Sunday 13th November
Bright and sunny, warm, dry, light south east breeze.
It was a cracking morning as I headed over to Shuart, I was hoping to avoid the crowds I expected to be out on such a nice day. I was alone where I parked up, and set off towards the sea. I could hear crests and Long-tailed Tits calling in the hedges, and loads of Blackbirds, Song Thrushes and Redwings.
Along the path leading up to to the railway crossing I saw a large bird fly out and along the far side of the hedge. I had my suspicions, and sure enough a bit further along a Long-eared Owl flew out and this time right in front of me fly up the path, then dived right and through the hedge again.
Other than Reed Buntings and Meadow Pipits, little else was seen until I got near the stables, where there were stacks of Pied Wagtails. Someone let their dogs run wild and flushed a flock of 62 Lapwings off the ploughed field, and once I reached the seawall I could see in all directions people out walking their dogs. Although most were on the sea wall, there's always one or two that walk along the beach, flushing all the birds. I wandered a few hundred yards west, and enjoyed 8 Snow Buntings flying around, althouogh they were struggling to find somewhere quiet to land. Eventually they settled up at Plumpudding, and I couldn't be bothered fighting the traffic to see them on the deck.
I was back at the car around 10am, and hoping the breeze would pick up and move easterly, I set of to the towers for a seawatch. Mickey Baldock was already having a look out at sea and said there a few birds moving. Encouraged, I gathered up the scope and set off to stand up by the towers for a couple of hours. It was really quite enjoyable, with a nice variety of birds:
25 Gannets, 1 Bonxie, 18 Kittiwakes, 3 Little Gulls, 1 Little Egret, 8 Red-throated Divers, 2 large auks and 2 Eider all flying east. On the sea were 5 Great Crested Grebes, 1 drake Goldeneye, a mixed flock of about 80 or so duck, comprised of Teal, Wigeon, Mallard and Gadwall, and on the rocks was a Black Redstart.