Sunday, 30 August 2020

Wanstead Whinchats and a visit to Kent

On Friday I visited Wanstead again and again bumped into Nick and a few others as I wandered around their patch. I counted five Whinchat but more were reported by others. I also encountered two Spotted Flycatchers, two Tree Pipits and a very smart looking Lesser Whitethroat which I always appreciate. A Redstart was also found by the car park but I didn't see that on this visit as I opted to leave when it started raining not like the hardier species of birder that took shelter in the trees.

Whinchat at Wanstead

Yesterday I went looking for a Wryneck in Kent and again I failed to find one but I did find a Short-eared Owl down at Galloways before the MOD kicked me out at 7.30am. I also had another Whinchat here and a couple of Raven.

Short-eared Owl at Dunge

I was planning on a sea watch but couldn't resist a quick look for the Glossy Ibis on ARC whilst down here and I'm glad I did as the bird dropped in as I got to the mound. Also on ARC a Little Stint, a couple of Common Sandpipers, eight Blackwits, seven Dunlin, a Little-ringed Plover and lots of Hirundines.

Glossy Ibis on ARC pit

The reserve is now open three days a week but the hides are closed so I was left to view from the mound beside the car park where I found a Greenshank and a Common Sandpiper the only thing of note. No Black Tern but there are lot's of Wheatear about on the beach and a large roost of Sandwich Terns. A Skylark gave me a run around as I tried to make sure it was a Skylark.

I left and drove to Shellness on the way home where I plotted up on my own and began to watch the sea. I had some passage but think I'd missed the best action of the day. Several Skuas moved south and could be Identified as Great and Arctic but despite one very likely pale juvenile Long-tailed  I failed to see it well enough to label it for sure. As for Terns all I saw were Common so I guess the others reported may have been too far out for my chosen watchpoint. Wader numbers along the shoreline were impressive with hundreds of Oystercatcher along with Curlews, Knot, Ringed-Plovers, Turnstone, Dunlin and Sanderling. 

Continuous movement of Oystercatchers on a falling tide as they headed for the exposed mud

As Dad would say.....A stone turner

Year list stuck at 247 but a lovely couple of days watching birds

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