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