Friday, 6 April 2012

Good Friday birding

Friday 6th April
Very cold start, light N winds, bright and sunny and dry.

After scraping the ice from the windscreen this morning I drove towards Reculver for a bit of fresh air. The sun was so bright I chose Shuart this morning, so when I set off I would have the sun behind me for the first couple of hours.

There were plenty of birds singing around the farm, including several Chiffchaffs and a couple of Blackcaps.

A Cetti's and a few more Chiffs were singing as I made my way north to the railway crossing, but little else in the way of migrants. April at Reculver can be really slow going if there is a north wind blowing, and today was a typical early spring day.

I walked west, eventually reaching the Chambers Wall crossing, adding little to my list for the day, though it was a pleasant walk. I was debating whether to retrace my steps, walk back along the coast, or head inland when Chris Hindle rang to say there was a drake Goosander off Coldharbour, so decision made I went north again. Goosander is a scarce bird in the area, and to see a drake at close range would be a bit of a treat.

On reaching the lagoon I could see the Goosander resting on a part of the shingle in Coldharbour itself. A rare opportunity for a photo.

The return journey to the car was long and rather dull, though a flock of 60+ Sanderling was nice as it flew past, I suspect they were disturbed by the dog-walkers letting their dogs run along the beach at high tide scaring everything away.

After lunch, it was such a nice day I took myself over to Denge Wood. I was hoping for a few butterflies, as my year list is stuck on 6 at the moment (Red Admiral, Peacock, Small White, Small Tortoiseshell, Comma and Brimstone).

The woods were empty, and it was so peaceful, and nice to get out the chilly wind. Birdsong was mostly provided by many Chiffchaffs, and a few Goldfinches flew over. After about half an hour I reached a mixed woodland area with short grass and flowers. Here there were a few Peacocks in immaculate condition.

Apart from 1 Small White seen a little later, these were the only butterflies on the wing. I could hear a pair of Nuthatches singing and calling loudly, and with a little patience they landed nearby. A bit far off for a decent photo, but a record shot was quite nice.

During the next few hours I had a Crossbill fly over, a Tawny Owl calling and a number of tits, including a pair of Marsh Tits. All in all it was a really relaxing and enjoyable afternoon.

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