The mobile Observatory hit the road with Peter Alfrey at the helm and Steve Thomas (Tank) and I as the excited school kids in the back. The destination Shellness on the Isle of Sheppey a location that is proving to be ever popular with the inhabitants! A Northeasterly blow with the chance of showers added to the expectation levels in the van.
The day did not disappoint with geese passing overhead along with Brent Geese joining the shoreline as the tide went out. The identification of the above geese is still being discussed my pictures are not good enough to show the colour of the underbelly!
More Scoter passed though as the day progressed with over 100 birds seen throughout the day. Pete’s eagle eyes also picked out a group of Red Throated Diver which I could not lock onto.
A couple of Razorbill, Kittiwake and numerous Gannet were also noted. A tight flock of distant small gulls were also picked up by Pete late in the afternoon reported as Little Gull by other sea-watchers.
We also took a walk around the fields and scrub in the Leysdown area spying a Woodcock which was passing high and likely to be a migrant. Short eared and Barn Owl, a male and female Hen Harrier were also added to the day total along with numerous ducks that were scattered by low flying Marsh Harriers!
Oystercatchers were everywhere with Black-tailed and Bar-tailed Godwit adding to the mix of Grey Plover, Dunlin, Sanderling, Ringed Plover, Curlew and Turnstone that were scattered along the beach.
Passerines were not as numerous around the caravan sites, Stonechat and a good mix of resident birds were seen including a couple of Red-legged Partridge.
The days total had some good species on it which with a traditional fish and chip lunch thrown in making it a perfect birthday celebration for me! Woo Hoo!