Sunday 28th August; 7am-9am
Cool, dry, cloudy, westerly breeze F2-3
I set off for Shuart this morning with little expectation of seeing much due to the rotten westerly breeze thats been blowing for a few days. Anyone who spends time in the Reculver area knows the least favourite wind is from the west, especially in autumn. Still, any birding is better than no birding :-)
As soon as I got out the car I had 2 noisy Ring-necked Parakeets fly over. They are quite easy to see over at Brooksend, and there are a few sightings as far as Shuart, but surprisingly few any further west than that. I took a slow walk up to the coast, scouring the bushes and scanning the fields, seeing a few Blackcaps and Whitethroats on route, and I heard my first Chiffchaff of the autumn. Waiting patiently I was rewarded with views of a rather damp and bedraggled bird.
There were plenty of the usual Woodpigeons and Stock Doves out in the fields, and I saw 4 Turtle Doves and small numbers of Swallows flying west. At the coast there was a Wheatear on the beach. Walking back there were 2 Sparrowhawks hunting north of the railway line, and back at Shuart farm 2 more Sparrowhawks were seen. I also heard 3 Willow Warblers in the area this morning.
There was a hedge planted along the south side of the path from Shuart to Netherhale a few years ago, and I had a quick look this morning and it is looking really quite promising for the next few weeks, hopefully it will hold a few birds when we get a north or easterly wind.