Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Reculver 27th March 2013

Cormorant - Canon 400D +100-400mm - Kelsey Park - 17-2-2013
This post has been delayed due to lack of photos (please see end of report). The 27th March saw Stephen and I take a stroll around Reculver, the tide was in and a bitter ENE wind battered our faces. At the car park we could hear and see a number of House Sparrows and Starlings flitting around near the pub. Moving on to the Towers all we found was a solitary Brent Goose sitting on the stones at the base of the cliff, however slightly further on over the fields to the south a Kestrel hovered on the hunt.
Kestrel - Olympus SP590UZ - Resting on one of the Towers at Reculver out of the wind 29-3-2013
A couple of Blackbirds were also pottering around the hedgerows at the edge of the field. Everything looked a bit bleak but at least it was nice and sunny as we strolled down to the Sea Wall. Looking out over the Oyster Farm there was little to see although the odd Redshank did lift off as we passed and out to sea various Gulls (Black Headed, Herring and Great Black Backed) accompanied us. Further out we saw a number of birds too distant to identify properly and a few Cormorants, fortunately a short while later we found one sat on a post close enough to photograph. A few Dunlin and Knot also flew past.

Cormorant - Canon 400D +100-400mm - Reculver

East of the Oyster Farm Steve picked out a Marsh Harrier flying low to the south whilst nearer us a Reed Bunting was flicking in and out of the bushes, a Meadow Pipit also presented itself briefly on the Sea Wall. As we approached the turning point of the Wantsum we picked out a small mixed flock of waders namely Ringed Plover, Knot, Turnstone and Sanderling. Turning South away from the Sea Wall we were at long last out of the biting wind, a scour of the fields revealed in the far distance some Shelduck, Mute Swans and a Heron, a Pheasant and a few Carrion Crows were also seen.

Ringed Plover - Canon 400D +100-400mm - Reculver
As we made our way to the railway crossing we heard then eventually saw a Sky Lark, first one this year for me whilst to our East a flock of (200+) Brent Geese took to the air. Looking south from the railway we saw a field containing Golden Plovers mixed with some Lapwing, Black Headed Gulls and a few Feral Pigeons; also seen from this spot was a Magpie and my first Wood Pigeon of the day. Whilst munching on our sandwiches a second, much darker, Marsh Harrier flew down the line of the dyke to out northwest.

Grey Plover - Canon 400D +100-400mm - Reculver
After lunch we made our way back to the Towers via the south side of the Oyster farm and were pleasantly surprised with a number of spots that we had not seen from the Sea wall, namely Avocets and Oystercatchers in the pools along with some Redshanks and in a nearby stream some Teal, Mallards, Moorhen and a Dabchick. At this point we were joined by another birder who took us round to the Sea Wall where he had seen the Black Redstart earlier, sadly there was no show although a Robin briefly appeared.
Robin - Canon 400D +100-400mm - Kelsey Park (on a much warmer and sunnier day 17-2-2013)
We were about to go when the Black Redstart made a brief appearance, a lifetime spot for me, sadly though it was constantly on the move and I could not get a photo, nevertheless it was gorgeous to see. Back at the Car Park a last minute addition to the day list was a Collared Dove whilst on the way home I found a Buzzard flying low near the Motorway.
Black Headed Gull - Canon 400D +100-400mm - Reculver 1-4-2013
For the day 40 different birds seen. I did not get many photos so I have added a few into this blog from Kelsey Park which I visited earlier this year (17-2-2013). I have returned to reculver twice more to photograph the Black Redstart, on each occasion the weather has been colder and more windy, so much so on the last visit that the bird in question failed to appear. The Kestrel and Black Headed Gull are from these visits and to the tally of birds at Reculver I can add Little Egret, Sandwich Tern and Pied Wagtail.


  1. You got the tern in the end then Kevin

    1. Yes even got a photo to prove the point, but a bit too blurry for here.

  2. A nice report. However your Knot photo is of a Grey Plover in winter plumage. Hope you don't mind me pointing this out.

  3. Marc, I thought this as I was editing the photos and yet on the day I was sure I had photographed a Knot. As I have never had problems identifying Grey Plovers in the past I went with my original thought rather than what I could see in the photo. I am more than happy for my mistakes to be corrected, for me identification as well as photography is still a learning process with a long long way to go. This gives me an opportunity to thank you for your excellent Blog which inspired me to add Reculver to my list of birding walks and your superb standard of photography.