Trip reports

Sandwich Bay (Leader Robin Smith)

Sandwich Bay (Leader Robin Smith)
Chiffchaff by Rich Hanman

Sunday, 2 October 2016

The day started as usual in the ringing hut with 19 of our members eagerly waiting to see whether a rarity would emerge from one of the twitching bags hanging on the hooks behind the ringers bench. Yellow browed warblers had been ringed the week before and anything could turn up at this time of year. Alas, we were doomed for disappointment as apart from a single blue tit all the rest were either chiffchaffs or blackcaps.

We moved on to 'The Elms' which revealed nothing more than chiffchaffs, blue, great and long tailed tits. The scrape hide had a little egret and a kestrel hovering low and close. Some members claimed to have seen 'a quarter of a snipe's head hidden in the grass' which was a quarter of a head more than I saw!

As has been the case in recent visits here it wasn't until we reached the sea front that things started to kick off. Sue shouted out that she thought she had seen a diver and for several minutes it annoyingly gave only fleeting glimpses between the waves and kept disappearing under the water. However it then decided it had had enough of teasing the Medway group and performed like a prima donna close to the shore allowing us excellent views clearly showing remnants of red feathers on the neck confirming that it was a red throated diver.

Sanderlings and turnstones were along the tide line and a seal acknowledged the group with a raised flipper before exiting stage left. Inland we were treated to a plethora of stonechats, whinchats, wheatears and meadow pipits whilst the entertainment was provided by a robotic lawn mower cutting the lawn in one of the large houses (we're easily amused!). The return walk across St. George's golf course revealed a large hairy caterpillar which Steve identified as being a fox moth.

Not the greatest of birding days but enough of interest to keep us happy.

Robin Smith