Friday, 15 July 2011

Birdies, no Eagles and certainly no Albatrosses.

The British Open at Sandwich has meant that Sandwich Bay Bird Observatory is closed for the week and that getting to the Restharrow scrape by car is difficult. At this time of year it is possible that something out of the ordinary could turn up at the scrape with no-one to see it.

I stuck my bike in the back of the car and drove to Worth, changing my mode of transport there. A careful crossing of the railway and a 15 minute pedal, brought me to the hide. In hot weather this is a very reliable place to see Stock Doves, as they come down to drink.

Small parties of Starling were also dropping in for a drink and clean up, including some young from this years' broods.

Lots of corvids were also popping on for refreshments, mainly Jackdaws and Rooks, with a few Carrion Crows as well.

At the far end of the pool I could see a large wader and as it came into proper view it's identity as a Black-tailed Godwit became apparent.

It was good to see this Dabchick, quite calmly feeding, without the pressure of hungry, begging youngsters continually harassing it. It was still in full breeding plumage, a very handsome grebe it is!

The local Corn Bunting was still singing his jangly jingle to the right of the hide. The males are often polygynous, with up to three females to a male, and the fact that they take little part in raising the families, but still they seem to spend a great deal of time advertising their territories.

Some thing spooked all the birds on the scrape, possibly one of the helicopters taxiing people to the golf. I was lucky to pick out the Godwit among the crows and managed a couple of pictures.

It soon quietened down and landed just a little bit close than before.

It was feeding very actively and seemed to be having some success in finding food items. I hadn't found that elusive rarity, but I had had an entertaining and peaceful interval in the hide.

I pedalled my way back to Worth, crossing the railway with care. There were loads of cars parked along the lane and one chap having a doze in the sunshine. It turned out that her was there to ensure people returning from the golf, cross the railway safely. It hadn't occurred to me that this footpath would provide a major route to the golf course, for those wanting to miss the very large crowds coming from the station. Now I was on my bike it seemed like a good idea to pedal out along the bridle track, towards roaring gutter. I didn't go that far, but it is an enjoyable route out onto Worth Marshes.

There were several Reed Warblers singing from the ditch along side the path and this one was using the fence as a song post, in it's vocal battle, with a near neighbour.

Although it was still singing with gusto, being the middle of July means that it was looking a bit on the worn side.
Reed Warblers are one of the species that seem to be doing OK, with between 60 and 120 thousand pairs in the country.

Reed Warblers are one of the Cuckoos favourite hosts, but I guess that with the severe decline in Cuckoo numbers there's a big reduction in clutches being lost in this way.


Derek Faulkner said...

You cycling Tony - that's a bit energetic isn't it? especially for someone with a cracked rib.

Tony Morris said...

The rib is getting much better. Very slow and not very far, main problem is my bum isn't used to it at the moment. i normally use the bike to cut out the long walk to Backsands Scrape, but that involves lifting the bicke over a high gate and a longer ride with the roads closed for the open. I bete there's something good down there!

Deslilas said...

Fine to watch again your blog !