After not being out yesterday I was keen to get out early so at 4.15am I was driving over to the Stour Valley where I spent 30 minutes driving around the area noting 1 booming Bittern, 3 Tawny Owl and 1 Nightingale. I then parked up and walked to the ramp but the fog was coming in quickly and within a few minutes visibility was next to nothing. Not knowing how long this was going to hang around for, I aborted the mission and drove over to Reculver where I walked down to Coldharbour and inland to Chambers Wall before walking back to the coast where I met the Hindle family on the beach for a chat. In the early hours the fog was quite heavy but it soon burnt off to a glorious warm sunny morning. Birds noted on my walk around included 2 Green Woodpecker, 6 Whitethroat, 6 Blackcap, 1 Garden Warbler at Shuart, 2 Chiffchaff, 11 Tufted Duck, 2 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Kestrel, 1 Little Grebe, 4 Reed Warbler, 3 Ringed Plover, 15 Linnet, 3 Redshank and 5 Yellow Wagtail. At Chambers Wall I come across the Swallow family and spent a while watching these ariel wonders going about their business. I wanted to capture a few shots of them perched but needed a background to get the contrast needed for the Swallow to stand out well. This was easier said than done but eventually they landed where I wanted them too and I was able to fire off a number of pleasing images in the sun.
With the mission completed I moved on noting 10 Sedge Warbler, 5 Meadow Pipit, 12 Turnstone, 9 Oystercatcher, 2 Shoveler, 8 Shelduck, 5 Reed Bunting, 4 Mallard, 11 Gannet east, 4 Bar tailed Godwit, c35 Swallow west, 3 Corn Bunting and at Chambers Wall I picked out 2 Turtle Dove (147) flying south, a pleasing year tick. There were 3 Great crested Grebe, 1 Eider offshore, 8 Sandwich Tern, 9 Whimbrel, 1 Little Egret, 1 Marsh Harrier, 2 Swift, 1 Grey Heron, 1 Little Owl sitting on the caravans and a good number of Sand Martin flying around at the colony.