Friday 9th September
Light drizzle first thing, then brightening up. F 3-4 south westerly winds. Mild
The weather was much better today, any day in autumn starting with drizzle is promising. A chat with Tim Hodge yesterday led to us having a small competition to see as many birds as possible by 11am, when we would meet up at Chambers Wall to see how many birds more than me that Tim had seen. We've been here before...
A text from Tim told me he had seen 18 sp before I had reached the Reculver area. Undeterred, I set off from the car park, enjoying a day without strong winds. I soon heard a selection of warblers, including Willow Warblers, Chiffchaffs, Blackcap and 2 Lesser Whitethroats, and at the crossing there were 2 Turtle Doves. I carried on up to Cold Harbour then walked east along the seafront. I planned to walk to loads of different parts of the marsh in an attempt to beat Tim's total, but I soon gave up on that and enjoyed the day. There were good numbers of Wheatear along the beach, and at Plumpudding a nice variety of waders, including a Whimbrel, 3 Bar-wits, 1 Knot and around 30 each of Dunlin and Sanderling. Plenty of Yellow Wagtails about as well.
I walked back west and eventually met Tim at the Oyster Farm. On my approach I heard a wader call and looked up to see it fly off high south west. Tim confirmed when I caught up with him that it was a Dotterel. We spent a bit of time counting the Wheatears, reaching a total of 31 birds, though there must have been many more in the area as a whole. There were 2 Stonechats and a Whinchat in the scrub around the Oyster Farm.
We walked back along the Green Wall and the embankment to the car park, adding a few more warblers to then list. My total was 62 species seen in the morning, and Tim managed 78. Between us we reached a reasonable 84 species of bird seen in the morning.
Altogether a really enjoyable walk, with a lot of birds around. Great fun.