I was out of the house quite early this morning at 6am where I had planned to give some Owling a good bash and try to find a Long eared Owl. It was forecast to rain early on and then a day full of sunshine which sounded promising. I drove around my usual circuit and occasionally stopped to listen but once again I failed to hear any calling. I normally stay locked in the car on my dark excursions but desperate to find my prize, I parked up and walked into the darkness to an area I have heard them before. Despite not seeing anything including where I was walking I did not hear any and am now concerned that even I'm unlucky or they are not here at the moment, I shall keep trying. Back in the car and I drove back over to Reculver recording 1 Woodcock in the growing light and by now the rain was quite hard so I had to spend about 45 minutes in the car until it stopped. I then walked down the seawall to Minnis Bay and back with a quick detour inland. The weather forecast was actually correct in the end with wall to wall sunshine in cloudless skies, a treat just to be out in these conditions. Birds noted this morning included 1 Kestrel, c400 Cormorant, 13 Shelduck, 3 Little Egret, 22 Mute Swan, 2 Meadow Pipit, 1 Marsh Harrier, c30 Ringed Plover, 2 Snow Bunting showed quite well but with so many dog walkers, cyclists, runners and loud people, my attempts for a photo were zero. With the light being so good today the camera was soon into some action with the waders roosting over high tide and c50 Grey Plover were seen with one individual keeping an eye on me which made for a nice shot of this species.
Other birds noted were 5 Redshank, 13 Turnstone, c120 Oystercatcher, 2 Sanderling, c40 Dunlin, 7 Mallard, 3 Great crested Grebe offshore, 1 Red throated Diver, 1 Curlew, 2 Guillemot, 10 Wigeon gave me my only welcome year tick today, 2 Stonechat and 1 singing Skylark showed that Spring is just around the corner.
After meeting Chris Hindle on the seawall and finding out 2 Yellowhammer were in with the Reed Bunting flock I decided to walk inland to find them. A short walk later and I soon found the Reed Buntings and in with them were the 2 Yellowhammer but they soon took flight and flew west. Walking back to the car along the seawall I only added 1 Lapwing but it was nice to see c120 Brent Geese in the air allowing for a shot in good light as they flew past.
Dark bellied Brent Geese
Nothing amazing seen but a pleasure to be out in nice weather for a change and to get a few photos and see a few good birds. Hopefully another brief session tomorrow morning.