With a seemingly rare day of sunshine forecast for today, I made the most of it and decided on a walk at Reculver to see if any winter specialties were to be found. I left home at 6.15am where I had a drive around the lanes hoping for some owl activity but despite a few stops, I failed to see or hear any calling. I called in towards dawn at Shuart where I parked up and watched an area where normally Woodcock can be seen coming into roost but again, no sign of any birds here. Was I just unlucky or has this mild weather seen lower numbers arriving on our shores? With the light now picking up, I then drove over to Reculver where after parking up, I walked on down the seawall to Coldharbour, spent a while sitting on the beach looking out to see before returning back the way I had come. On the bird front it was very quiet but with the sunshine out in force, it made for a pleasant session. Birds I did noted were 1 Short eared Owl hunting over the Oyster Farm which I watched for a while. It never came close enough at all for a decent shot but I did capture a nice shot of the Owl passing Reculver Towers in the distance.
Short eared Owl
Other birds noted included c400 Dark bellied Brent Geese, c80 Linnet, 2 Marsh Harrier, 5 Red throated Diver, 1 Little Egret, 3 Little Grebe, c25 Ringed Plover, 1 Sanderling, 4 Oystercatcher, 4 Turnstone, c10 Redshank and 1 Kestrel. Despite a good search of the shingle along the seawall, I failed to find any Snow Bunting, Lapland Bunting or Shorelark and expect this mild weather is the reason for the lack of arrival from these species. Maybe a cold spell soon will deliver us some winter Buntings and Larks. Arriving back at the car and with the sun still shining, I thought I would have a look nearby for any Tree Sparrows. Its always a good day when you see these in Kent and my luck was in as I found 5 Tree Sparrows in hedges at Bishopstone. They were calling quite loudly and tucking myself into the side of a bush and waiting, they made their way out to the edge of the bushes where I got some lovely views and my best shots yet of this species at Reculver. Hopefully they will hang around during the winter and may be available for the new year list on New Years Day, fingers crossed. Hopefully another visit out and about before the year ends but its going to be a busy few days from now on in with the family so I would just like to thank all readers for your continued support throughout the year and a Merry Christmas to you all.