Monday, 5 May 2008

Bank holiday weekend..Working again!!

A pre weekend walk found me at surprise surprise, Cliffe looking for Skuas as they were on my mind following the recent death of Dave Davenport, a man who lived for sea watching and migration. Sadly, as with recent visits the Thames was a Skua free zone though I did get to see the 'Elder Bush' a bush of great integrity and many stories to tell. The nearby sign indicates what one can and cannot do but there was evidently no room left to say, no river watching, birding, or even enjoying yourself!! Cliffe itself was reasonably quiet bar 20+ Whimbrel on the pools, a Sparrowhawk on the grass having been forced down by the storms, 2 very vocal Nightingales and a lone Wheatear on the river wall.

Saturday was a reasonably good day with news of a pair of mobile Black-winged Stilt at Elmley RSPB. I nipped off to the reserve and though distant at times the birds showed very well, and were clearly very happy together. A pair of Avocets were equally amorous and though at times it seemed as though nothing would happen Mr Avocet finally got his act together and so the line of cameras in the hide rattled off literally a machine gun fire volley of shots.
Along the track a pair of Garganey showed well, first pool below the farmhouse going towards the hides, 6+ adult Med Gulls in the fields, 3+ Hobby, and some luminescent Yellow Wagtails. Redshanks were also very visible, a great place for taking piccies.
Having left Elmley I decided to check the 'usual' sites along the Medway, 3 Greenshank and a sum plum Grey Plover at Funton, 300+ Brent Geese at Lower Halstow, and 102 at Motney. A Turtle Dove was a year tick at Motney, whilst this Nightingale gave stunning views nearby, a real performer, an excellent day.
Back at Cliffe on sunday, 21 Whimbrel, 3 Greenshank, a Spotted Red and a Hobby. Lastly the Monday was a bit of a let down with a no show Dix Pip at Crossness, London!! and few birds at Higham marshes, except 3 Dunlin and 2 Ringed Plover on the Timber Lake.

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