As I was working Saturday I decided to once again head East to the promised land with JT. A late start due to work we arrived at Shuart and nearby and wandered around for an hour trying to jot everything that was moving down.......... Fortunately I had a large piece of paper and an unlimited supply of ink in my pen for jotting down
East Kent birding at it's best, what to look at next. Following the first hours birding heading West and back home seemed a good idea but we ploughed on to Elmwood Avenue. A quick chat with the lady at the riding school who seems to have been there forever but never ages as if it was still the early 1990's! Again notebook at the ready bins poised the migrants flooded in, Redpoll 1, Siskin 1, Dunnock 2, Mipit >20 . Again heading West looked the best option
Next stop a cup of tea and a sandwich at the pumping station where the ambiance of a charity cycle race was the main interest. JT spotted bird of the morning, a Whitethroat in one of the 3 bushes. Excellent, things were really looking up now, next stop North Foreland where a Wheatear showed well on the clifftops and on the beach below uncle Tom cobley and dog patrol chased the Turnstones on the beach. Time to head West yet?
Next stop the ever reliable Northdown Park, another cup of tea and a text from Gordon ........Pallas's at caravan park Reculver
We dithered, birded the area a bit longer notching up a handsome group of 37+ Bramblings, good numbers of Blackbird, 5+ Chiffs, a male Blackcap ,a Lesser Redpoll then spent a while scraping the migrant turds that had hitched a ride on our boots . As if set in a scene from Slumdog Millionaire the Parakeets kept the background alive with their tuneful racket!
Time to head West, yes onto Reculver with the sweet scent of GTs (growler turds) wafting in the warm car air . The Pallas's Warbler put on a good show to it's small appreciative crowd. This really is one of the best looking migrants to grace our shores. Overhead a Peregrine flew over
Things were finally looking up and off to Grove we headed. Over the years there's been various birding spots named after events like a certain lane near Scotney and Belshaw's Bush at Capel and we decided to park at Howard's Bend turning the car at a 190 degree angle before locking up and entering the reserve. Immortalised for ever this quiet section of road will always be remembered for two things Wilson's Phal and International rescue for GNH!
At Grove the Wilson's Phal was again present from the Harrison's Drove and showed brilliantly through JT's revamped Kowa. A look for the GGShrike drew a blank and we returned towards the car when we had ten minutes of cracking birding
The Wilson's was from the viewing ramp, a Jack Snipe flew over us and away and just before Howards bend, the Great Grey Shrike zipped past us
That's why East Kent is so good for birding it just needs time, perseverance and a willingness to check those areas that you feel others may not have checked yet and well done to Gordon and Chris for finding that wee Sibe cracker that's what it's all about