Sunday, 16 February 2014

That'll Do Nicely!

For once it looked like the forecast was going to be kind with light winds and a day of sunshine in East Kent. I was up early at 5am where after getting ready I was out of the house and driving around the lanes looking and listening for Owls. Once again despite stopping and listening in various areas I failed to hear or see any. All was not wasted though as once the light started to pick up a nice dawn chorus started and waiting at Shuart I was rewarded with 1 Woodcock coming into roost as well as 6 Red legged Partridge, 1 Grey Partridge and 2 Skylark adding to the chorus. A short drive over to Reculver Towers as it was getting light and then a walk down to Coldharbour and back in only what can be described as a beautiful sunny day, I hope there are a few more next week. I shouldn't complain but the only problem was that everyone else had the same idea and it did not take long for Kent's population of dog walkers, runners and cyclists to arrive on the seawall! Despite this I had a good time and managed to see 10 Tufted Duck, 1 Grey Wagtail, 3 Little Grebe, c500 Dark bellied Brent Geese, 1 Pale bellied Brent Goose, 1 Grey Plover, 9 Mute Swan, 3 Little Egret, 1 Merlin saw me before I saw it and gave a nice view as it flew by past the towers and 6 Stonechat were along the bushes with 2 birds showing nicely allowing me to grab some much wanted shots of this attractive species.

Male Stonechat

Female Stonechat

There were 33 Oystercatcher, 1 Kingfisher, 15 Redshank, 5 Turnstone, 10 Ringed Plover, 12 Reed Bunting with a few singing males, 3 Shelduck and 2 Mallard.


Back at the car I then drove over to Minnis Bay where I wanted to watch the birds on the incoming tide and who knows, maybe even see the mythical Minnis Purple Sandpiper. No Sandpiper but good numbers of birds moving as the tide come in including c150 Oystercatcher, 5 Curlew, 22 Great crested Grebe in one flock offshore, 6 Bar tailed Godwit, c80 Grey Plover, c140 Dunlin, c30 Redshank, c40 Turnstone and on the way back home 1 Common Buzzard was soaring and 1 Kestrel noted. A morning where just being out on the patch was a pleasure in cracking weather for a change, hopefully a few more sessions throughout the week.

Grey Plover and Bar tailed Godwit


  1. It was a beautiful day indeed, perhaps you should propose a law that prevents non-birders enjoying it as well.

  2. Everyone can enjoy Derek, just wish some would pick up their dog crap and if they see me photographing a bird, then control the dog, not just let it jump all over me and then say "it's only being friendly". I will give it friendly!!!

  3. That was one real nice morning Marc, after all that rubbish stuff this was really appreciated! Lovely Stonechat photo's :-)

    Been reading up on the 150mm Sigma lens, looks like a good lens. Focusing down to 38cm will be a great asset to get right in on those dragons! I reckon a small extension tube, say 12mm, will get you even closer, with no loss of image quality, especially for those more obliging Damsels - might have an issue with DoF though. Look forward to seeing some results!

  4. The Stonechat, male and female, are brilliant. The best I've seen.

  5. Six Stonechat....that'll very much do nicely Marc, wonderful images too.