Alan and Maureen, Shaun, Bob and Sue met at RHNR and were glad to have brought extra trews, hats and coats, as it was very windy. Dunnock, pied wagtail, house sparrow, herring gull, feral pigeon, chaffinch, jackdaw, blackbird, wood pigeon and collared dove were noted in the car park, and as we began our walk a whitethroat was seen and heard singing. A rock pipit was in full song somewhere on the salt marsh.
There were plenty of avocets about, with young at various stages of development. Redshank, oystercatcher, shelduck, turnstone, ringed plover and linnet were seen, and we soon added skylark, Lesser black backed gull, starling, Sandwich and Little Tern to our list. One Little Tern was making a series of spirited attempts to see off a pair of oystercatchers; a few lapwings were making similar efforts, whilst other oystercatchers tried hard to deter crows from predating their nests/young.
The walk out was a real struggle, in the teeth of a gale force wind, and we struggled sometimes to remain on our feet. At last we reached the Ternery Pool hide, where it was a relief to sit down. From here we were pleased to see more Sandwich Terns, a Common Tern, and Mediterranean and black headed gulls. Great crested grebe, moorhen, gadwall, cormorant, tufted duck, coot, mute swan and swift were seen, as were plenty of black headed gull chicks of varying ages. From the new hide we saw Great black backed gull, many Common terns and one or two wheatears, but the wind was keeping everything down, and we decided to fight our way back to the cars for lunch. On the way, we did manage to see a lone meadow pipit, and found a jay and great spotted woodpecker in the caravan park.
It was agreed we should look in briefly at Pett Pools – but we only added grey heron, little egret and swallow.
After a pause for refreshment at the Coastguards Café, (blackcap and chiffchaff heard) we headed home. Bob and Sue went back via Arlington, where another chiffchaff, greenfinch, Canada goose, blackcap, robin and blue tit (!) were found. A mistle thrush was gathering food in the car park, having seen off a magpie. A very new born foal was with its mamma in the paddock on the way to the dam wall.
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