I was awake at 4am this morning and after getting ready in the dark left home at 4.30am where I drove around a few Reculver lanes listening for any Nightingales or Grasshopper Warblers. I failed to hear the Nightingale singing at May Street and there appears to be no Grasshopper Warblers on the cliffs at Beltinge but I did hear a Nightingale in full song as I went to drive over the flyover bridge at Chambers Wall. I sat in the car only a few metres away and spent a few minutes listening to this lovely song. I then drove over to Reculver where after parking up I walked the seawall to Coldharbour and inland to Chambers Wall, meeting Julian Perry on the way where we checked the bushes before Julian dropped me at Shuart and I walked back west along the seawall. The weather was actually quite nice with good spells of sunshine although a few clouds threatened but thankfully never delivered any rain. A good range of species were noted including 22 Whitethroat, 4 Lesser Whitethroat, 4 Chiffchaff, 8 Blackcap, 4 Red legged Partridge, 3 Sand Martin, c15 Linnet, 19 Sedge Warbler, 5 Shelduck, 10 Oystercatcher, 1 Common Scoter, 7 Yellow Wagtail, 3 Whimbrel and 1 ring tail Hen Harrier was seen well as it flew in and around the oyster farm pools. There were 2 Reed Warbler, 1 Little Owl, 6 Sandwich Tern, 4 Wheatear with 3 at Coldharbour together provided a few photo opportunities, 3 Redshank, 1 Greenshank heard, 1 Fulmar, 2 Tufted Duck and c15 Turnstone.
Continuing on we noted 3 Common Tern, 5 Swallow, 2 Cuckoo were heard, a welcome year tick along with 1 Grasshopper Warbler that was reeling c100 yards east of Chambers Wall crossing. We eventually located it and had brief views as it reeled away. Walking back from Shuart I saw 2 Marsh Harrier, 1 Grey Heron, 2 Lapwing, c72 Sanderling were roosting along the beach which provided a few more challenges with the camera, some were just coming into summer plumage and I accidentally managed to capture a shot on the beach with a Sanderling running in mid air, not an easy task as they speed along.
Sanderling in 'mid air'
All was not finished as 5 Little Tern flew west close inshore, 1 Dunlin and 1 Kestrel finished a very productive session indeed. Back to work tomorrow with clubs and fixtures this week at school so I probably won't be out much if at all. On another note its my 40th birthday this Friday so perhaps someone could find a Bee Eater or something else fantastic at Reculver during the week, preferably with me being able to get there to see it!