Trip reports

Hampton Pier/Clowes Wood (Leaders Sue Carter & Steve Goodrich)

Hampton Pier/Clowes Wood (Leaders Sue Carter & Steve Goodrich)
Purple sandpiper [Steve Goodrich]

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Hampton-on-Sea consisted of a pub, seventeen houses and an oyster fishery buildings when it was drowned by coastal erosion and finally abandoned in 1916. The only remaining buildings are the stub of the original pier, the rocky arc of the ruined coastal defences, viewable at low tide, Hampton Inn - Hampton-on-Sea's only intact building.

Nine regulars met in the pier side car park, just in time to see two purple sandpipers, our number one target, on the large rock at the end of the pier. Shortly after which they were displaced by the rising tide and flew off, stage east.

Cormorants and mixed gulls adorned the remains of Herne Bay pier while gannets, a single little egret and a dark-bellied brent goose flew past over the sea.

We then walked a short distance towards Tankerton Bay checking the strandline and the boulders which shore up the modern sea defences. Numerous turnstones were busily doing what their name suggests, along with redshanks, a third purple sandpiper and six sanderlings running at the water's edge like clockwork toys. A smart common gull posed on a groyne and a rock pipit flew past and disappeared amongst the boulders. On the land side a pair of pied wagtails danced on a lawn, four house sparrows sheltered in a bush and a couple of crows had a spat with some marauding herring gulls.

It was a bright and sunny morning, but bitterly cold and we then chose to drive in convoy to nearby Clowes Wood, part of the Blean complex, where we hoped it would be more sheltered. Unfortunately the rest of the morning didn't pan out as we had hoped as birds were practically non-existent. We struggled to find singles of dunnock, blackbird, blue tit, jay, robin, goldcrest, sparrowhawk and buzzard. A small group of long-tailed tits and a fly-over flock of redwings were some consolation.

Thirty-one species in all from both sites.

Sue Carter & Steve Goodrich