28 October 2012
Decided on a long walk today with Mandy - somewhere quiet where we might see a few birds, but not a full-on birding trip. I suggested a few places and Mandy decided Reculver would fit the bill (there's a pub at one end and a restaurant at the other so no risk of me starving her all day). We parked at Shuart Farm and walked down the lane to Plum Pudding Farm. Having checked the hedge and scrub we then walked along the sea wall to Reculver, grabbed some lunch in the King Ethelbert and then walked the green wall around the back of the Oyster farm beside the railway. The walk was about 14 km under a generally overcast sky though some rays of sunshine were much appreciated.
There were clearly birds around, though not in big numbers. Shuart held a few Goldcrest and a flock of Chaffinch that included a nasal Brambling. The lane had Blackbirds, Song Thrushes and Robins, plus a very pale Common Kestrel, a Jay and a Green Woodpecker. Overhead Siskins, Redpolls and Skylarks were heard. Two Swallows were feeding over the farm and another two by the Stables, where there were lots of Reed Bunting, a few Meadow Pipit, a small flock of eight Redpoll and many Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Linnet and Goldfinch. As we walked along the sea wall four Stonechat gave good views, clearly accustomed to the passing cyclists and dog walkers.
More Swallows overhead, and regular flocks of finches passed west, mainly Chaffinch, but including Redpoll and Siskin. Offshore was a flock of Brent Geese and on the beach were Sanderling, Dunlin, Ringed Plover, Grey Plover, Redshank, Turnstone, Oystercatcher and 2 Rock Pipit.
Once we passed Coldharbour a group of birders was apparent on the path ahead. We approached to find the Shorelark and two Snow Buntings that Chiddy had seen earlier were still on view - and what views! Over the next half hour we got sensational views of both feeding within feet of the small crowd of cameras. With very little patience or field craft these little beauties would walk right up to you and feed at your feet. Amazing and the sun even came out occasionally. Thankfully the 50D was a great substitute for the currently deceased 7D - no cropping necessary!
|Superb little birds|
|The 2 Snow Bunting feed unconcerned|