Saturday, 2 April 2016

A chilly wander down the prom

The Safari was stuck indoors for most of a wet and miserable Saturday until late afternoon when Wifey suggested another 'twitching' outing for her to increase her bird list...That's twice that's happened now! But where to go? We had a quick look at her list do far and decided a short walk along the prom up by the coastguard tower would probably give her the best chance of a good variety of birds.
A brief stop at the side of the marine lake didn't give us any Red Breasted Mergansers which often spend time on the lake giving very close views. From there we drove the short distance to the car park where before we'd parked up a Swallow (122, Wifey #68) flew only inches over the car.
Only a few steps out of the car a small flock of Meadow Pipits (Wifey #69) flew over our heads. She then got sidetracked by a little doggy she just had to stop and talk too missing out on a flock of five Siskins (123) that flew out across the bay.
The was still rain in the air and the wind was a bit keen. The tide was well down but on the rise so the birds were scattered far and wide across the mudflats. Fortunately there were a few waders in the nearest pools which Wifey correctly identified on her own as Redshanks (Wifey #70). Walking on a Grey Wagtail (Wifey #71) passed over us going the opposite way. Out on the shingle there was a nice flock of Linnets (Wifey #72) foraging along the strand-line. To our left the other side of the sea wall Meadow Pipits hopped up and down in and out of sight, one even did a short parachuting song-flight when the rain briefly stopped.
Dismal light today
Pied Wagtails dropping and flew out again but we couldn't find her any Stonechats on the their favourite fence-line or anywhere else for that matter, no Wheatears were on the golf course either. 
Concentrating on the sea we found her a fly-by drake Red Breasted Merganser (Wifey #73) but it was a bit distant to be properly 'enjoyed'.
At the furthest point of our walk a Kestrel hovered over the far corner of the golf course and a stratospherically high Skylark (Wifey #74) sang, Wifey had never listened to one properly before and likened it to angels, close enough to an 'exultation' we suppose!
Looking back out to sea a Ringed Plover was on the now much reduced beach but was flushed by a dog walker before Wifey could get on to it. Well out to sea but easier to pick up was a small flock of Eiders (Wifey #75), walking on a bit we were lucky to find the Ringed Plover (Wifey #76) had settled back on the beach only a hundred yards or so from where is was disturbed and was even closer now giving us good views. Very close to it a Sanderling (Wifey #77) scampered along the water line. Four more of them were on a small muddy island quickly being devoured by the tide, they had to leave pretty smartish and as they lifted they joined a mixed flock of Turnstones, Ringed Plovers and Dunlin which gave Wifey the slip as they sped round the corner. Also giving Wifey the slip was a Wheatear that scudded low over the beach dropping behind one of the groynes out of sight.
Back up on the dunes we looked over the golf course another Skylark took up this time we were able to watch it ascend in to the dull grey heavens.
Rubbish we know!
A good hour out really. Can't fault it, always better being out than stuck indoors!
Where to next? We should be able to get out on to the nature reserve for a while tomorrow, will there be any new overnight migrants.
In the meantime let us know who's itching to be on the move in your outback.

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