Monday, 7 September 2009


It was warm and still during an evening walk along the Reeveshall seawall on Monday 7th. The relatively calm conditions made it easy to hear various birds calling. The tide was out so there were plenty of waders scattered along the Channel.

Scanning through a mixture of 100 dunlin and 70 ringed plovers feeding on the opposite side of the Pyefleet were 6 curlew sandpipers. Appearing slightly larger than nearby dunlin, at least a couple were juvenile birds with a slight buffy tone to the throat. The birds soon took off and flew up-channel showing the distinctive white rumps as they flew.

Other waders seen included 2 greenshank, common sandpiper, 3 avocet, knot, as well as lots of black-tailed godwits, redshank, curlew and with a few turnstone, oystercatcher and grey plover too. Also seen were 4 grey herons, 3 little egrets, 12 fledged shelducklings in two broods and 5 common terns.

The peace was occasionally broken when a common seal splashed around in the shallows trying to catch fish. On its third attempt it managed to bring a flatfish to the surface and once it had turned the fish the right way round, it swallowed it head first. A second seal was also seen slowly swimming down the channel.

The anxious calls of an avocet on the opposite side drew attention to a hobby swooping after some of the small waders. It singled out a dunlin which managed to evade the snatches by climbing higher and higher until the hobby gave up. Only one marsh harrier was seen over Langenhoe.

On Reeveshall at least 35 yellow wagtails were seen, with one group of 30 flying out of a sheep field. One wheatear was seen near the seawall as were 6 skylarks and other than some martins, not many other small birds.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dougal, we look forward for a fine walk in your supurb "office" ... wished my working place looked a bit like that. Jan