We arrived at Shellness just after first light and were soon watching several hundred Brent Geese over the sea and on the fields. The shoreline held the usual wader species with around 300 Oystercatchers, around 50 Sanderling, about 100 Dunlin, 6 Ringed Plovers, 2 Grey Plovers and overhead flew about 50 Curlews. At least 100 Shelducks and several large flocks of Wigeon were on or over the Swale. On our way back to the car we noted a Little Egret on the saltmarsh and at least 200 White-fronted Geese had joined the throng of Brent Geese on the fields. Four Marsh Harriers were over the Swale NNR.
BRENT GEESE (Graham)
WHITE-FRONTED GEESE (Paul)
More WHITE-FRONTED GEESE with BRENT GEESE (Graham)
On to Capel Fleet where a lone Bewick's Swan was in the distance on the fields, 2 Corn Buntings were on the telegraph wires and another 4 Marsh Harriers were noted. We then headed to Harty Ferry Inn, where another Little Egret and a male Marsh Harrier were at the saltmarsh and, along the road back to Capel Fleet, at least 4 Red-legged Partridges and 6 Fieldfares were present.
CORN BUNTING (Paul)
We decided to finish our trip with a visit to Elmley, where we made our way to the Wellmarsh Hide. On show were 5 Common Snipe, 4 Pintail, 4 Shoveler and a few Teal. On the way back to the car park we noted a Peregrine hunting, a Rook and at dusk we enjoyed the sight of 2 Barn Owls hunting.
BARN OWL (Paul)
Distant BARN OWL (Graham)
A very cold and dreary day, brightened up by plenty of decent birds.