Wednesday, 1 January 2014

The List is Under Way......... In the Rain!

I was awake a few times in the night, each time checking the time and hoping it was time to get up and get out for the first day of the New Year. Eventually at 6am I was up and about and after getting ready drove over to Reculver to begin the session. It was quite windy early on and I didn't hold out much hope of hearing anything. After pulling in at various points and not hearing that much I eventually could hear 1 Grey and 1 Red legged Partridge calling and soon after I moved to an area where I have seen Woodcock before and sitting in the car with the heater on a comfortable seat I managed to see 2 Woodcock coming into roost. With the light picking up I them drove over to Minnis Bay to meet Phil where the plan was to leave a car here and drive the other over to Reculver and walk the area through to Minnis Bay. The first part of the morning was dry although windy but at about 11am the heavens opened and we both received a total soaking for the next few hours, not part of the plan. Despite the atrocious conditions on the coast I managed to see 65 species, many common birds not seen including Collared Dove, Pied Wagtail, Kestrel, Kingfisher, Redwing and Long tailed Tit to name a few. Birds of note that we did see from the towers to Minnis Bay included 10 Mute Swan, 1 Green Woodpecker, c300 Brent Geese, c350 Cormorant, 2 Marsh Harrier, 1 Grey Wagtail, 2 Tufted Duck, 1 Shoveler, 1 Jay, c20 Turnstone, 2 Curlew, 2 Kittiwake flying east at sea and 2 Little Egret. There were 2 Snow Bunting which flew up from the shingle and flew west and appeared to land near the towers on the shingle. Also seen were 9 Shelduck, 7 Linnet, 21 Ringed Plover, 15 Redshank, c50 Grey Plover, c200 Oystercatcher, 1 Stonechat, 1 Skylark, 21 Mallard, 20 Sanderling, 1 Gannet, 4 Great crested Grebe and 2 Reed Bunting. A text from Chris had us walking inland to look for a scarce bird for the area which had been found, namely a Yellowhammer. Its easy to go a whole year without seeing this species so every attempt was made to catch up with the bird. We managed to find c30 Chaffinch in the area but drew a blank looking but as we walked back I saw the male Yellowhammer in a bush near the railway crossing which gave nice views before moving deeper into cover. Moving on in the now heavy rain we noted 3 Greenfinch, 1 Fieldfare, 11 Bar tailed Godwit, c200 Dunlin, c20 Lapwing and a seawatch at Minnis turned up 1 Red throated Diver, 2 Guillemot, 1 Gadwall and a quick stop at Shuart on my return gave me 2 Moorhen for the year list. Despite the soaking, wet clothes, wet optics etc, It was nice to be out on the 1st January and start the list all over again. I just hope my next session is a bit sunnier as the camera didn't even venture out of the bag today.


  1. A bit nicer out today Marc :-) Surely a dry spell of weather will be forthcoming very soon now ?