With a good few birds arriving in the Reculver area during the past week and the forecast looking good for today with lighter winds and cloud cover, I opted to get back to some birding at Reculver today and left home about 6.30am in the dark to start the session. A few minutes later I was driving down Reculver Lane and saw 1 Barn Owl sitting on a gate and not long after, I heard the first of 2 Little Owls seen today. A brief drive around produced quite a few Thrushes moving in the car headlights and as the light picked up, I drove over to the towers to park up where I met Chidders who was already bush bashing. I joined him but despite a good search of the caravan park bushes, we failed to find and Pallas's or Yellow browed Warblers. We did however see lots of Goldcrests, a few Chiffchaff and a couple of Brambling called within a Chaffinch flock. We moved on where we walked along to the seawall where I heard the sound of a Raven calling. A quick scan and unbelievably, there were 2 Raven on the towers. A few seconds later and they flew off east over our heads, a great start to the day. On the seawall we walked down to Coldharbour and inland to Chambers Wall where we did the bushes in the area. Birds we noted were 1 Wheatear, Goldcrests seemingly everywhere still, good numbers of Chaffinch, Reed Bunting, c10 Lesser Redpoll, c30 Siskin and 4 Brambling along with 1 Yellowhammer and a few Redwing and Fieldfare. There were 6 Stonechat, 4 Little Egret, c20 Oystercatcher, 2 Turnstone, 3 Ringed Plover, 1 Curlew, c30 Golden Plover and a lone Brent Goose flew west. With news of the Great Grey Shrike still present and the sun trying to come through, I opted to try to see it and after a quick drink and snack, I pulled up at Reculver Drive car park. Initially, I couldn't find it but did count many dog walkers but after a good walk up and down the area, I finally could make out the distant shape of the Great Grey Shrike sitting atop a bush. It was generally very elusive but eventually, I managed to grab a couple of distant shots of this scarce Reculver bird.
Great Grey Shrike
Hopefully it will remain in the area and I can have another look tomorrow when its a bit quieter. As I walked back, the gulls alerted me to a Short eared Owl arriving in off the sea which flew high over my head inland and again, most bushes seemed to have Goldcrests hanging from them. A super session with some quality birds seen and with 2 weeks off now, the first week on my own as the kids and wife are still at school and work, I hope to get out a few times to see what goodies can be found. As the title suggests, it was indeed great to be back birding.