After a couple of cracking birds yesterday I was optimistic when I got up at 4am and hoped that today would have a few more quality birds at Reculver. As I got ready I turned my phone on when message after message arrived alerting me that a Dusky Thrush had been seen at Margate Cemetery the day before, a first for Kent! I was soon driving down to Margate where on arrival there was already a growing number of people. To cut a long story short, the Dusky Thrush was found not long after where I was able to obtain good views of this Mega for Kent and this was also a new life and Kent bird for me. I took a few record shots in the dull light but it was very disappointing to witness the negative side of twitching as the bird was chased from tree to tree when it was found each time. On the positive side, it was nice to meet up with a few fellow bloggers and have a chat. A big well done though to Steve Tomlinson on this find, a true Mega Kent bird. Feeling on a high I then drove over to Reculver where I parked at the towers and walked behind the Oyster farm out to Chambers Wall before checking the bushes and walking out to the sea. I then returned to look for the Montagu's Harrier where I ended up spending nearly 2 hours chatting to other birders in the sunshine. Birds noted were 1 Little Owl, 13 Oystercatcher, 4 Redshank, 3 Yellow Wagtail, 1 Marsh Harrier, 2 Greylag Geese, 10 Whitethroat and 7 Corn Bunting. A look at the bushes at Chambers Wall was rewarded with 1 Spotted Flycatcher (154). I returned to the area south of the Oyster farm and hoped the Montagu's Harrier would be around and I was not to be disappointed. Along with a few other birders we had stunning views of the ring tail Montagu's Harrier as it quartered the fields and on occasions flew by at c50 yards range allowing the camera to get some serious action.
The Harrier continued to show well for most of the late morning before I moved on and made my way back to the car where I was able to note 4 Reed Warbler, 1 Common Tern, 2 Tufted Duck, 4 Sedge Warbler, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Grey Partridge, 10 Swift, 8 Swallow and 3 Shelduck. After yesterdays pretty poor Harrier shots I think I have at least improved on them with a few turning out quite nicely.
This was the best views of a Montagu's Harrier I have ever had so far and well worth a visit if you are in the area.