|Five Little Stints at Oare Marshes
Oare will always make up for a barren spell at home, and seven Little Stint and up to 14 Curlew Sandpiper kept the interest going. A brief visit to a gloomy Reculver threw up a couple of rain-sodden Wheatear, before my final stop at Foreness Point produced two more Wheatear and a Whinchat.
|Wheatear at Foreness Point
|Whinchat at Foreness Point
|Local patch Peregrine
Inland Kittiwakes are patch gold, especially in Surrey. I've never seen one. I've also never seen a Honey-buzzard in Surrey – or anywhere else for that matter.
But Beddington was the place for one of those, too, with one heading south last Saturday. Canon's Farm has also been a site for a Honey-buzzard, with Steve Gale picking one up on the 6th.
Elsewhere, Tice's Meadow had a brief Pectoral Sandpiper, while Leith Hill has been the place for views of migrating Osprey.
The bird I'm always keen to see during the early autumn is a Wryneck, but I fear I will now have to wait until next year. I simply couldn't spare the time to drive down to Shooter's Bottom for the Wryneck that recently stayed for a week until the morning after it had predictably left.
I went to Leicester for a meeting on the 1st of the month and drove back via the M40, and so made a detour to Otmoor to see if I could connect with the juvenile Purple Heron in the late afternoon.
It was a fair old walk to the best vantage point, the first of the viewing screens, and was I welcomed by a regular local birder and another birder with her young daughter. They both looked sheepish as I looked out over the scrape.
"Anything interesting?" I asked.
"Yes," said the local birder. "A Purple Heron."
"Oh, great. How long ago did you see it?"
"About four minutes ago..."
Bugger. The Heron takes a habitual route across the reserve and tends to finish up at the western end in an area covered in reeds, where it likes to fish before roosting for the evening. This it had done four minutes earlier.
There wasn't much point in sticking around for too long, so after 20 minutes I trudged back to the car. Strangely, I was relatively unmoved by the whole experience. I'm probably simply getting used to twitching dips – I've had enough of them!
What's to follow? Well, I shall persevere with the patch, which overall has been rewarding this year, and will keep a close eye on the skies over Holmethorpe in the vain hope a decent raptor drifts into view. As local birders we all live in hope of the future big find. It does happen sometimes.