Reculver had been looking to be worth a visit for a few days. Shorelark, Snow Bunting, Lapland Bunting, and Desert Wheatear had all been present and showing well. Unfortunately other commitments had kept me away over the weekend, so Monday it was pick up Dave and head over to Kent to see if there was anything left. From reports it looked as though the Lapland bunting had gone but we were hopeful of the other three.
Delaying to the Monday was good in one respect in that whilst there were a few birders about we had missed out on the twitch that would have taken place over the weekend. Unfortunately we had also missed out on the Desert Wheatear that appeared to have moved on overnight. I was not too worried at this, the year tick would have been nice but we had good photographs of this bird from one that had turned up at Worthing in October 2012. The Shorelark was the main target of the day.
A walk along the sea wall from Reculver Castle towards Coldharbour Lagoon soon found us in the right area but with the usual message of "its just flown you should have been here ten minutes ago". We only had a short wait before it returned and gave good views and with the clouds clearing we also had good lighting, a rare combination.
The Snow Buntings proved a bit harder to find but we eventually caught up with them.
There was a large supporting cast of birds just off the sea wall and plenty of picture opportunities.
|Juvenile Ringed Plover|
Early afternoon and we set off for home with a planned stop off at Oare Marshes. There was the nagging suspicion that the Desert Wheatear would turn up just after we left but overall we were happy with pictures that we had managed to get.
Oare marshes always gives you plenty of birds to look at, so much so that it is often impossible to get a decent picture, but what you do get is a great atmosphere. As you open the car door a wall of noise hits you and there is continual movement as birds move around and squabble for the standing room that is in short supply and flocks of different birds swirl overhead.
|Standing room only|
|Pintails against a wall of Waders|
|Black-tailed Godwits in flight|
It was a long way to drive for a non twitcher but we had a great days birding. Reculver is a place I will be going back to. It has the one thing missing along the South Coast, the sun is over your shoulder when you are taking pictures out to sea.