Thursday, 13 May 2010

Birding with Friends (Part 1).

A reasonably early start on Tuesday to drive to the south coast to meet up with David and June at  Rye Harbour Nature Reserve.  After a welcome cuppa in their holiday home we headed out onto the reserve with overcast skies and a very cold 'arctic' wind. With Skylarks singing, Linnets twittering and a distant Cuckoo calling our first waders were a small group of Avocets.    
Distant Avocets.
From a new hide overlooking open pools and shingle ridges we spotted Common Terns, 3 Little Terns, Knot, Redshank, Ringed Plover, Grey Plover, Oystercatchers and Dunlin.  
Moving onto one of the hides overlooking the Ternery Pool. 

View of the nesting Gulls and Terns. 
A search with the bins soon revealed a few Common Gulls, large numbers of Mediterranean Gulls on the furthest bank, with their striking black heads and deep red bills, hidden amoungst the vast numbers of Black-headed Gulls that are so inappropriately named as the head colour is brown!  
Black-headed Gull.
With water levels so high, many of the shingle islands are still submerged so there is a premium on any available nesting space and the air was full of the constant scolding calls as the gulls and terns endeavoured to protect their alloted spaces.
Common Tern
We eventually moved onto another hide where there was very little close activity apart from a couple of Redshank feeding along the waters edge who provided a photo opportunity.
Common Redshank
Common Tern (Red bill with black tip).
Fly past by a Sandwich Tern (Black bill with yellow tip).

Other sightings included Little Egret, Mallard, Coot, Tufted Duck, Meadow Pipit, Reed Bunting, Cormorant, Lapwing and Sedge Warbler. The weather conditions worsened with the wind increasing and a rain front moved through so with freezing fingers we decided to return to the holiday home to warm up and eat our packed lunch and to decide on the destination for the afternoon (Part 2).    FAB.  


  1. Nice photos here Frank..

  2. Fabulous location and images Frank with a great description of the location. Breeding Terns are something we do not get down here which is a shame as they are great birds and very photogenic.

  3. Great images Frank, espescially the Common Redshank.

  4. Although the elements were against you Frank you got a lot of good sightings.

  5. I need to do some bird watching over the summer :). To the best of my knowledge, Black Headed Gulls were given the name by a partially sighted man so they did look black to him :).

  6. What a perfectly lovely day, despite the Arctic winds. Obviously well worth the effort! Your pictures are stunning, as always! The Common Terns have yet to make it home here, but any day now I expect to see them. Thanks for sharing your day of birdwatching with us!! It was delightful, karen

  7. ...beautiful shots of the Common Tern--around here, they are not so common! Love the shot of the Sandwich Tern in flight as well.

    Freezing fingers in just doesn't seem right! Hope part 2 finds you in better weather...

  8. Angad. Cheers.

    Monty. Excellent birding site but better on a warm, sunny day!

    Bob. Thanks, the Redshank was a bonus for the camera.

    Roy. Just take it as it comes. On a sunny day the list could have been 80 or so.

    Giana. Thanks for input on the GHG.

    KaHolly. Just glad that you keep following my exploits Karen.

    Kelly. I was hoping for less water, no wind and closer subjects but happy under the circumstances. Yes, the weather is crazy but this is typical of 'Spring' in the UK!!


I hope you enjoyed your visit and I always appreciate your comments and feedback.


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