Tuesday, 19 November 2013


On Saturday I had a session at the patch which included a mooch around Banstead Woods towards the end of the day, successfully locating (to my surprise) the Marsh Tit that Ian Ward found recently. This bird represented a massive sigh of relief for me, being my 100th species at the patch this year.

On Sunday morning I headed to the Isle of Sheppey with Josh. We started at Capel Fleet at first light; unfortunately we didn't see any Hen Harriers or owls or anything like that but got nice views of a flock of twelve Corn Buntings and numerous Marsh Harriers. A quick call in at Harty Ferry saw us bag the Cattle Egret, a lifer for a Josh and only my second in Britain (both have been in Kent) before we headed to Swale/Shell Ness NR where Josh enjoyed some wader photography and the highlight was a fly-over Snow Bunting that we frustratingly couldn't get a decent look at.

Corn Buntings at Capel Fleet

Today I had the day off and was on stand-by for the Yellow-breasted Bunting in Norfolk, which didn't show up so I spent most of the daylight walking through Cuckmere Haven to Crowlink NT. The haven produced a selection of common wetland birds including Kingfisher and Rock Pipit along with strong numbers of Great Black-backed Gulls. It was all made worthwhile when a gorgeous male Black Redstart appeared on the clifftop between the two sites.

Male Black Redstart today along the cliffs between Cuckmere Haven and Crowlink NT
Dark-bellied Brents at Cuckmere today