Saturday, July 21, 2007

Rye Harbour 8/7/07

Lately I have been thinking that I need to get some of the summer migrants that I haven't caught up with this year, like Yellow Wagtails and Terns so I decided that I have to, at least go to Rye and Elmley to catch up. First, I went to Rye, and this is how it went.
We arrived at the car park after what seemed like a never ending journey. As soon as we got out of the car I noticed Starlings, House Sparrows, Herring and Black-headed Gulls. A little female Blackbird came within a foot of me, completely fearless. It has obviously got used to the fact that it can get fed by humans. I saw its mate fluttering round further away. Next a huge Herring Gull came up to us, almost as tame, uttering quietly as it approached us. My shot of it turned out to be the only decent photo of the whole day! As we started along the track I heard the tinkling call of a Goldfinch, suddenly I saw it fly really low just behind me. I got great views and it was the first time I got to see the plumage details of a Goldfinch while it was flying. Once again I heard a strange high, descending song and as I looked up I saw a Meadow Pipit performing its song flight, beautiful and my best view yet. At the same time I heard a skylark singing in the distance. From the first hide, I noticed many Gulls, mainly Herring, flying past and landing on a little field. I heard a harsh piping and then out of the blue 4 Oystercatchers were chasing each other- 2 rival pairs, one from each pair taking on the equivalent of the the other pair. Apart from this there was little activity from this hide apart from my first view of that Skylark and a Ringed Plover (year bird for me). As we moved on I noticed a Redshank sitting on some rocks (its nest?) and some Sandwich Terns flying right around us. Cormorants flew overhead. As we approached the Tern caravan I noticed 6 black Ducks flying in from the sea and settling, close inshore- Common Scoters- my best view yet despite the raising gas distorting my view. At this point I showed a family of birders the Scoters which they appreciated and I showed them the way to the Ternery Pool. They had a boy of about 10 and I was pleased that I had finally seen an avid birder younger than me! At the Ternery Pool I saw the sweet, young Black-headed Gulls and the nesting Common and Sandwich Terns. Later on I noticed a pair of Mediterranean Gulls and showed them to the birding family. I knew they were looking for Little Terns (so was I ) and eventually picked one out sitting on a rock, they were very pleased (as was I, a lovely bird and a year bird for me along with Sandwich Tern) On the way back I noticed 6 Linnets, a Whitethroat, 2 Dunnocks and heard a Reed Warbler singing in the distance. 29 species today and 3 year birds (Sandwich and Little Terns and Ringed Plover) It was a fantastic day.

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