Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Scratching around for something to photograph

A wander round Sandwich this morning was not very rewarding though whilst we were at Restharrow Scrape a wood sandpiper flew in;  the only other bird of note was a common sandpiper and that was miles away.
Wood Sandpiper
On the way home I spotted a hobby on the fence line near Dickson’s corner. I stopped the car and managed a couple of shots before the bird flew off and that was the last I saw of it.
It was too early to go home so I went to the old rifle range at Kingsdown.
I immediately found the hoped for kestrel, a juvenile, but it stayed high on the cliffs and kept moving along the cliff face as I approached so no pictures. At the southern end of the range I found a couple of rock pipits carrying food. I didn’t stay long as they seemed to be a little disgruntled at me being there.
Rock pipit
There were a few house martins hawking the cliffs and I found 2 (possible 3) nests with young – nice to see but only a fraction of the number nesting there only a couple of years ago. Whilst watching what they were doing I noticed 2 were visiting a puddle collecting mud so I sat close, partly hidden by one of the numerous signs and waited.
House Martin
Many years ago I was watching “Out of Town” with Jack Hardgreaves (shows my age I know) when he was discussing whether house martins collected the mud in their mouth or on the top of their beak. I wouldn’t swear to it but my recollection is that he thought they carried the mud on the top of their beaks was but my photographs show they clearly collect it in their mouths!!

Mud collectiing

I’d only been there 10-15 minutes when it started to spit with rain so I packed up and went home to watch le Tour – great stuff.

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