Club bird walk with Tim Denham – Sunday 6th February 2022

The weather forecast for the day was dreadful, a strong WSW was already blowing wet and it was to continue all day with severe squalls a distinct possibility. It did not disappoint, the forecast was truly accurate!

Ten members gradually assembled outside the clubhouse. We cast our eyes around to see what bird life was about. There was very little just five teal at the low water’s edge, two black-head gulls and a ferel pigeon. It must get better!

We set off along the sea wall in the wet with a very strong fair wind astern of us at 10.00hr, the beginning of the usual 2.5 mile walk, the group having surprisingly swollen to about twenty.

The way was sodden, rain was now falling but there were birds about and we were ticking them off. Some of us had great views of a rock pipit and a male stonechat .About two thirds of the way along the seawall a promised squall arrived….the wind blew hard and the rain pelted down and a quiet mutiny happened as a few cold and wet folk gave their apologies, some to return to the clubhouse but others to walk on ahead fast to warm up. The weather now settled down a little, we upped the pace and bird spotting and ticking continued. Eventually our route took us to the dreaded ‘Chase’ and back to the clubhouse.How muddy was it going to be? There could be a considerable ‘taking a tumble’risk? For a few the far less slippery road route taking them across the mill fields was selected to get them back to the clubhouse. We pressed on. As it turned out the Chase was not too bad and by straddling the sodden path and adopting the deep sea sailors rolling gait a relative safe passage was made. We still observed and ticked!

Arriving back in the warm and dry clubhouse a delicious smell of cooking greeted us. Carole and Paul had worked hard preparing for us a hot and most welcome feed!

BIRDS SEEN:
Little grebe, Cormorant, Little egret, Greylag goose, Canada goose, Dark-bellied brent goose, Shelduck, Mallard, Kestrel, Red-legged partridge, Pheasant, Moorhen, Oystercatcher, Avocet, Lapwing, Dublin, Black-tailed godwit, Bar-tailed godwit, Curlew, Redshank, Black-headed gull, Herring gull, Ferel pigeon, Woodpigeon, Green woodpecker, Skylark, Meadow pipit, Robin, Stonechat, Blackbird, Redwing, Blue tit, Great tit, Magpie, Jackdaw, Rook, Carrion Crow, Starling, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Siskin and Yellowhammer.
42 bird species . Not a bad total on such a stormy morning…….and over just two and a half miles. Club Life List remains at 73 species.

Tim Denham

A few photos taken by Daryl Williamson on the bird walk are here