. I stopped off at a few points where it was nice to hear the dawn chorus in fine tune. I managed to see 2 Barn Owl, one hunting in fields as I drove along the Thanet Way and another was seen soon after near Shuart. Also noted early were 1 Grey Wagtail, 2 Grey Heron, 1 Skylark, 1 Kestrel, 15 Teal, 2 Green Woodpecker, 3 White Wagtail were in a ploughed field inland at Reculver and despite the sleety conditions I managed to grab a record shot.
Also here were c75 Fieldfare, 7 Shoveler, 9 Tufted Duck, 1 Little Grebe and 1 Little Egret. At 7am I pulled up at Reculver where I had planned to meet Phil Parker and after having our normal chat we braved the cold wintry conditions and walked on down the seawall before walking inland to Chambers Wall before returning back. Not the greatest morning ornithologicaly but its not surprising considering the persistant cold weather. Birds noted were 12 Curlew, c120 Golden Plover, 7 Grey Plover, 11 Sanderling, 4 Ringed Plover, 16 Oystercatcher, 4 Redshank, 6 Shelduck, 3 Marsh Harrier, 1 Peregrine, 2 Snipe but not the hoped for Kentish Plover which I had hoped might have relocated overnight to the area. Along the seawall we had nice views of a Weasel which allowed us to grab a few shots of these elusive little mammals before it plunged over the seawall and out of sight.
There were 9 Bar tailed Godwit, 4 Reed Bunting, c25 Lapwing, 2 Kingfisher together chasing each other, 1 Rock Pipit, 8 Turnstone, 13 Red throated Diver east and whilst back at the towers sheltering we located the smart male Black Redstart which after a bit of work showed for a few shots.
The plan next was to drive to Swalecliffe to hopefully see the Kentish Plover. To get straight to the point, we arrived and spent an hour looking with no luck but did see a male Wheatear! With this we returned back to Reculver and had a quick look around the rocks before returning back to the cars and off home for a well deserved cup of tea. Hopefully a few visits in the coming weeks where surely the weather will be better and the migrants poring through!