Saturday, 22 November 2014

Seasalter and Sheppey. 20/11/14.

A visit to Seasalter last Thursday (20th) gave a few photo opportunities as the incoming tide covered the shingle bank favoured by the roosting waders, shifting them on to drier roosts along the beach. A fine spectacle in the shape of 1000 + Dunlin periodically flying around in one flock and also 24 Sanderling were seen, a good number for Seasalter according to Mike Gould who joined me on the tide line. A solitary Ring-necked Parakeet flew along the beach and later I was informed by Mike that he had never recorded this species at Seasalter before.


Ringed Plover

Brent Goose


After the tide turned I left and spent an hour parked along the various pull ins along the Harty Ferry road on Sheppey. I saw a pair of Marsh Harriers quartering the fields by Capel Fleet both never coming close enough for the camera but a Kestrel was much more obliging.


Thursday, 13 November 2014

The Desert Wheatear's Supporting Cast at Reculver.

During the four day's that the Desert Wheatear was present just east of the towers at Reculver, I made several treks 500 metres further east along the sea wall to the lagoon at Cold Harbour where a pair of Snow Buntings and a smart looking Shorelark were often seen feeding along the shingle ridge on the beach. The Snow Buntings were not very obliging but the Shorelark was seen on a narrow stretch of beach and with me hidden behind the sea wall, the bird fed and preened just a few metres from me....Nice when it happens like that.

There has been somewhat of a purple patch over the past week at Reculver, the Desert Wheatear staying for 4 days, the Snow Buntings and Shorelark able bodied support acts and even well into November a pair of Northern Wheatears were still hanging on and Geoff Burton saw a Whinchat...... Any later and they will be arriving before they have left. 

Finally, a couple more shots of the Desert Wheatear, a smart and confiding visitor from North Africa.

Sunday, 9 November 2014

A Desert visitor to Reculver....

With news of a Male Desert Wheatear turning up at Reculver on Thursday morning (6th) and having only seen a female of this species before, I was keen to get a look. Funny enough, it was 6 years to the day (as I am writing this) that I saw the female bird on the golf course at Sandwich (08/11/2008) I only had to walk a few yards down the sea wall east of the towers and there it was, perched up on some rocks in all its glory. Over the past few days the bird has performed admirably for the many visitors that this small bundle of feathers from North Africa/Middle East has attracted. I managed a few images in various light but as always on these occasions, most of the time is spent chatting to faces not seen since ?? ..... the last rarity.

A very nice Wheatear and most obliging .......

Friday, 7 November 2014

Red-backed Shrike ( a few more)

A few more images of the Red-backed Shrike seen at Seasalter on September 24th.

Friday, 24 October 2014

Seasalter and Dungeness.

A trip out to Dungeness last Sunday (19th) in the company of Sue Morton, Martyn Wilson and Alan Ashdown resulted in very little being seen but we did get Sue a year tick with the Cattle Egret that is currently feeding around the entrance to the RSPB reserve in amongst the cattle. We visited all of the known "hotspots" around the area but nothing really out of the ordinary. A chat on the beach with Mick, Richard and Martin Casemore was the highlight of the afternoon with a few gull images the only results of a pretty quiet day out. 

Herring Gull (2nd winter)

Yellow-legged Gull (Adult)

On Monday (20th) I met up with Mike Gould for a stroll down the sea wall at Seasalter. There were 3 very showy Wheatears, two along the wall and one back by the wader roost about a mile east where we stopped off first. Two clouded Yellows were seen and an impressive number of Brent's have now arrived with a lot of juvenile birds in the flock. Along the sea wall west of the Sportsman pub, there were several Geese dabbling along the tides edge and close to our vantage point behind the wall.

Mike spotted a Grey Plover on one of the groynes as we were walking back to the cars and although a long way out a heavy crop and the 1.4x converter gave a usable record shot.