Today the car was booked in for a service so instead of birding the Valley I spent a couple of hours at Restharrow Scrape Sandwich before going back to Deal and a date with the garage. Arriving at Restharrow at 5.00am and staying until 7.45. A Pipestril Bat was hawking in front of the hide as I opened the shutters while a Greenshank, a Wood Sandpiper and 3 Green Sandpipers were the only waders, occasionally coming close to the hide but the early morning cloud was not conducive to a good photo opportunity.
|Greenshank & Wood Sandpiper|
The drake Garganey was still present but, never came close and there were 11 Teal, 3 Mallards, the single drake Pochard and a single Gadwall. Still 7 Coots (2 young) and the pair of Moorhens now have a newly hatched brood of 4 with the previous 4 young ones helping with the feeding. The immature Little Grebe still present and its parents busy feeding their latest three. A Sparrowhawk shot through without disturbance, a Water Rail made several very close passes of the hide, seemingly knowing I couldn’t get a photo in the available light and 6 young and 5 adult Black-headed Gulls came in to bathe. Others bits included 2 Reed Warblers, 2 Sedge Warblers, 2 Linnets, 1 Reed Bunting, 1 Pied Wagtail, 2 Woodpigeons and 30 odd Swallows. A noisy gathering of Jackdaws overhead was due to a Peregrine that almost too one out as I watched.
|immature Little Grebe|
After dropping the car of I walked from Southwall Road in north Deal along the path leading to the back of Fowlmead Nature reserve, followed the fields to the railway on to Worth marshes crossed the railway joined the North Stream stopped in at Sandwich Bay Bird Observatory before heading back via the Ancient Highway meeting Steve Ray, Ian Hodgeson, Andrew Lipcynski and Richard Collins enroute. Despite the massive amount of habitat in the area it was fairly quiet on the bird front, a couple of Jays, 1 Greenshank, 1 Little Egret, 1 Kestrel and 1 Grey Heron for starters. I flushed a covey of 16 Grey Partridges, encountered 2 dozen Whitethroats, 2 female Marsh harriers, 4+ Whinchats, a family of Goldfinches, 4 Tufted Ducks and 2 Sedge Warblers.
On approaching SBBOT 6 Greenfinches flew in front of me (a scarce bird these Days) followed by a Hobby that took one of the unfortunate Greenfinches for its lunch. Talking with the afore mentioned at the gate of Restharrow there were 2 Hobbies dragonfly catching above our heads. Several other Darters, Skimmers and the like were also noted.