Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Sand and shingle

When in Thanet, it's impolite not to check the esplanade at Palm Bay for Mediterranean Gulls, and sho' nuff one was there, although without the now-customary green ring it looked a little under-dressed. A green-ringed Med has been on the lawn there for many winters, but now it has presumably been superceded by the next generation.

This one was surprisingly confiding although not as showy as the main attraction........

The stunningly handsome Eastern Black Redstart, which preened and cavorted for a constant stream of twitchers.

That's my kind of twitch...... roll up, stroll a hundred yards from the car, obviously different bird tarting around, showing itself off to its many admirers. Here I am, on the sand, catching insects...... then up on the cliff....... oi I'm up here....... perch on the railings........ back to the sand, to chase off a pipit. What a star. Hopefully it'll stay around.

While at Foreness, I took my usual stroll around, and although waders were mostly scarce there were Purple Sandpipers in heir usual place on the waterworks wall, and a normal Black Redstart reminded me what the species usually looks like in Britain. Also an Eider splashed down offshore.

In the balmy November breeze a Red Admiral fluttered around, and a Swallow flew past, still well fed by the late insects.

Alexanders is well advanced in places, and advantage was taken...... an early asparagus for the plate. The flower heads are a good addition to salads, too.

On the sand was a voodoo head, left over from hallowe'en perhaps.

Sunday was a sunny day, and a walk along the sea wall from Deal was rewarding. Various detritus on the strand-line caught the eye, after a few days of easterlies, although identification was often imprecise. Is this a sponge, leucosolenia perhaps? Is that bryozoa?
There were plenty of birds around, with a grebe fishing just off.
Skylarks fluted about, and a single Lapland Bunting was briefly seen before it flew off. Three Ringed Plovers were on the shingle, and flock of Sanderling flew south and then one flew back north. Or was it a Grey Phalarope (which looks almost identical in the books)? A better man than I said it was.

A sprinkle of snowflakes heralded the arrival of a dozen Snow Buntings, which proceeded to browse on Yellow-horned Poppies. Beautiful birds.

1 comment:

Warren Baker said...

Only ever had Med Gull on my patch once Steve, be good to see one again though.

Voodoo head!! Heh heh heh hehe