With the strong north wind battering the Reculver coastline in the week and a good selection of birds to be seen in the area on the sea and land I was very eager to get out early this morning to see what was around. The forecast was good with sunny spells and light winds forecast so I left home at 6am and had a drive around the lanes in the dark. It was soon apparent that some birds were in the area as quite a few could be seen flying out of the bushes in the headlights as I passed through. I eventually ended up at Chambers Wall where at 7 am I met up with Julian Perry. Matt Hindle had found an exhausted Mealy Redpoll in the area yesterday and this would be a new bird for me in the area. As we got ready at the cars the bushes were alive with birds and Thrushes and Finches could be seen flying over. We made our way down to the railway crossing noting c50 Fieldfare, 2 Kestrel, 2 Siskin, c200 Redwing, 1 Grey Heron, 2 Sparrowhawk, 2 Lesser Redpoll and the first of c15 Brambling seen today. As we made our way over the crossing a bird flew up from the path and landed in a tree. A quick look soon revealed a Mealy Redpoll, a scarce Reculver bird and a patch tick for me. It seemed not in the greatest condition and dropped down on to the floor where it happily few a few metres away before flying back into the trees. The cleanish white wing bars stood out well as did the slightly larger size and overall whitish appearance to the bird. I rattled off a few shots before leaving it in peace to hopefully feed well and move on.
We then walked along the embankment noting 7 Chiffchaff, 15 Lapwing, 1 Kingfisher, c40 Wigeon, 1 Ring Ouzel, c80 Golden Plover, 1 Bullfinch, 1 Snipe, 1 Spotted Redshank seen and heard calling, 4 Goldcrest and 1 Firecrest. Julian made his way home and I continued on down to Coldharbour and west to the mound. There were birds everywhere with every bush having Robins falling out of them, c60 seen today. There were 6 Reed Bunting, 1 Green Woodpecker, 1 Ruff flew high west as did 1 male Snow Bunting. Also seen were 1 Grey Wagtail, 1 Common Sandpiper, 8 Redshank, 4 Turnstone, 4 Oystercatcher and as I checked the tide line a small wader landed on the beach. I had my suspicions and took a few shots just in case and these revealed that it was a Little Stint, the 2nd patch tick of the day and a good bird to get in the area. I believe this is my 235th Reculver tick. It soon flew off not before I took a few flight shots.
Walking back to the car 2 Rock Pipit were seen along with c80 Linnet. A great session with birds everywhere and the bonus of 2 new Reculver patch ticks. Reculver can be a hard place to bird throughout the year but when its on form, its a brilliant area to watch. I wonder what the next session will reveal?