Trip reports

Sandwich Bay (Leader Richard Hanman)

Sandwich Bay (Leader Richard Hanman)
Medway Group At Sandwich Bay Hide [Richard Hanman]

Sunday, 1 October 2017

First of the month and officially 'grandparents' day and so it was especially nice to welcome Ellie, grand-daughter of Lesley on this guided walk, along with Warren, Yeuk, Adrian, Ed and myself. The morning started with a cool 14C and drizzle. So much drizzle in fact that the bird-ringing had been cancelled so we sheltered in the Bird Observatory hoping for a break in the weather.

At 8.45am it was still drizzling so we set off down the lane towards Restharrow Woods Nature Reserve. En-route we picked up carrion crow, herring gull, starling, stock dove, robin, swallow and goldfinch. A circular walk through the wooded area produced a family of long-tailed tits moving through the canopy, goldcrest, robin and pheasant. A green woodpecker was heard but not seen.

Next stop was Restharrow Scrape where the water levels were particularly low. A small pool attracted numerous rooks, jackdaws, pied wagtails, lesser black-backed gulls, black-headed gulls and a little egret. Overhead we had fly-pasts of grey heron, kestrel and meadow pipit.

We continued to the sea and scanned the murky horizon pulling in a gannet, cormorant and a small group of common scoters. Closer to shore we observed a curlew, great black-backed gulls, sanderlings, oystercatchers and a grey seal. In the gardens of the millionaire mansions on Princes Drive we picked up a dunnock, linnet and a perched kestrel.

Crossing the Royal St. George's Golf Course, we picked up our second curlew of the day but not much else. We were back at the Bird Observatory by noon and added house sparrow and blackbird to our walk list.

Despite the weather, it was still a pleasant walk. A midday finish meant everyone could enjoy the rest of their Sunday.

Richard Hanman