Thursday, 31 October 2019

Desert Wheatear at Seasalter

I finished work early on Wednesday (30th) so having not been out with the camera for a while I thought I would pop over to Hampton (Herne Bay) to catch up with the Black Redstart that was seen there on the preceding day. On arrival I parked along the rocks and up it popped, right in front of me.

I only had a few minutes with the bird as Mike Gould phoned me to tell me a Desert Wheatear had been found along the sea wall at Seasalter and as it was his patch and a new patch bird for him, he was returning from a day out in Tenterden to twitch it. I immediately forgot about the Redstart in front of me and drove over to Seasalter to hopefully connect with the bird. My last Desert Wheatear was at Reculver in November 2014, so another one was overdue. I parked at the Sportsman pub and made my way along the sea wall towards a small gathering of birders about a mile away to the west. When I got there, the Wheatear was on the beach feeding and periodically returned to the sea wall where I was treated to superb close up views as it chased insects and flies that gathered on the concrete. A particularly smart looking individual, and well worth the effort to get there. Thanks again to Mike for the telephone call.

One very smart looking Wheatear. No news of it today so it looks like it has moved on, roll on the next one.

Sunday, 20 October 2019

Gone Twitching.

If the Grey Phalarope twitch at Grenham Bay a few weeks back spoilt me for being close and making life easy for obtaining images, then a twitch to my local patch for the Tundra Bean Geese bought me back down to earth and a twitch today (Sunday 20th) to Dungeness for the Sabine's Gull, a new bird for me, added the bump to bringing me back down to earth.
Martyn Wilson alerted me to the arrival of the two Tundra Bean Geese at Stodmarsh and a couple of sessions with them over the past week resulted in a few distant record shots as they arrived at the reed bed hide pool and spent some time on the mud to the left of the hide.

We saw the juvenile Osprey on a couple of occasions but was way too far away for even record shots. A Grey Wagtail and the obligatory Kingfisher which landed for a few minutes on the perch in front of the hide, added a splash of colour to the proceedings.

I have never acted on reports of Sabine Gulls when they turn up around the Kentish coastline, they more often than not result in small dots out to sea, but seeing a few reasonable images yesterday of the juvenile bird that turned up at Dungeness, and news that it was still there this morning, off I trotted to see if I could add another new bird to my list. Arriving at the patch, it was easily found, a small dot out to sea, and I found my vantage point where I hoped it would fly past along the tide line. My luck was completely used up on the Phalarope twitch, as the bird stayed out on the patch throughout my stay, never coming closer than 50 or 60 metres from me. I did get a  couple of record shots, well not even good enough to be called record shots, distant, looking into the sun but hey ho, it is a new bird for me.

Carlsberg don't do Sabine's Gull pics, but if they did, it probably wouldn't  be these.

other birds seen at the patch were Gulls, Gulls and more Gulls. 

Saturday, 12 October 2019

A Fox Fest in the Port of Ramsgate

Another early morning collection from the Brett concrete plant in the Ramsgate port (7th) and after loading, I saw all 3 Fox cubs messing about on the sand piles behind the plant. Having my camera with me (I make a point of having it with me when I know I am visiting this site) I went about getting a few images as they chased each other around the sand piles, play fighting and digging holes in the sand. The light was poor so high iso's were needed to get a shutter speed anywhere near capable of capturing these charismatic creatures as they chased each other around, completely ignoring people around them going about their daily business.

These three brighten up any visit to the Brett concrete plant in the Port of Ramsgate.