It was back to birding this morning at Reculver where after leaving home at 4.30am I had a brief drive around the lanes looking and listening for anything singing, ideally a Golden Oriole would have been nice but not this morning. I did see a Little Owl perched on a telegraph pole and there were plenty of birds in full song making for a nice dawn chorus. On my wanderings I also managed to hear 2 Nightingale singing, 1 Cetti's Warbler was heard, a year tick, 2 Chiffchaff, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 3 Whitethroat, 2 Green Woodpecker, 3 Cuckoo, 1 Barn Owl, 1 Mistle Thrush and 5 Blackcap. After parking up at Reculver the sun was already out and after losing a few layers I walked on down the seawall to Coldharbour and inland to Chambers Wall before returning along the seawall. It was a very warm morning with little wind which made for a nice walk. Birds were busy collecting food for their young and small groups of juvenile Starlings were chasing the adults everywhere. Birds noted this morning included 25 Sandwich Tern east, 4 Swallow, 1 Sand Martin, 15 Oystercatcher, 5 Tufted Duck, 10 Linnet, 6 Meadow Pipit, 3 Redshank, 5 Ringed Plover and as I reached Coldharbour I was greeted with the emergence of thousands, if not millions of little flies. They soon become annoying but these attracted a few Yellow Wagtail and a few showed nicely for the camera allowing me to grab a few shots for the day.
Moving on I noted 1 Kingfisher, 4 Sedge Warbler, 5 Reed Warbler, 3 Turnstone, 4 Pheasant, 3 Common Tern, 1 Bar tailed Godwit, 1 Common Sandpiper, another year tick, 1 Grey Heron, 1 Shoveler, 1 Whimbrel, 2 Gadwall. In a mad 10 minutes at Chambers Wall I managed to add 1 Tree Pipit, 1 Grasshopper Warbler reeling c100yds east of the crossing, 2 Grey Partridge and 2 Mediterranean Gull flew west. As I walked back to the car I saw 1 Swift flying east at height, yet another year tick and my first Wall Brown of the year was on the roman wall. I then drove around to Bishopstone where I wanted to look for a Green Hairstreak, a butterfly that eludes me every year at Reculver. I checked around the gorse with no luck, only seeing 1 Common Blue but as I got back to the car 1 small dark butterfly flew by me and landed. I couldn't pick it up in the bins and as I moved forward it suddenly flew up and over the trees. All I could say was that it was dark, quite possibly a Green Hairstreak but I shall have to try again. I then spent an hour at Westbere photographing the dragonflies but I will save that write up for another day as I suspect I shall not be out much this week after work. One more week to go, then a week off, I can't wait!
Whilst sitting out in the garden this afternoon relaxing and having a drink I kept an eye on the skies, a few Swift passing over was about the best but at 4.25pm I caught sight of a large bird flying over which at first I assumed was going to be a Gull. As I continued to look at it, I noticed it had very dark wing tips and so run indoors to get my binoculars. As I refound the bird I was astonished to see it was a male MONTAGU'S HARRIER, garden gold. I tried to run indoors to get my camera and had my eldest daughter watch the bird. When I returned a few seconds later the bird was flying away and I was unable to lock on to it with the camera. Never mind, just goes to show, you never know whats out there.