Trip reports

Cogden Beach

Cogden Beach
Whitethroat Lorraine Highfield

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

The April visit to Cogden Beach near Burton Bradstock has become a popular regular outing. This year 16 members were greeted with a bitterly cold wind and some sunny spells. Our target birds are the incoming migrants mainly Lesser Whitethroat and Whimbrel. There was a Lesser Whitethroat rattling away at the car park, but well hidden and another further down the track towards the sea, again wisely sheltering. As were several other species, but at least the Skylarks were singing beautifully in full sight. At the beach the Thrift was in fine bloom but no seabirds were passing. Turning inland we saw Stonechat and some Wheatears in the first field, also Song Thrushes feeding on the ground. We enjoyed a brilliant display of perfect Cowslips. Once the sun appeared the reed beds were busy with singing Reed Warblers and the monotonous call of the Reed Buntings, both well hidden. The pond area we visit for Marsh Frogs was almost dry and very overgrown, only one was heard. We had almost given up on Whimbrel when one flew overhead and landed in the rough field; when we scanned the area there were five others. As we got closer they gave us really good views despite them being harassed by the crows. Another Lesser Whitethroat sang in the high hedge but refused to show itself. The previous year our path into the wood was blocked by a large group of sturdy cattle, fortunately this year they were elsewhere and the only animal seen here was a very small vole. There were Blackcap, Willow Warbler and Green Woodpecker in the wood, and further on a Grey Heron perched at the very top of a tall pine tree. Again the crows could not leave it alone! Near the end we all enjoyed telescope views of a singing Yellowhammer. A few butterflies were around including Speckled Wood, Wall Brown and Orange Tip. In all we saw and heard about 33 bird species which given the very cold conditions was very satisfactory.

Mary Robins