Friday, 18 January 2019

January 18th
On a freezing but still morning we walked from Chamber's Wall to Coldharbour and on to the Oyster Farm lagoons. Birds we saw included 1 Short-eared Owl, 31 Corn Buntings, 7 Yellowhammers, 2 Redwings, 4 Coot, 424 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 12 Blackbirds, 23 Mallard, 2 Little Egrets, 20 Reed Buntings, 5 Shelduck, 4 Goldfinches, 14 Oystercatchers, 1 Curlew, 2 Snow Buntings, 7 Mute Swans, 3 Grey Plovers, 1 Redshank and 2 Stonechats.

Female Snow Bunting


Thursday, 17 January 2019

January 17th
With a cold NW wind blowing this morning I spent an hour and a half seawatchng at the Towers. Most birds recorded were flying W and included 300 Herring Gulls, 1 adult "intermedius"  Lesser Black-backed Gull, 1 first winter Yellow-legged Gull (102nd), 80 Black-headed Gulls, 18 Common Gulls, 10 Great Black-backed Gulls, 31 Kittiwakes, 35 Cormorants, 4 Red-throated Divers, 1 male Common Scoter, 1 Guillemot and 1 Great Crested Grebe sitting on the sea and 278 Dark-bellied Brent Geese flying down towards Thanet.

Wednesday, 16 January 2019

January 16th
On an unpleasant and overcast morning with a very blustery SW wind blowing we visted one or two sheltered spots on the Marsh but didn't see anything noteworthy. All we recorded was 2 Common Buzzards, 4 Goldfinches, 8 Mute Swans with the Black Swan still in attendance, 240 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 35 House Sparrows, 1 Kestrel, 250 Woodpigeons, 1 Green Woodpecker, 1 Great Crested Grebe, 1 Gadwall and 1 Goldcrest.

Black Swan with Mute Swan
At Grenham Bay this morning Terry Wilson saw lots of Grey Plovers and some Curlew as well as 50 Dark-bellied Brent Geese and a Pergrine taking a Dunlin. There were also 50 Great Crested Grebes and at Minnis Bay, 40 Sanderling, 12 Redshanks and 5 Turnstones.

Tuesday, 15 January 2019

January 15th
It was another overcast morning as we walked from Chamber's Wall to Coldharbour and then on to the Oyster Farm. We recorded 2 Mute Swans, 15 Blackbirds, 2 Coot, 2 Corn Buntings, 1 Little Egret, 3 Shelduck, 1 Great Crested Grebe, 2 Redshank, 18 Mallard, 1 adult male Peregrine hunting low along the tide line, 2 Stonechats feeding on insects disturbed by the Environment Agency bulldozer, 42 Carrion Crows, 2 Snow Buntings at Coldharbour, 1 Grey Heron, 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 Redwing and 1 Yellowhammer.

Female Stonechat feeding on the beach

Monday, 14 January 2019

January 14th
We had a relatively quiet seawatch at Reculver between 0740 and 0900. Birds flying E included 12 Oystercatchers, 31 Dark-bellied Brent Geese and 1 Shelduck and flying W we counted 86 Red-throated Divers, 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 270 Herring Gulls, 1 Razorbill (100th), 5 Sanderling and 1 large auk.
We then walked inland and recorded 1 Goldcrest, 1 Common Buzzard, 1 Gadwall (101st), 1 Great Crested Grebe, 1 Green Woodpecker and 1 Sparrowhawk.
This afternoon we walked around Shuart and saw 1 Kestrel, 18 Mute Swans, 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 1 Chiffchaff, 3 Goldcrests, 2 Common Buzzards, 1 Green Woodpecker, 2 Redshank, 1 Water Rail and 1 Little Owl.

Sunday, 13 January 2019

January 13th
With a very fresh westerly wind blowing and overcast conditions this morning we walked from Minnis Bay to Plumpudding. The tide was on the way out and we didn't see a great deal just 122 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 2 Stonechats, 1 adult "graellsii" Lesser Black-backed Gull, 1 Sanderling, 45 Carrion Crows, 19 Mute Swans, 250 Cormorants, 1 Rock Pipit (99th) and 1 Curlew.
On the way home we dropped in at Shuart where we saw 8 Goldfinches, 1 Common Buzzard, 24 Mallard, 12 Long-tailed Tits, 1 Chiffchaff, 2 Goldcrests and 2 Ring-necked Parakeets.

Adult winter plumaged  "graellsii" Lesser Black-backed Gull

Saturday, 12 January 2019

January 12th
Matt was out on the Marsh in the dark at 0700 and had brief views of a Long-eared Owl (98th).
We met him later at Reculver and then we walked up to Coldharbour and recorded 1 Common Buzzard, 121 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 1 Kestrel, 2 Redshank, 1 Marsh Harrier, 2 Mute Swans, 18 Oystercatchers, 2 Curlew, 2 Corn Buntings, 60 Cormorants, 2 Snow Buntings, 15 Mallard, 3 Shelduck, 1 Little Egret, 3 Stonechats, 34 Carrion Crows, 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull W and 17 Goldfinches.

Friday, 11 January 2019

January 11th
On an overcast morning we walked from Chamber's Wall to the Oyster Farm. The Environment Agency is in the process of repairing the beach between Reculver and Minnis Bay over the next two week. This does not seem to be affecting the birds too much and we even had 2 Snow Buntings feeding unconcernedly within 20 feet of this passing dumper truck.


Other birds we saw included 28 Blackbirds, 20 Reed Buntings, 6 Redwings, 9 Mute Swans, 1 Fieldfare, 16 Chaffinches, 22 Linnets, 4 Coot, 145 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 42 Mallard, 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 3 Grey Plovers, 4 Shelduck, 18 Oystercatchers, 5 Redshank, 1 Little Egret, 2 Stonechats, 2 Skylarks, 3 Yellowhammers, 1 Great Crested Grebe and 8 Goldfinches.

Thursday, 10 January 2019

January 10th
We had a change of scenery today and visited the Dungeness area. Birds we saw included 3 Cattle Egrets, 3 Great White Egrets, 34 Bewick's Swans, 6 Goldeneye and 1 Raven all of which I'd be very pleased to see at Reculver!

Wednesday, 9 January 2019

January 9th
Another hour's seawatch this morning did not produce much more than yesterday just 1 Kittiwake W (97th), 25 Red-throated Divers, 362 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 1 intermedius Lesser Black-backed Gull W and 21 Cormorants. On the way home I saw 10 Goldfinches, 650 Woodpigeons and 1 Common Buzzard.

Woodpigeons on winter wheat

Tuesday, 8 January 2019

January 8th
With a fresh to strong NW wind forecast I arrived at Reculver at first light and seawatched for one hour. It was surprisingly quiet and apart from 700 Herring Gulls flying W all I saw was 17 Dark-bellied Brent Geese and 19 Red-throated Divers. The only highlight was a Great Northern Diver flying W. As the bird that was seen during December and the first couple of days of 2019 was found dead on 3rd, this is obviously a new bird in the area.
After this we walked inland and recorded 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Kestrel, 1 Goldcrest, 1 Great Crested Grebe, 1 Grey Heron, 1 Common Buzzard, 18 Chaffinches and 11 Goldfinches.
Richard Collins also did a seawatch between 1100 and 1210 and recorded 21 Red-throated Divers, 1 Great Crested Grebe, 1 Gannet and 1 Knot W (96th).

Monday, 7 January 2019

January 7th
This morning we walked from Reculver to Coldharbour and recorded 1 Common Buzzard, 82 Meadow Pipits, 274 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 18 Mute Swans, 62 Cormorants, 1 Kestrel, 2 Great Crested Grebes, 24 Linnets, 20 Corn Buntings, 32 Oystercatchers, 6 Red-throated Divers, 5 Redshank, 1 Grey Plover, 7 Dunlin, 24 Ringed Plovers, 1 Stonechat, 36 Mallard, 1 Curlew, 5 Shelduck, 1 Short-eared Owl flying out of Coldharbour, 6 Turnstone, 2 Sanderling and 6 Goldfinches.
This afternoon a walk inland at Reculver produced 1 Redshank, 1 Green Sandpiper (95th), 1 Common Buzzard, 1 Kestrel, 11 Mute Swans, 1 Black Swan and 1 Great Crested Grebe.

Sunday, 6 January 2019

January 6th 
This morning we walked from Chamber's Wall to the Oyster Farm and recorded 12 Redwing, 10 Blackbirds, 4 Fieldfare, 15 Magpies, 1 Green Woodpecker, 4 Coot, 2 Golden Plovers, 3 Redshank, 1 Little Grebe, 1 Stonechat, 1 Kingfisher, 22 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 1 Great Crested Grebe, 43 Mallard, 5 Shelduck, 14 Oystercatchers, 4 Turnstone, 36 Carrion Crows, 2 Snow Buntings flying towards Reculver, 1 female Red-breasted Merganser (91st)  flying W, 14 Linnets, 1 Little Egret, 3 Corn Buntings, 1 Marsh Harrier and 2 Goldcrests.
Matt was also out this morning and walked from Chamber's Wall and along the railway embankment to the Oyster Farm. His highlights were 1 Firecrest (92nd) on the railway embankment, 105 Corn Buntings, 1 Water Rail (93rd) and 1 Black Swan in with the Mute Swans on the Marsh. On the way home a Merlin flew across the road near Shuart.
Tom Speller walked from Reculver to Plumpudding during the afternoon and counted 5 Red-throated Divers, 1 female Red-breasted Merganser, 61 Grey Plovers, 94 Ringed Plovers, 200 Oystercatchers, 19 Curlew, 10 Dunlin, 20 Redshank, 496 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 5 Shelduck,  45 Mallard, 1 Little Egret, 1 Great Crested Grebe and 2 Marsh Harriers. He also saw a bull Grey Seal.

Grey Seal - Tom Speller
Derek Smith walked from Shuart to Plumpudding between 1430 and 1700 and saw 2 Marsh Harriers, 38 Golden Plovers, 1 Barn Owl, 1 Little Owl (94th) calling, 2 Cetti's Warblers and 1 Chiffchaff.

Saturday, 5 January 2019

January 5th
This morning we spent half an hour at the Towers but it was very slow and all we saw were 74 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 9 Red-throated Divers and 1 Great Crested Grebe. We then drove over to Minnis Bay before driving one car back to Shuart. From here we walked to Netherhale and Brooksend before returning to Minnis Bay. We saw 2 Marsh Harriers, 1 Chiffchaff, 4 Ring-necked Parakeets, 312 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 21 Mute Swans, 6 Redshank, 1 Lapwing, 2 Common Buzzartds, 3 Green Woodpeckers, 2 Red-legged Partridges, 1 Kestrel, 1 Jay, 3 Goldcrests, 18 Goldfinches, 6 Pied Wagtails, 1 Little Grebe, 35 Teal, 34 Mallard, 1 Shoveler (90th), 8 Grey Herons, 2 Great Crested Grebes and 12 Common Scoter flying E.
Derek Smith was out between 1100 and 1400 and completed a similar walk and in addition to what we saw, recorded 1 Sparrowhawk, 36 Redwings, 6 Fieldfares, 2 Chiffchaffs and 6 Goldcrests.

Friday, 4 January 2019

January 4th
There was a freezing wind blowing in off the sea this morning as we walked from Reculver to Coldharbour. We saw 1 Sparrowhawk, 2 Redshank, 4 Lapwings, 1 Green Woodpecker, 5 Turnstone, 42 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 12 Oystercatchers, 8 Mallard, 2 Shelduck, 14 Linnets, 11 Great Black-backed Gulls, 1 Marsh Harrier, 3 Stonechats, 2 Grey Plovers and 1 Curlew.

Grey Plover
Matt was also out this morning and at Shuart birds he saw included 1 Woodcock (82nd), 2 Common Buzzards and 1 Marsh Harrier and at Reculver he saw 1 Gannet, 40 Red-throated Divers, 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 Guillemot (83rd), 1 male Common Scoter (84th), 1 adult Mediterranean Gull (85th) and 1 Great Crested Grebe. Out on the Marsh he found 5 Yellowhammers, 40 Corn Buntings, 50 Redwings, 1 Sparrowhawk and 1 Common Buzzard.
At Grenham Bay this morning Terry Wilson recorded 10 Great Crested Grebes, 8 Gannets, 2 Fulmars, 6 Great Black-backed Gulls, 35 Cormorants, 3 Turnstone and 1 Pied Wagtail.
This afternoon Matt and I walked the Chamber's Wall/Coldharbour/Green Wall loop and saw 36 Redwings, 2 Fieldfares, 25 Corn Buntings, 1 Sparrowhawk, 2 Coot, 1 Curlew, 38 Mallard, 1 Little Egret, 21 Golden Plover (86th), 1 Teal, 1 Little Grebe, 3 Redshank, 6 Oystercatchers, 1 Grey Plover, 5 Shelduck, 3 Grey Partridges (87th) and 8 Greylag Geese (88th).
This afternoon Chris Tedder saw a Merlin (89th) flying over the sea at Reculver.

Merlin - Chris Tedder

Thursday, 3 January 2019

January 3rd
On a beautiful winter's morning we began by walking around the Shuart area where we counted 2 Greenfinches (80th), 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers drumming at each other, 4 Ring-necked Parakeets, 22 Goldfinches, 13 Mute Swans, 12 Dark-bellied Brent Geese flying over the seawall, 3 Common Buzzards, 3 Redshank, 1 Fieldfare, 4 Redwings, 1 Green Woodpecker, 23 Blackbirds, 38 Mallard and 1 Grey Heron.
On our way home we dropped in at Reculver and recorded 2 Common Buzzards, 1 Black Swan, 10 Mute Swans, 1 Great Crested Grebe, 1 Bullfinch (81st) and 2 Redwings.

Black Swan

Wednesday, 2 January 2019

January 2nd
There was a chilly NW wind blowing this morning as we walked along the seawall to Coldharbour. Birds we saw included 1 Common Buzzard, 1 Kestrel, 1 Peregrine, 1 Curlew, 260 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 113 Oystercatchers E, 52 Ringed Plovers, 7 Turnstone, 2 Dunlin, 14 Linnets, 12 Mallard, 120 Lapwings, 1 Little Egret, 2 Stonechats, 1 Gannet W and 2 Snow Buntings (79th).

Male Snow Bunting

Tuesday, 1 January 2019

January 1st
2019 dawned bright and breezy as we completed our annual attempt to see as many birds as possible on the first day of the year in the Reculver recording area. In the event it was a bit of a struggle and Anne and I only managed to record 65 species.
We began at first light at Reculver where we recorded 32 Mute Swans, 2 Teal, 2 Great Crested Grebes, 7 Redwings, 1 Cetti's Warbler, 1 Common Buzzard, 86 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 1 Great Northern Diver, 34 Oystercatchers and 2 Red-throated Divers.
After this we drove to Chamber's Wall and walked along the railway embankment and Green Wall and on to Coldharbour. We recorded 7 Corn Buntings, 58 Fieldfares, 55 Redwings, 1 Common Buzzard, the Great Northern Diver drifting back east, 1 Fulmar flying W over the Oyster Farm, 4 Turnstone, 4 Ringed Plovers, 1 Little Grebe, 3 Linnets, 1 Little Egret, 7 Redshank, 3 Mallard, 3 Goldfinches, 2 Stonechats and 7 Coot.
From here we drove to Shuart where we spent half an hour and recorded 6 Ring-necked Parakeets, 6 Long-tailed Tits, 2 Chiffchaffs, 1 Marsh Harrier, 2 Jays, 1 Barn Owl, 66 Mallard and 1 Teal.
We then went home for a bite to eat and this afternoon birded at Minnis and Grenham Bays where we added 1 Gannet, 8 Curlew, 22 Dunlin, 16 Ringed Plovers, 4 Grey Plovers, 40 Oystercatchers, 3 Little Egrets, 21 Great Crested Grebes and 15 Dark-bellied Brent Geese.
Marc Heath and Julian and Alex Perry were also out all day and ended up with 74 species. Among the species they saw that we did not were, Shelduck, Sparrowhawk, Peregrine, Lapwing, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Short-eared Owl, Kingfisher and Yellowhammer.
With these species included the day's total was 78.