Trip reports

Cogden Beach

male stonechat perched on bramble
Stonechat (RSPB Images)

Wednesday, 24 April 2019

After a lovely few days of summer weather it was disappointing to approach Cogden in heavy rain; and amazing to see 6 other hardy group members keen to seek the hoped for migrant birds.

Just below the car park we started to hear the rattle of Lesser Whitethroat, typically well out of sight, however a persistent search found one briefly in view. Walking downhill the conditions were not too favourable but we heard and saw briefly Bullfinch, Skylark, Dunnock, Common whitethroat, Great tit and Greenfinch and eventually had several further good views of calling Lesser whitethroats. At the beach there was a fine pair of Stonechat and we heard a Green woodpecker, offshore some distant sandwich terns were diving. A Cetti's warbler shouted and showed itself, but the first sloping field was empty of birds. The usual cowslip patch inland of the reedbed was somewhat reduced this year but we could hear Reed warblers and saw a Reed bunting. Two of the target Whimbrels showed in flight, piping as they went over, but hopes of watching them on the ground were curtailed as the rain was just too heavy to be pleasant. On the walk back up the hill we spotted an Early purple orchid, taking advantage of a clear area where the National Trust have removed some patches of scrub growth.

It is a tribute to the resilience of birds (and birdwatchers) that we were able to record about 27 species in the short visit.

Mary Robins