Sunday, 31 October 2010
It very polite around here....... when you meet a stranger on a footpath, you say "Good Morning" and maybe mention the weather. This is expected courtesy to us, but sometimes surprises townees (pleasantly, I hope) who reply abruptly but with a smile.
The path along the clifftop attracts a range of activities when the weather's good:- joggers, cyclists, power-walkers (hah!), strollers and dodgy geezers with binoculars.
Yesterday's weather was lovely, and although this meant no birds it was a pleasant time, especially as I had the good company of Graham who provided much information about the area.
We had to run into the Bockhillers eventually and so we did, along with a flurry of Swallows and House Martins in the shelter of the dip slope - apart from a Bullfinch, some Yellowhammers, Robins and plenty of Blackbirds these were about the only birds we saw, although Goldcrests and a Firecrest were heard in the scrub of Undercliffe Road.
Conversation turned to a mystery plant on the rifle range, and coincidentally we then met the Buckinghams who I welcomed to the village and asked about this plant. Sue inspected it carefully and will report back.
The afternoon included a stroll along the prom, and to the end of the pier which was crowded with anglers and strollers. Nobody said "Hello" here, of course.
Sunday morning was notable for a sociable chat in the Restharrow Scrape hide, where John Hollyer confirmed that the dark-beaked male Blackbirds seen at the moment are most likely migrants from the continent, with their females with a hint of eyestripe and more blotched brown than the UK birds.
Oops - the bird in the photos is not, of course, a continental female Blackbird, but an unusually showy Water Pipit. Also at the scrape were a Water Rail and about 24 Snipe.
In Deal High Street a small bird flew past me straight into a shop window, then circled a bit and scrabbled onto a car bumper.
Oh, that smarts! The poor thing had presumably flown across the sea and instead of finding a nice conifer plantation he's confronted by tarmac, glass and metal. When I checked an hour later, it had gone.... hopefully fully recovered.