Saturday 1 May 2010

Two ticks one dip

Dad gratiously agreed to spend his free Saturday afternoon trucking Kev and I around Kent today, and we scored a 2/3 hit rate. First on the agenda was Walderslade for the male IBERIAN CHIFFCHAFF which showed very well, revealing its subtle plumage differences, and sang its distinctive song; it was quite an easy twitch. If this, and others since 2008 are accepted, I think this would be something like the 18th record for Britain.
After enjoying this bird for about 40 minutes (would have liked more but the outing was later in the day than normal) we made our way to Lenham Heath for our next target. There was negative news upon arrival, after a false-alarm run-around the Hoopoe was eventually relocated and good views were had by all.

News of a Woodchat Shrike at Reculver broke and I persuaded dad to go, but we had to leave right then. After confusion in finding the right place, we eventually found the right area, it then took us a fair amount of time to work out exactly where the bird was meant to be (though there were some rumours going around that people were being a bit dodgy about the exact location for one reason or another).

We stayed a while and scanned with a handful of other birders but some had extensively searched the area over the past couple of hours and the bird had obviously moved on; we kept scanning though, just in case, and enjoyed a pair of Marsh Harriers and the songs of 2 Sedge Warblers and a Reed Warbler.

Two British ticks in one day is always good, and the Chiffchaff was a lifer full stop, so I can't complain; it was a good day. Thanks to my long-suffering dad for spending his free afternoon taking us around.