Sunday, 3 April 2011


Blackcap -  Thanks to Marc Heath.

There are some day when you are wandering along the sea-wall that you wonder what you are doing. Then there are days like yesterday.  The morning started typically when I spent ages staring at the usual ivy-clad tree in the hope of seeing a Little Owl - with no success.  Even 'Dances with Owls' failed to connect with any of his feathered bretheren.  Arriving at the Towers just after sunrise we said hello to the usual 4 Goldfinches in the trees behind the cafe and counted approximately 40 Sand Martins just waking up in the Bishopstone colony.  A little group of Linnets were feeding by the Oyster Farm and a Greylag flew overhead.  Marc then picked up the first of seven year ticks for me today in the form of a Swallow,  the first of 3 we were to see today.  As we strolled down to the Green Wall - Meadow Pipit, Chiffchaff, Oystercatcher and Turnstone made the notebook.  Two Eider were seen drifting out at sea and the first of two WHEATEAR played "hide and seek" with Heathy and his camera.  At the beginning of the Green Wall we were surprised to find the very unusual spectacle of a singing Stonechat.  Reed Bunting, Snipe, 4 Little Egrets and Skylark made our notebooks and the sight of 11 Magpies flying in off the sea told us there was some migration in progress.
As we started along the railway embankment 'super lugs' picked up a rarely heard call at Reculver and fortunately a few seconds later a YELLOWHAMMER popped out of its hiding place and gave us excellent views.  This was a life-tick at Reculver for me and Heathy's 3rd sighting in about 10 years.  We soon heard the dulcet tones of a Blackcap and crossed the railway line to try and find it passing Chris Hindle on the way.  In finding the Blackcap we also had brief views of a WILLOW WARBLER.  Returning to the sea wall we found a single Goldcrest and five Golden Plover.  Heathy shed another tear when we only found a single SHORELARK, and along the sea wall two YELLOW WAGTAILS sped overhead and another WHEATEAR bobbed about on the rocks and Marc had more luck in photographing this one.  With about an hour's birding left we decided on another stab at finding a Kite as the conditions seemed perfect.  We spent 45 minutes scanning the skies adding Peregrine, Kestrel, Buzzard and Marsh Harrier.  Heathy then picked up 3 Green Sandpipers flying West and seconds later two RING OUZELS, which delighted both of us.  A far closer bird with a very smart white crescent flew past us and with a single BRAMBLING whizzing overhead an almost perfect session was complete.  A big thanks to Marc for his company and his incredible ears !


  1. Quite a morning, very exciting !

  2. Hi,great morning,when its like that it feels good to be out.