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An individual, of no great importance, who is unable to the see the natural world as a place for competition. I catch fish, watch birds, derive immense pleasure from simply looking at butterflies, moths, bumble-bees, etc - without the need for rules! I am Dylan and this is my blog - if my opinions offend? Don't bother logging on again - simple!

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Sunday, 25 February 2018

Sunshine birding

For the second morning, on the spin, I had a session with my binoculars and camera looking to fill a few gaps in the year list. I drove across to Government Acre and took a stroll down through The Chine to the Western Undercliff and along the coastal path to Ramsgate Harbour itself. Despite the brilliant sunshine, there was a biting easterly ensuring that I needed to keep well wrapped up. Almost the first bird I saw was a "tick" - an Oystercatcher, well to be honest there were loads of these carrot billed, black and white, tideline foragers spread out along the coastal chalk reef. The sun wasn't particularly helpful, being behind any subjects from my position, so it required a bit of stalking to get a more suitable angle.



A handful of Curlew and Turnstone were about the only other waders to be seen, although I flushed a lone Redshank as I walked out across the rocks. A couple of skeins of Dark-bellied Brents headed along the coast, out of their Pegwell Bay roost? Ever onwards, I walked past the Port entrance and along the roadway beneath the chalk cliffs. I flushed a small passerine from some low roadside vegetation which, on closer inspection, turned out to be a smart little Chiffchaff - nice surprise. The harbour was a bit of an anti-climax, nothing of note to be seen. I spent a while checking the legs of the assembled ranks of the Herring/Great Black-backed and Black-headed Gulls. Nothing doing, although a fair number of the birds were hunkered down as a result of the stiff breeze.

Female Black Redstart studying the warning notice just before flying off
I started to retrace my steps and had just passed the wind farm offices when I stumbled across a smart female Black Redstart, perched on the wire fence. I managed just two images, neither particularly good, before it flew directly up the cliff and disappeared from view. While I was scanning the surrounding area an adult Lesser Black-backed Gull drifted over and, as a result, provided the fifth year tick of the session - fantastic result for such a short session. It wasn't over yet, as I walked past the Port entrance there was a lone Dark-bellied Brent feeding on the closest bit of reef, completely oblivious to the two dog walkers who were entertaining their charges within a hundred metres. I wandered down onto the sand and grabbed a series of images before continuing on my way back to the car and home beyond.

Dark-bellied Brent on the rocks!

3 comments:

  1. lOve an oystie. So different in flight with that big white V. Still got the comedy carrot bill though.

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    1. Cracking birds and very numerous around the Thanet coastline - so why has it taken me seven weeks to see one? The boys were on the Royal Military, today, taking a dozen pike to 16.09 for their troubles. I'd swap them all for that "Brownie" - some fish! Calmed down yet?

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