Saturday, 23 July 2011


Arriving at just before 5.50 a.m. this morning I was still tired but looked fantastic in comparison with Heathy who had been partying until 2.00 p.m. in Canterbury.  A gentle stroll down to Cold Harbour had us noting most of the usual summer species.  5 Common Scoter flew West and were joined by c30 Sand Martin at sea.  A family party of 8 Shelduck were on the Oyster Farm and this morning we only noted 2 Sandwich Tern.  Marc'c camera soon found some action when a particularly large gentleman cycled past and soon revealed from the rear view a large expanse of bottom crease therefore the heading today.  A single Whimbrel diverted us momentarily and the first of two texts initially had us looking towards to the Thanet Way in search of two Spoonbills that had left Grove and were heading in our direction.  Unfortunately, we never connected with them but a second text from Matt and Chris had us scurrying back to the car.  They had caught a TREECREEPER at Brook which not only gave me a respectable 150 species for the year but was also a new bird for me at Reculver.  Julian and Alex Perry alerted us to White Letter Hairstreaks at Bishopstone Glen.  A difficult species to identify at speed and height with Marc not quite getting a good enough I.D. on some butterflies to clinch it.  We returned to the Towers and added a juvenile MEDITERRANEAN GULL.  Off to Guernsey tomorrow for 6 days where hopefully I'll add Short-Toed Treecreeper.

Monday, 18 July 2011


Having nearly drowned at 'The Open' yesterday, it was great to arrive at a mostly dry and sunny Reculver yesterday just before 6 o'clock.  Heathy pipped me by about 30 seconds and after 10 minutes discussion on Stodmarsh / Grove politics we started an enjoyable stroll down to Cold Harbour.  Unfortunately, no birds turned up and we recorded a very paltry 11 Sandwich Tern and 6 Common Tern.  The sea was calm and bereft of activity. The list included all the usual suspects of Swift, Swallow, Yellow Wagtail, Little Egret, Redshank, Ringed Plover, Stonechat and Dunlin.  2 Common Sandpiper made a slight change and we arrived back at the car by just after 8.00 a.m. 

It was time for my latest  butterfly lesson from the master.  We decamped to Bishopstone Glen and for those who know Marc well already realise his hearing is pretty special but his 'Hawkeye' skills in the next one and a half hours enabled us to see the following butterflies :- Large White, Gatekeeper (5+), Marbled White (3+), Essex Skipper (loads), Speckled Wood (1), Brown Argus (1), Small Skipper (loads) and a Small Copper.  It also gave me the chance to take a few more pictures with some included above.  Unfortunately, the Egyptian Goose seems to have passed through and Chidders couldn't blow Pegwell's Roseate Tern in our direction.

Saturday, 9 July 2011


Arrivind at Reculver just after 5.30 a.m. this morning, I just about managed to beat Marc but only by a few seconds.  With torrential overnight rain we both hoped for a few birds to be around, especially a Wader or a Roseate or Little Tern.  As soon as we reached the sea wall the first of 41 Sandwich Tern flew west and we soon added the first of 11 Common Tern.  Meadow Pipit and 3 Pied Wagtail were recorded by the Oyster Farm and we soon added 5 Black Tailed Godwit and a year tick for me in the form of 6 Common Scoter.  The usual suspects of Ringed Plover, Oystercatcher, Redshank, Linnet, Little Egret and Grey Heron were added to our note books.  We were pleased to add singles of Common Sandpiper and Green Sandpiper and made it down to Cold Harbour in bright sunshine.  A single Marsh Harrier was hunting over the marshes and Swallow and Swift were on the move. We met Matt and Chris HIndle who had recorded a Grasshopper Warbler but we were unable to locate it on our return.  A fairly uneventful return added only Whitethroat and Shelduck.  We were disappointed not to find any Mediterranean Gulls or Roseate or Little Tern.  Perhaps next week?  We decided to move on to Grove in the hope of adding Mandarin to our Grove year lists but were unsuccessful.  However, we did add GRASSHOPPER WARBLER who put in brief appearance.  With last week's SAVI'S WARBLER now departed, thanks to Martyn and Marc's very early texts I can now place on the record that it is now on my year lists, the first I think for three years and I did manage to see the whole of a NIGHT HERON as well.