Saturday, 23 April 2011


With Bee-eaters, Kites, Black and Red seen around yesterday, Heathy and myself hoped to connect with something, anything.   Starting just after six from the Towers we soon found Two Common Sandpipers and our mate "Sammy", the pigeon.  Having been corrected by Warren and Dylan he has rightly been re-christened 'Sammy', the Feral Friendly pigeon.  Today, 'Sammy' walked another 3 miles with us until he met Steve Ashton and he decided a stroll with Steve back to Cold Harbour seemed a better option on a very hot day.  Marc once again had another redundant day with the camera so being a P.E. Teacher he decided to count as high as he could and got as far as 23 Oysterchatcher, 17 Sedge Warbler and 14 Whitethroat.  'Superlugs' managed to pick up a calling Little Ringed Plover which added to my year list.  The usual suspects of Linnet, Meadow Pipit, Little Egret and Redshank made our notebooks.  There were numerous Yellow Wagtail often sitting invitingly on the op of bushes but as soon as Marc lifted his camera they flew off.  Two Sandwich Tern glided past and as we reached Cold Harbour the first of a few Reed Warbler were heard.  We met up with Steve Ashton who was photographing Whitethroat and after a pleasant chat we left him in charge of 'Sammy'.  4 Tufted Duck took flight over our heads and a Cuckoo could be heard with its distinctive call near the riding stables.  We crossed the railway line an soon added Blackcap and Lesser Whitethroat and the hoped for Turtle Dove was not heard or sighted.  We retraced our steps along the embankment and reached the Sea Wall drawing a blank.  |However, things looked up slightly with a year tick for both of us in the form of Common Tern drifting West.  Two Eider were still sitting in the same place we saw them on Thursday.  A Whimbrel flew along the shoreline and an added bonus came in the form of two Mediterranean Gulls over the Oyster Farm.  After dropping Marc's car off we rung Chris HIndle who had found a Turtle Dove and after a little search we managed to hear and see it.  Then the next two hours were a massive disappointment.  The hours we have put in this year in search of a Red Kite is almost embarrassing.  Not surprisingly we spent a bird less hour at Bishopstone, although Heathy did use his scope for some close investigation of the beach and an hour at Shuart where we watched the grass grow.  Not to worry, we have decided to follow Chris Hindle and Rob Dubbins around in future.

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