I spent the morning birding- well; what I really mean is that I spent the mid-morning, not so much birding as in the search for a wheatear! How sad is that? Even sadder when you learn that I failed - my walk between North Foreland and Fayreness producing a single Rock Pipit; that's it. Not a Chiffchaff or Black Redstart to be seen, even the local Fulmars were conspicuous by their absence. The only sighting, of any note, was of an oiled Great Black-backed Gull that was flying around by Joss Bay. The blasting NE wind meant that I didn't remain long, 15+ Red-throated Divers and many 1,000's of Black-headed Gulls moving up channel with a constant stream of Carrion Crows - coasting.
|A 3rd year Great Black-back with oil stained plumage - why?|
It was a visit to quickly forget. I decided to cut my losses and head inland to the delights of Stodmarsh NNR and a long staying Penduline Tit that I have ignored for far too long. This was a very short visit (filthy "twitching") - I was away within the hour, my photo in the bag! Lesser Redpoll, Chiffchaff - singing, Water Rail, displaying adult male Marsh Harrier, Great Spotted Woodpecker and so much more - (massed ranks of camera wielding non-birders). I stayed long enough to secure my token photo before heading off towards pastures new.
|A superb little bird which played along with the requirements of the assembled masses.|
Simon and Yve brought Dad back from Hemel, this afternoon, and we all met up in the "Frog & Orange" for a couple of "light ales" and a chat - Bev arriving a few minutes later after she'd finished her "Grand-parenting" duties. A cracking day with more to come tomorrow, hopefully?
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