The first opportunity came when it popped up on some concrete rubble - I got the bins on it, it turned side on so I got a clear view which confimed the id then fired off a few shots then it flew. On checking the shots it was looking away in all of them!!!!
|Rear view of an ortolan bunting|
I spent Thursday morning around the same area but there was no sign of it; all I saw were yellowhammers and they were as flighty as ever..
Fog during the next couple of days reduced the time I had in the field but today I checked out Kingsdown then walked from South Foreland to Langdon Hole.
A few blackcaps and chiffs at Kingsdown and along the clifftop a lot of mippits and hirundines were on the move. Around Fan Bay I found around a dozen yelowhammers of various ages and colours and a reed bunting but no sign of the ortolan.
On the way back to South Foreland I walked past the rubble piles - nothing - but as I was passing Fan Bay a great white egret came in off the sea but it was a long way off so only poor record shots.
|Very distant great white egret|
I then went over to Restharrow to check the scrape for snipe (no luck) but there was a stonechat and 2 whinchat along the fence line as you approach the hide. Despite being half in the reeds I still couldn't get close to them though.
When it first showed I only got distant shots as we waited for the others searching the cliff top to return but eventually we got closer and hence better shots.
|Initial distant views|
It did drop onto the sunny side for a few minutes so I returned to the south side and took a few more pictures. Here I had to chose between a stem obscuring the head or rubble partially obscuring the tail - I opted for the latter.