Wednesday, 28 February 2018

February 28th
In sub-zero temperatures Matt visited Shuart this morning where he saw 16 Golden Plovers and 1 Snipe. Next he visited Reculver and counted 8 Snipe, 5 Redshank, 1 Green Sandpiper, 1 Lapwing, 8 Teal, 4 Mallard, 1 Gadwall, 2 Great Crested Grebes, 1 Stonechat, 1 Fieldfare and 3 Kestrels.
This morning Julian Perry walked along the clifftop from Bishopstone to Reculver with the wind whipping up the lying snow. There were 3 Grey Partridges, 2 Golden Plovers and 2 Lapwings hunkered down trying to get some shelter on the ground.

Looking towards Reculver from Bishopstone - Julian Perry

This afternoon with the temperature still below freezing but with an even stronger easterly wind blowing we walked from Chamber's Wall to Coldharbour and managed to see 2 Mute Swans, 30 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 4 Fieldfares, 14 Shelduck, 2 Wigeon, 4 Gadwall, 38 Mallard, 7 Redshank and 1 Little Egret.

The view from Chamber's Wall crossing looking towards the White Poplars and Reculver Towers

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

February 27th
With heavy snow falling this morning my next door neighbour has just had a female Blackcap (112th) on his bird feeders and further down the road Julian Perry had a male in his garden.
Terry Wilson was out this morning at Plumpudding and saw 12 Lapwings, 10 Golden Plovers, 2 Stonechats and 2 Marsh Harriers.
After the morning snow we visited Chamber's Wall this afternoon and walked up to Coldharbour and recorded 5 Fieldfares, 1 Green Woodpecker, 1 Redwing, 35 Carrion Crows, 1 Kestrel, 10 Mute Swans, 18 Shelduck, 14 Redshank, 2 Wigeon, 45 Mallard, 2 Little Egrets, 7 Gadwall, 185 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 1 Rock Pipit, 1 Grey Plover, 1 Golden Plover and 1 Curlew.

An odd looking Herring Gull

Monday, 26 February 2018

February 26th
It was yet another bitter morning with a strong easterly wind blowing in sleet and snow flurries as we visited Reculver before walking from Chamber's Wall to Coldharbour. There was not a great deal new about but we did see 273 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 2 Red-throated Divers, 1 Lapwing, 13 Mute Swans, 29 Golden Plovers, 2 Little Egrets, 14 Shelduck, 31 Mallard, 20 Reed Buntings, 7 Teal, 12 Redshank, 2 Wigeon, 34 Carrion Crows, 3 Corn Buntings, 6 Skylarks, 26 Chaffinches, 3 Yellowhammers, 2 Great Crested Grebes, 1 Green Woodpecker and 7 Goldfinches.


Sunday, 25 February 2018

February 25th
On another bitter morning we walked from Chamber's Wall to Coldharbour and then walked inland at Reculver. Birds we saw included 14 Mute Swans, 17 Cormorants, 59 Chaffinches, 1 Marsh Harrier, 5 Skylarks, 47 Carrion Crows, 3 Teal, 17 Redshank, 12 Shelduck, 2 Little Egrets, 2 Wigeon, 31 Mallard, 3 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 54 Oystercatchers, 2 Turnstone, 3 Yellowhammers, 20 Corn Buntings, 30 Reed Buntings, 2 Stonechats, 1 Grey Partridge and 2 Kestrels.

Saturday, 24 February 2018

February 24th
Although it was sunny this morning there was a freezing easterly wind blowing as we walked from Chamber's Wall and up to Coldharbour. Birds we saw included 7 Mute Swans, 2 Grey Partridges, 24 Chaffinches, 3 Yellowhammers, 24 Corn Buntings,30 Reed Buntings, 55 Carrion Crows, 40 House Sparrows, 16 Linnets, 16 Shelduck, 36 Mallard, 2 Wigeon, 1 Teal, 7 Redshank, 2 Little Egrets, 6 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 1 Oystercatchers and 1 Kestrel.

Friday, 23 February 2018

February 23rd
With a fresh and cold E wind blowing we walked from Reculver to Coldharbour and back and saw 1 Jay, 321 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 2 Goldfinches, 6 Redshank, 28 Linnets, 20 Oystercatchers, 8 Turnstone, 1 Sanderling, 34 Mallard, 86 Carrion Crows, 7 Ringed Plovers, 1 Curlew, 10 Shelduck, 1 Little Egret, 2 Wigeon, 4 Mute Swans, 1 Snipe, 2 Dunlin, 72 Cormorants, 2 Stonechats, 1 Great Crested Grebe and 1 Grey Heron.

Thursday, 22 February 2018

February 22nd
It's getting colder! On an eye watering morning we walked from Chamber's Wall to Coldharbour before walking inland at Reculver on the way home. We recorded 1 Green Woodpecker, 1 Kestrel, 1 Grey Heron, 18 Chaffinches, 40 Carrion Crows, 1 Sparrowhawk, 60 Reed Buntings, 46 Corn Buntings, 10 Shelduck, 2 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 2 Little Egrets, 4 Redshank, 4 Wigeon, 34 Mallard, 36 Oystercatchers, 1 Curlew, 1 Stonechat, 1 Goldcrest, 1 Green Sandpiper, 1 Great Crested Grebe and 1 Common Buzzard.

Little Egret fishing in Coldharbour

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

February 21st
Back at Reculver this morning we began by joining three other birders looking unsuccessfully for the Pine Bunting and then decided to walk up to Coldharbour and on to Plumpudding before returning along the railway embankment. Birds we saw included 7 Lapwings, 8 Yellowhammers, 1 Green Woodpecker, 60 Corn Buntings, 35 Chaffinches, 2 Little Egrets, 3 Redshank, 9 Shelduck, 2 Wigeon, 2 Gadwall, 19 Mallard, 43 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 55 Carrion Crows, 52 Sanderling, 60 Common Scoter on the sea off Plumpudding lagoon, 3 Stonechats, 1 Fieldfare, 1 Dartford Warbler (111th) in bushes and scrub on the railway embankment by the Wade crossing, 1 Cetti's Warbler, 50 Reed Buntings and 4 Goldfinches.

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

February 20th
As the weather forecast here was for rain and drizzle all day we had an early start and travelled via Eurotunnel to Vlissingen in the Netherlands, where the forecast was for a reasonable day, in order to see the wintering first winter Ross's Gull. We were successful and got some good if a little distant views for about half an hour. We also saw a good range of wildfowl including 1,200 Barnacle Geese and 400 White-fronted Geese.

Monday, 19 February 2018

February 19th
We began a rainy morning looking unsuccessfully for the Pine Bunting at Chamber's Wall amongst the many buntings and sparrows present. We eventually gave up and walked up to Coldharbour and saw 60 Chaffinches, 27 Linnets, 40 Corn Buntings, 14 Yellowhammers, 60 Reed Buntings, 3 Redshank, 15 Shelduck, 42 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 6 Great Crested Grebes, 3 Stonechats, 2 Cetti's Warblers, 10 Mallard, 1 Snow Bunting, 1 Goldcrest and 50 House Sparrows.

Sunday, 18 February 2018

February 18th
The male Pine Bunting was seen briefly by Matt and Marc Heath at about 0725 from the railway embankment but it quickly flew off.
On a another wonderful, late winter morning we walked from Chamber's Wall to Coldharbour and counted 30 Chaffinches, 90 Corn Buntings, 1 Green Woodpecker, 14 Yellowhammers, 100 Reed Buntings, 9 Mallard, 1 Grey Plover, 20 Shelduck, 120 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 10 Great Crested Grebes, 1 Curlew, 18 Oystercatchers, 1 Red-throated Diver, 6 Wigeon, 2 Gadwall, 2 Cetti's Warblers, 1 Sanderling, 1 Stonechat and 1 Common Buzzard.
This afternoon Julian and Alex Perry saw a male Hen Harrier (110th) over the fields between the railway and Coldharbour.

Male Hen Harrier - Alex Perry

Saturday, 17 February 2018

February 17th - A New Species for Reculver or maybe not!

I received this from the secretary of the British Birds Rarity Committee on 29th July. A bit disappointing but not a complete surprise.

Just writing to let you know that this bird has been accepted by BBRC as a Pine Bunting but with some Yellowhammer influence – as indicated by the yellowish edges to the primary wing feathers that are discernible in the photos. A ‘pure’ Pine Bunting has clean white edges to those feathers.  We’ve had a few like this in Britain over the years – hybrids arise because the two species overlap in range further east.  Your record is therefore due to be published in the annual BBRC report, but under Pine Bunting x Yellowhammer.

Over the last few years we have managed to persuade two of the local farms to leave strips of wheat around the edge of fields during the winter. This has had a beneficial effect on the farmland birds particularly buntings with over 100 Corn Buntings, 20 Yellowhammers and 300 Reed Buntings being regularly seen.
This morning we added a new bunting to the Reculver list in the shape of a male PINE BUNTING (109th) that I found in the bushes beside the river Wantsum with Reed Buntings. It then moved west along the bushes on the railway embankment with Reed and Corn Buntings before disappearing near the White Poplars, probably flying off to feed on the Marsh. It would not surprise me if it had spent the winter here.
I managed some long range photos but it was always some distance ahead of me.

Male Pine Bunting

Other birds we saw this morning included 12 Chaffinches, 1 Green Woodpecker, 1 Little Grebe, 59 Corn Buntings, 30 Reed Buntings, 1 Wigeon, 1 Goldcrest, 11 Mallard, 11 Shelduck and 120 Dark-bellied Brent Geese.
Terry Wilson was also out today doing the Turnstone survey between Minnis Bay and Coldharbour and saw 2 Snow Buntings, 5 Turnstone, 2 Marsh Harriers, 150 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 3 Bearded Tits and 30 Common Scoter.

Friday, 16 February 2018

February 16th
It continues to be very quiet at Reculver with little change from day to day. This morning on our walk from Reculver to Coldharbour we recorded 3 Goldfinches, 178 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 35 Oystercatchers, 4 Grey Plovers, 3 Mute Swans, 2 Snipe, 1 Sanderling, 3 Redshank, 37 Linnets, 4 Turnstone, 17 Ringed Plovers, 7 Mallard, 22 Shelduck, 64 Carrion Crows and 2 Stonechats.

Dark-bellied Brent Geese

I walked down a sunny West Brook Valley this afternoon but it produced very little although there appear to be 15 Rooks nests in various stages of repair and 35 Rooks present. Other birds seen were 15 Fieldfares, 1 Chiffchaff and 1 Green Woodpecker.

Thursday, 15 February 2018

February 15th
On a milder morning we walked from Chamber's Wall to the Green Wall and then on to Coldharbour. Birds we saw included 1 male Pochard in the Wantsum before it flew S, 1 Green Woodpecker, 39 Corn Buntings, 6 Chaffinches, 1 Fieldfare, 14 Mute Swans, 3 Grey Partridges, 4 Little Grebes, 1 Kestrel, 14 Ringed Plovers, 48 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 25 Oystercatchers, 4 Snow Buntings, 2 Stonechats, 20 Shelduck, 57 Carrion Crows, 1 Little Egret, 3 Redshank, 3 Mallard, 8 Skylarks, 2 Kestrels, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 1 Great Crested Grebe, 2 Tufted Duck and 1 Common Buzzard.

Male Pochard

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

February 14th
It was sunny this morning as we walked along the seawall from Reculver to Coldharbour and we saw 2 Great Crested Grebes, 24 Shelduck, 1 Kestrel, 1 Peregrine, 12 Mute Swans, 139 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 39 Ringed Plovers, 2 Goldfinches, 6 Grey Plovers, 1 Redshank, 6 Turnstone, 33 Oystercatchers, 3 Mallard, 58 Carrion Crows, 3 Linnets, 3 Stonechats and 2 Snipe.

Carrion Crow

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

February 13th
With an increasingly strong and blustery S wind blowing this morning we walked from Chamber's Wall to Coldharbour and recorded 2 Grey Partridges, 51 Corn Buntings, 75 Carrion Crows, 8 Blackbirds, 32 Chaffinches, 49 Mallard, 24 Shelduck, 31 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 45 Reed Buntings, 4 Redshank, 2 Gadwall, 3 Mute Swans, 2 Little Egrets, 8 Oystercatchers, 2 Yellowhammers and 1 Great Crested Grebe.

Monday, 12 February 2018

February 12th
We spent a beautiful winter's day at Dungeness but did not see a great deal by Dungeness' standards, just Slavonian Grebe, Smew, Great White Egret and a few Razorbills.

Sunday, 11 February 2018

February 11th
Although it was sunny this morning there was a cool, fresh W wind blowing as we walked from Minnis Bay to Plumpudding lagoon and counted 38 Redshank, 110 Oystercatchers, 112 Sanderling, 20 Turnstone, 1 Dunlin, 8 Goldfinches, 245 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 4 Corn Buntings, 1 Stonechat, 2 Curlews, 1 Little Egret, 51 Cormorants flying inland, 14 Ringed Plovers, 32 Grey Plovers, 48 Common Scoter and 21 Lapwings.

Redshank and Turnstone

Saturday, 10 February 2018

February 10th
This morning was bright and frosty as we walked from Chamber's Wall to Coldharbour and saw 21 Blackbirds, 23 Corn Buntings, 20 Chaffinches, 82 Carrion Crows, 15 Reed Buntings, 1 Little Egret, 25 Shelduck, 3 Redshank, 48 Mallard, 6 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 33 Cormorants, 2 Great Crested Grebes, 24 Oystercatchers, 6 Skylarks, 1 Marsh Harrier, 1 Goldcrest, 4 Song Thrushes, 1 Green Sandpiper and 2 Tufted Ducks.

Singing male Chaffinch

Friday, 9 February 2018

February 9th
Today was a washout with heavy rain for most of the day. I only managed a very quick walk at Reculver this afternoon where I saw 8 Mute Swans, 1 Great Crested Grebe, 2 Mallard and 1 Common Buzzard.

Thursday, 8 February 2018

February 8th
On a glorious, sunny and frosty winter's morning we walked from Reculver to Coldharbour and saw 1 Little Owl, 29 Ringed Plovers, 8 Sanderling, 2 Stonechats, 15 Redshank, 14 Corn Buntings, 121 Carrion Crows, 12 Turnstone, 6 Oystercatchers, 49 Mallard, 20 Shelduck, 1 Grey Heron, 1 Little Egret, 3 Mute Swans, 13 Linnets, 2 Goldfinches, 1 Marsh Harrier, 115 Dark-bellied Brent Geese and 30 House Sparrows by the King Ethelbert pub at Reculver.

Male House Sparrow

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

February 7th
As we arrived at Chamber's Wall this morning there was a wall of threatening looking, wintry clouds to the west over the Swale and Sheppey cut we managed to walk up to Coldharbour and along the seawall and back in bright sunshine. Birds we saw included 12 Blackbirds, 10 Chaffinches, 68 Corn Buntings, 3 Grey Partridges, 23 Reed Buntings, 22 Shelduck, 57 Mallard, 1 Little Egret, 2 Great Crested Grebes, 4 Mute Swans, 32 Oystercatchers, 1 Curlew, 77 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 5 Redshank, 55 Carrion Crows, 25 House Sparrows, 4 Turnstone, 1 Marsh Harrier and 1 Kestrel.
At the eastern end of the Marsh this morning Terry Wilson counted 20 Lapwings, 3 Fieldfares, 8 Corn Buntings, 23 Linnets, 1 Marsh Harrier, 25 Common Scoters, 3 Great Crested Grebes, 5 Curlews, and 150 Dark-bellied Brent Geese spooked by a female Peregrine.

Male Reed Bunting

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

February 6th
It continues to be very quiet at Reculver with little change in the birds during the last couple of weeks. This morning we walked from Reculver to Coldharbour with a chilly NE wind blowing and recorded 10 Mute Swans, 11 Redshank, 40 Oystercatchers, 6 Snow Buntings, 1 Marsh Harrier, 71 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 30 Ringed Plovers, 21 Sanderling, 22 Shelduck, 34 Mallard, 45 Carrion Crows, 1 Corn Bunting, 1 Little Egret, 7 Turnstone, 1 Snipe (108th) and 15 Linnets.


Monday, 5 February 2018

February 5th
This morning with a fresh ENE wind blowing in frequent hail showers we walked from Chamber's Wall to Coldharbour. Birds we saw included 4 Mute Swans, 1 Goldcrest, 1 Sparrowhawk, 13 Chaffinches, 55 Carrion Crows, 51 Mallard, 2 Grey Partridges disturbed by a Marsh Harrier, 136 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 21 Shelduck, 12 Oystercatchers, 2 Corn Buntings, 1 Redwing, 14 Reed Buntings, 250 Woodpigeons, 1 Great Crested Grebe and 1 Kestrel.

Sunday, 4 February 2018

February 4th
With a strong and cold NE wind blowing in wintry showers we managed to find a bit of shelter at the Towers. It was, however, very slow and all we saw in 90 minutes were 31 Red-throated Divers E, 104 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 6 Kittiwakes E, 1 Fulmar W and 8 Oystercatchers.

Saturday, 3 February 2018

February 3rd
This morning out on the Marsh we found 1 Brambling, 11 Corn Buntings, 1 Yellowhammer, 1 Green Woodpecker, 12 Reed Buntings, 10 Chaffinches, 3 Mallard, 350 Woodpigeons, 1 Kestrel, 1 Golden Plover and 1 Great Crested Grebe.
Derek Smith was out birding this afternoon between 1530 and 1745 at Shuart and recorded 1 Firecrest, 1 Marsh Harrier, 3 Common Buzzards, 19 Corn Buntings, 2 Barn Owls, 2 Cetti's Warblers, 2 Water Rails calling and 2 Little Owls.

Friday, 2 February 2018

February 2nd
With a strong NW wind blowing we spent 40 minutes seawatching at Reculver and recorded 76 Red-throated Divers W, 2 Peregrines, male and female, 2 Great Crested Grebes, 1 Rock Pipit, 29 Dark-bellied Brent Geese and 1 Kittiwake.
Next we drove to Chamber's Wall and walked to Coldharbour via the Green Wall. We saw 188 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 2 Fieldfares, 14 Mute Swans, 2 Grey Partridges, 2 Stonechats, 6 Snow Buntings, 1 Redshank, 7 Yellowhammers, 30 Corn Buntings, 60 Reed Buntings and 1 Common Buzzard.

Thursday, 1 February 2018

February 1st
There was a chilly and fresh WNW wind blowing this morning as we walked along the seawall from Reculver to Coldharbour and saw 234 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 6 Snow Buntings, 4 Mute Swans, 1 Turnstone, 21 Oystercatchers, 100 Herring Gulls W, 1 adult Lesser Black-backed Gull W (107th), 18 Ringed Plovers, 50 Carrion Crows, 14 Shelduck, 22 Mallard, 1 Redshank, 2 Stonechats and 6 Linnets.

Female Snow Bunting