Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Sandwich and the Stour Valley

Sunday morning (23rd) was a morning of two halves. I went over to the Restharrow scrape on the Sandwich Bay estate where I enjoyed nice bright sunshine but very little to photograph. All I managed was a pair of Shelduck as they departed the scrape.

I quickly got bored and moved on, back to Stodmarsh where I parked up by the cow field above Collards and typically, in rather poor weather, dull and now overcast, the Cattle Egret decided to get up and fly around, fairly close to my vantage point.

With not too many work comitments at the moment, I walked the circuit at Stodmarsh on Monday (24th), the highlight whilst watching nest building by a pair of Marsh Harriers ( i say a pair but the male never contributed much at all) was a Little Ringed Plover, flying in and landing on the mud in front of the Reed Bed hide before taking off again just a few seconds later. What was I presume, the same bird, returned about ten minutes later, dropping back onto the mud but obviously not liking its surroundings as it was off again straight away, flying out over the main lake and was not seen again. I heard my first Cuckoo of the year and Sand Martins were seen, another year tick for me. The Marsh Harriers were a little distant but just about in range with a largish crop.

Tuesday (25th), I had a House Martin and heard a Turtle Dove in the paddock at Grove, both new for the year for me. Plenty of Common Whitethroat's are now in but I am still missing a Lesser.

Walking through to the Reed bed hide missing out the Marsh hide as it was undergoing repairs, I seem to of missed a female Red Footed Falcon seen on the reserve. I only learnt of its presence on my return home and hopefully I will be able to catch up with it tomorrow if it hangs around. I have not had a Hobby yet but that will soon change i suspect. The Reed bed hide was pretty productive during the hour I spent in there, a pair of Water Rails were seen, also two Yellow Wagtails were drinking from the pool, a pair of Greenshank were feeding out on the mud on the main lake and a Whimbrel dropped in for a quick wash and brush up. All of the above seen to the constant song of a Nightingale in bushes outside the hide door. The Whimbrel was a long way out but with a converter and reverting back to the 1.6 x crop of the trusty 7d, a few record shots were taken.

All in all not a bad couple of days, thanks for looking.

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