Wednesday, 3 April 2019

Goring Gap, Sheepcote Valley and Chantry Hill

An hour at Goring Gap early morning produced eastbound Whimbrel and Curlew, a female Wheatear, 41 eastbound Dark-bellied Brent Geese, a Sandwich Tern, 11 Linnets overhead, a Sparrowhawk, two Mediterranean Gulls, a 3CY Common Gull and five Great Crested Grebes. The beach held an unusually tight flock of 73 Turnstones, along with 32 Sanderlings, a Ringed Plover and two Dunlin.

Canada Geese on the sea off Goring Gap then launching themselves on to the beach

I dropped Ingrid off at work then took a route around the Sheepcote Valley, yielding a delightful but brief male Redstart but little else of note - just small numbers of Chiffchaffs, Blackcaps, Meadow Pipits, Skylarks and Linnets, and a sole male Stonechat. I also saw my first Speckled Wood of the year.

male Redstart in the Sheepcote Valley

A late afternoon visit to Chantry Hill with Gareth saw us cross paths with a spectacular Short-eared Owl. A few Yellowhammers were present and later we heard a Barn Owl and up to four Tawny Owls.

Short-eared Owl at Chantry Hill