Saturday, 4 January 2014

After the Rain Stopped!

With my last birding session today until the dreaded 'w' word on Monday I wanted to get out early to catch up on a few year ticks and maybe find something good along the way. I left home at 6.30am where it was already raining a little and the wind continued to blow quite strong. I drove along the Thanet Way and as I pulled in at the Chambers Wall junction there was a Barn Owl sitting on one of the public footpath signs. This is the first Barn Owl I have seen for months and the fact that it was hunting in a very strong wind suggests that they are struggling. The Owl then took flight where it then flew over the Thanet Way and into the darkness. I continued on and parked up at Shuart where I wanted to see if any Woodcock would come into roost and not long after I picked out 2 Woodcock flying against the sky and into cover. Moving on again, a brief stop gave me 2 calling Red legged and Grey Partridge before I then drove over to Reculver to park up. On arrival the rain was now heavy so I decided to park up in the car park and look out to sea. As I scanned the rocks I could see a Pipit walking about so I quickly got out of the car and took a quick look. Thankfully it was a Rock Pipit, a silver ring on its left leg and yellow on its right. I returned later to see if I could photograph it but it had moved on somewhere. After another 30 minutes in the car the rain started to stop so I parked up and walked back to the rocks to start, a good move as one of the first birds I saw was the wintering Black Redstart. I then walked down the seawall to the Green wall and inland and back behind the Oyster farm to the car. Birds noted were 1 Sparrowhawk, c40 Brent Geese, 2 Stonechat, 1 Kingfisher, 2 Little Egret, 9 Oystercatcher, 36 Redshank, 3 Turnstone, 2 Curlew, 5 Little Grebe, 4 Grey Plover, 3 Dunlin and 35 Ringed Plover.


There were 3 Shelduck, 2 Meadow Pipit, 1 Grey Heron, 1 Marsh Harrier, 6 Linnet and 4 Lapwing. With 45 minutes left when I returned to the car I thought I would have a drive back to Shuart to see if any more year ticks were on offer, a good decision as I heard a Little Owl calling and had a brief view as it flew off and 1 Goldcrest was seen in with a flock of 8 Long tailed Tit and 1 Chiffchaff. Despite yet more rubbish weather I managed 8 year ticks today taking me to 83 species. Hopefully a few birds will be around for my next visit probably next weekend


  1. Beautiful Stonechat, well taken Marc.

  2. Didn't even get out at all today Marc, bloody weather! Makes you wonder how the birds cope with all this wet ?

  3. It's got to get better soon............. Hasn't it. I can't remember a year starting weather wise so badly. Just hope all the birds make it through.

  4. Marc.
    Well done with the Woodcock sighting, albeit in flight. Good to see that you have started the year off with 83 species.