At last, the weekend has arrived and I was keen to get out early to see if any Owls were in the Reculver area before it got light. Just like my last few weekends, despite driving around to known areas where I normally see them, I drew a blank not seeing any at all. Iv'e not seen a Barn owl for ages now and wonder if they are actually around at the moment, the same with Long eared Owl which I usually encounter in December. I had arranged to meet Phil Parker this morning at Minnis Bay to see if we could find the Purple Sandpiper that had been seen in the area a few days earlier. On arrival before Phil the tide was already in and with no exposed mud I took a walk west towards Shuart and the riding stables. There were a good amount of waders seen this morning, nothing out of this world but on a lovely sunny morning it at least gave my camera the chance to get some action. Birds noted were c45 Turnstone, c200 Oystercatcher, 15 Redshank, 9 Curlew, c80 Grey Plover, 2 Stonechat, c100 Sanderling, c80 Dunlin, 1 Bar tailed Godwit, 20 Mute Swans, c30 Lapwing and between Plumpudding Island and Coldharbour I found 5 Snow Bunting which allowed a few shots before an irresponsible dog walker flushed them not to be seen again.
Phil joined me and we walked back slowly noting c400 Brent Geese, 1 Little Egret, c30 Mallard, 2 Red throated Diver, 7 Great crested Grebe, 1 Sparrowhawk but no sign of any hoped for Water Pipits on the flooded area around the stables. Arriving back at the cars we had a bite to eat and a few waders were on the beach allowing for some more camera action and a very social Rock Pipit was bouncing around our feet, just a shame it only had one foot itself but it seemed to be in good health and feeding actively.
A pleasant morning and nice to get a few shots and see some winter sunshine.
Sanderling and Dunlin