29 March 2013
When a female White-spotted Bluethroat was found at Samphire Hoe on Wednesday I was sat in the office without any chance of seeing it. These lovely little Chats are very scarce in Kent and I have only ever seen one in the County before - also a female and literally directly above Samphire Hoe at Abbotscliffe. It was looked for but not seen on Thursday, but the weather conditions for the weekend look like more might arrive. Having had a heavy cold all week I decided on a lay in this morning. I was feeling rough, but Mandy brought me a cup of tea and handed me my iPhone with a message confirming the Bluethroat had been re-found and was showing well. Now that was just the tonic I needed!
I arrived at 11:30 just after the bird had shown to the assembled crowd. Lots of assurances about where it had gone - a large patch of brambles - but an hour and a half later and nothing (other than a Robin, three saucy Dunnock's and a Blackbird). James Hunter arrived and we had a quick chat. I decided to try a different angle and as I arrived in my chosen spot I glanced up to see James up on the hill waving frantically. I walked round to him as quickly as possible and after another ten minutes in the biting wind it showed at the base of the bush. It soon flicked across the grass to another bush and with careful and stealthy work I made my way to the leeward side where instantly the bird was showing. The crowd re-formed and over the next hour or so we enjoyed a series of good views.
|The first views were good in the scope...|
|The Bluethroat appears from the cover of the bush|
|Hops along the front within reasonable distance|
|Then vanishes back into cover|
|Female White-spotted Bluethroat|