Monday, 25 September 2017

The Wader's Return.

A trip down to  the Coldharbour Lagoon at Reculver paid off last week, with four species of Wader caught on the camera. I parked at the Fisherman's car park at Chambers Wall on the afternoon of the 18th and 19th and on both occasions slowly wandered down to the sea wall via the railway embankment and Green Wall, timing my visit to coincide with the last hour of an incoming tide, hoping that this would push a few Waders up over the shingle ridge and down into the Lagoon. My target was easily spotted, a first winter Knot that had been found by Mark Chidwick a few days earlier. The bird was feeding in the eastern corner of the Lagoon and never seemed to mind my presence. 

A lot of the surface water on the lagoon was covered in a green weedy type of Algae which allowed the smaller waders to feed on it, catching the numerous flies that were on the weed surface. A pair of Dunlin were busy feeding and completely ignored me, passing very close  as they searched for food.

Whilst photographing the Dunlin from the corner of my eye I noticed an incoming wader flying towards me from over the shingle ridge (I love it when a plan comes together) and actually landed just a couple of metres from where I was sitting. Straight away I could see it was a Little Stint and I had to wind back on the 100-400mm zoom to get it in the frame. It amazes me just how small these birds are.

My fourth Wader species photographed was one of a pair of Redshank that were feeding along the lagoon edge and ended a well worthwhile couple of sessions at Coldharbour. Other species noted were 6 Little Egrets in the Lagoon, a flock of 40+ Oyster-catchers, 14 (ish) Ringed Plover, mostly Juveniles, and 5 Curlew all flying east about 50 metres out at sea. Four Sanderling were seen flying west.

Monday, 18 September 2017

A Thanet Falcon.

I had the pleasure of an Adult Peregrine Falcon for company as I walked the beach at Ramsgate on an incoming tide last Thursday afternoon, (14th) first seen flying low along the cliff face just a few feet over the mussel beds that would soon be lost to the incoming tide. It then perched on the cliff face giving superb views, alighting after a while, flying up and down the shore line scattering the feeding Curlew's, Oystercatcher's and Turnstone's, then headed out over the sea, steadily gaining height until a struggle to keep in view.

Always good to catch up with these spectacular Falcons, one very smart bird.

I saw the Stone Curlew at Pegwell again, this time it was out on the mud just to the North of the old hover pad but like last time, far too distant to allow for any decent images. I also caught up with the juvenile Red-backed Shrike at Reculver on the 14th and 15th but unlike previous encounters with this species, where as they have been extremely tolerant, this young bird was in no mood to sit and pose for a photo.

A Juvenile Red-backed Shrike from Reculver on the 4th September 2010. This one was a lot more camera friendly.

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Catching up (or trying to)

The July/August stagnation has set in and I have found it extremely difficult to find the motivation to get out with binoculars or the camera of late. I don't seem to get excited over bugs and butterflies. Anyway, having never seen a Red-necked Phalarope in the UK, never mind Kent, I read over the Internet of one at Oare marshes, along with a/or the returning Long Billed Dowitcher. I chose to visit on the Saturday morning (2nd) but the Phalarope decided to leave the day before. (That will teach me to get out a little quicker after the news breaks lol) . The Dowitcher was easily found out on the flood, too distant for a photo and looking into the lowly rising sun would of meant it being silhouetted anyway. It never stopped the visiting line of long lenses from clicking away, I wonder what their results were like !!!  The last Long billed Dowitcher for me was also at Oare, way back in November 2006. Off note, there was a juvenile Sandling on the East flood, somewhat a rarity at this venue. As always at Oare, the Black-tailed Godwits were fair game for the camera lens.

Other bits caught with the camera was a rather tatty Grey Heron flying over the flood and a pair of Reed Warblers creeping through the reeds for a drink from the dyke in front of the pull in alongside the road down to the Swale.

My local football side, Chislet Colliery FC, started their league campaign on the Sunday morning (3rd) so I had plans to go and watch them with a promising 5-1 win which was good as they are newly promoted and their first competitive match in this division. A quick visit to Pegwell bay early doors was successful with a Kent tick for me in the shape of the Stone Curlew reported a few days ago. It was a long way out and once again looking directly into the sun light but I was on my own with no one looking on and "wondering what my results would be like" so took a few record shots (at best) With that eye, there was no mistaking its identity. September is now upon us so hopefully a few bits to get the enthusiasm levels back to normality.

An extremely poor "record shot" of the Pegwell Bay Stone Curlew.