Saturday, 5 March 2011
BUZZARD SAVES THE DAY.
Meeting Marc at the Towers at 6.00 a.m. he had promised me an 'Owl Fest'. Speaking to him on the phone on Friday he had assured me conditions were perfect. Unfortunately, the owls didn't agree and after extensive searching of 'Dances with Owls' exclusive haunts we drew a blank. Not to be discouraged we started our stroll from the Towers to Cold harbour and soon picked up the RING-TAIL HEN HARRIER hunting over the fields by the Oyster Farm. The sea was fairly quiet and a few assorted waders were mooching about on the tide line. Turnstones, Sanderling, Dunlin, Ringed Plover, Grey Plover and Redshank all made the notebook. Between the Green Wall and Cold Harbour we found the extremely accommodating SNOW BUNTINGS. The three birds were a few metres away allowing Heathy the opportunity to shoot off a few pictures. The camera was out again to take a solitary Curlew but unfortunately, our close friends the Shorelarks were nowhere to be seen. We consoled ourselves with meeting up again with our new Saturday chums the four GOOSANDERS. A distant Peregrine made our notebooks and we managed to count c350 Brent Geese in the distance near to Minnis Bay. We met up with Chris Hindle and strolled back to the Towers with Chris entertaining us with 40 years of Reculver birding history. Whilst chatting a single Red-Throated Diver whizzed past and we said our goodbyes to Chris. Earlier in the day we had seen 10 Geese distantly over Brooksend and hoped to relocate them. 8 Greylags had been positively identified but two smaller birds had been with them and we were fairly certain they had been White-Fronted Geese. Unfortunately, we couldn't re-find them but 3 Marsh Harriers and 3 Kestrels were seen. Marc then managed to pick up a distant raptor and we soon added Buzzard to our year lists. Marc headed for home and I nipped to Minnis Bay in the hope of Purple Sandpiper and or Knot but only added muchos Turnstone. Hopefully, next weekend we'll be swamped with Wheatears, Black Redstarts and Sand Martins.