Monday, 14 March 2011

A Gloomy Day at Sandwich

Whilst the summary of today’s weather on BBC SE this evening suggested today was spring like here on the east coast it was overcast and quite cold in the NE wind.
The day was spent at Sandwich where I did the rounds with Ian - today we walked from the Obs to the sea then down to Chequers and back along the
Ancient Highway
Only a few mippits, reed buntings and skylark on the way to the beach and on the sea a few great crested grebes (6) and red throated divers (3). As we walked south we got the impression of stuff flying south overhead but it was difficult to see anything due to the very low cloud. We stopped at the Cellars and looked a bit harder and every now and then flocks of chaffinch could be seen/heard overhead. Some came through quite low but most were high disappearing into then reappearing from the cloud. A few flocks were 20-30 strong then one group of ~ 200 went by with a total of over 460 being seen.
From there we continued along the beach to the Chequers but no sign of a wheatear (one was seen over the w/e) the only sightings being of more skylarks on the beach and golf course and a peregrine.
At the Chequers there were 22 corn buntings on the wires by the barn and 11 tree sparrows were on the garden bushes. Several more corn buntings were singing along the ancient highway but there was little to see on Worth Marsh other than starlings – one flock being ~1000 strong.
Restharrow held the normal ducks (wigeon, teal, shoveller, tufted) and geese (including the barnacle goose) but the little egret population was up to 5.
Final birds of note were 2 great spotted woodpeckers were in the Elms and a firecrest in Middle field.
Sorry about the lack of pictures but the weather/light was too poor to even try.

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