Trip reports

Shellness Nature Reserve

Oystercatcher wading in shallow water

Monday, 21 September 2009

We enjoyed a calm, warm day in the sunshine. Not ideal conditions for migrants or seabirds (I'm told north-westerly winds are best here) but we still saw 49 species and had some wonderful views.
A brief recce to Warden Point produced nothing of note. We met at the seafront at Leysdown and were treated to superb views of raptors - Buzzards and Kestrels, Marsh Harrier and Sparrowhawk - enjoying the thermals; a variety of other species included good views of an 'albatross-like' juvenile Gannet and a couple of Wheatears.
On to Shellness and idyllic, lazy birdwatching by the sea: numerous waders including 1,300 Oystercatcher, great views of a dozen Sanderling and small groups of Turnstone - some on the groynes with 3 Sandwich Tern. Inland, great swirling clouds of Starling were usually accompanied by the appearance of a Marsh Harrier. It being a Spring tide we were careful to keep our feet dry!
We ended at the Raptor Watchpoint adding a few more species including Green Sandpipers.