Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Birding in the Sun.... Again!

I didn't go out this morning until 9.30am, treating myself to lay in but when I did leave home the sun was shining again, I could get used to this! I had seen some photos of the Reculver Black Redstart on the internet which seemed to show it on the iron fencing west of the towers. I normally only look every visit on the rocks in the car park but often don't walk that far west so with this in mind I went straight there this morning. A few minutes scanning the rocks in the area produced a single Robin and then a flash of a tail inbetween the rocks, the Black Redstart. I made my way down onto the beach and soon found it feeding on the beach. There were hundreds of little flies in amongst the seaweed and this is obviously where it spends most of its time. I sat in an area and with a bit of patience it showed very well, the only problem being although sunny it was not over the cliff side where I was. I took a number of shots on the beach and every now and then it would fly onto the rocks where it was nice to see and hear it singing with a bonus in that the sun was shining on the rocks.

Black Redstart

After more shots I left it in peace to dent the fly population and walked back to the car noting 4 Sanderling, 17 Ringed Plover, 2 Curlew, 1 Grey Plover, c100 dark bellied Brent Geese, 6 Redshank, 1 Red throated Diver and 2 Skylark were in song. The pan was then to drive over to Minnis Bay and watch the tide coming in, not before a quick stop at Shuart to see if any raptors were on the wing. I noted 3 Kestrel, 1 Sparrowhawk, 2 Common Buzzard and 1 Marsh Harrier. A five minute drive after leaving and I was at Minnis where the sun was still shining. The tide was coming in fast so I positioned myself in an area where I hoped the flocks of moving waders would fly by. This can be a brilliant spectacle with hundreds of birds on the move at once. Birds I noted were 31 Great crested Grebe offshore, 3 Curlew, 15 Bar tailed Godwit, c150 Oystercatcher with one photographed bird seemingly having a crossed over bill at the tip. 


Birds also noted were c180 Dunlin, c50 Grey Plover, c30 Turnstone and c40 Brent Geese which were feeding close inshore providing a few more photo attempts. A relaxing session indeed made even better by the weather and a few obliging birds, that can't be bad.

Dark bellied Brent Goose


  1. Sun? What sun! had continues light showers all day here! Glad you had some though, lovely images in that light - I struggled to get any decent shutter speeds at all unless I was on ISO 1000, which makes for poor pics :-(

  2. Good to see you where able to enjoy the sun, and get some cracking shots, love the Black Redstart
    All the best Gordon.

  3. Wow! Terrific shots. With all the song you heard perhaps spring is right around the corner where you live.

  4. It was a stunning day today, and what about the Black Redstart, it's superb.

  5. Looking more closely at the Oystercatcher bill it seems longer than the normal Oystercatcher bills and I would have thought orange all the way down as they all seem to be at the moment. I wonder what the cause could be?

  6. Marc I was just going to make a comment similar to yours above. It would seem that this bill has effectively grown too long , maybe a bit like long nails and as such has lost its pigment ,strength and therefore begun to cross over. If it was a budgie its beak would be trimmed!!

  7. I really like the Oystercatchers

  8. You might have had a rotten winter but shots like these, especially the Oystercatchers in flight are just stunning!
    Redstart females also winter usually in the south of France but I haven't seen them this winter...
    Nice and sharp pics!

    PS: I gave you my answer on Madame croco et ses dentelles!