Sunday 21st August
I had arrange to meet up with Marc Heath at Shuart at 8 o'clock this morning, so there was a little time to wander elsewhere before then. I stopped off just after 6am at a small 'nature-reserve' on route to Reculver, an area that is growing wild and has some water and muddy margins, as well as small reed beds. As I wandered quietly round the edge of the pool I flushed 3 Green Sandpipers, which was a nice start to the day.
I then dropped in at Chambers Wall for an hour, taking a walk up to Cold Harbour, then a short wander along the embankment. Cold Harbour was it's usual exciting self, with almost no birds at all. The water levels look quite high, perhaps too high for small waders to be attracted down to. Heading inland was a flock of 4 Whimbrel and 3 Curlews, only seen because Whimbrels are brilliant and call reularly in flight. Other than that, all I managed to find were a couple each of Willow Warblers and Blackcaps and around 30 Whitethroats, a Corn Bunting near the car park, presumably the same bird hanging around from yesterday, plus a Peregrine sitting in a field and a Sparrowhawk hunting.
On route over to join Marc at Shuart, I saw 5 Mistle Thrushes on wires at Potten Street, as per yesterday.
Walking north from the Shuart parking bay, Marc and I could see a lot of warbler activity in some large elderberry bushes. There were about 11 Blackcaps and a few Whitethroats, but best of all a Restart flew out and into bushes further south along the path. Redstarts are among my favourite birds of the autumn, brightening up any day.
There weren't many other birds of note seen until we reached the railway crossing, at which point Marc picked out a small chat on a post at the edge of the riding stable fields. Using his long lens he took a record shot and zoomed in to confirm it was a Whinchat. The next hour or so was spent wandering up to the sea and back to the railway crossing, passing 3 Corn Buntings on the way. There was a Pied Wagtail in the paddocks which had a completely white face, it looked rather odd amongst normal Pied Wagtails.
Back near the farm there were Common Darters enjoying the warmth, and a few Migrant Hawkers and a single Southern Hawker. Butterflies seen included several Red Admirals, Gatekeepers, and a few Speckled Woods.