So what am I hoping to add during this unexpected window of opportunity? A walk down to the Western Undercliff, via King George VI Park and the harbour has potential to add another dozen, or so, species without too much trouble. Firecrest, Rock Pipit,Turnstone, Purple, Grey and Ringed Plover, Brent Goose, Shelduck, Dunlin, Knot, Sanderling, Gannet and Common Scoter should be fairly straight forward with a chance of Bar-tailed Godwit and Black Redstart not an unrealistic expectation. Some time down at Stodder's should allow Bittern, Hen Harrier and Bearded Tit to make it onto the list and there's always something to surprise you at this gem of a reserve.
The Canterbury "ring woods" offer a challenge, but the rewards are there for those who seek them. Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, Nuthatch, Marsh Tit and Woodcock are my targets, but who knows? I might bump into a Hawfinch or a Crossbill. I've got Deal Pier to the south and the twin points of Foreness and North Foreland to the north (unsurprisingly) so Red-throated Diver, Guillemot, Razorbill and Mediterranean Gull should all be in the bag. A peruse of Seaton GP's and the Ash Levels might allow me a sighting of a Smew, one of the scarce grebes or some wild swans or geese? So, as you see, the world's my oyster - birds are all around me, awaiting my discovery. I have absolutely no intention of "twitching anything" although will not refuse to look should I stumble upon a huddle of birders pointing their optics in a unified direction. Bullfinch, Brambling, Siskin, Yellowhammer, Corn Bunting and Stock Dove all await their turn for my attentions - so I can't complain that I've nothing to do! I'll probably have my camera in tow, so there should be a photo, or two, to accompany my efforts.
|One of the finest sights in birding, a grey male Hen Harrier gliding over the reedbeds, at Stodmarsh NNR.|
If this ever becomes boring, then I know it's my time to lay down and die!
Benno, Will and myself spent an enjoyable, yet rather uneventful, morning at Long Shaw Farm. Benno taking a small (6 lbs-ish) "Ghostie", on his perch set-up - a match rod, centre-pin and float fished lob worm, but that was it! Still a nice social session as I've not fished in company for quite a while. Birds were all very predictable; my only year tick being Lesser Redpoll. Kingfisher, Grey Wagtail, Great Spotted & Green Woodpecker, Kestrel plus a Common Buzzard - an ever more regular occurrence - perched beside the Thanet Way on my journey home.