RSPB Walsall Local Group
a million voices for nature
7 October 2001
|The weather forecast was for strong winds from the southwest
accompanied by heavy rain, so a three hour drive to Gibraltar Point at Skegness would not
normally have featured highly on most peoples list of activities for the day. Our members
are made of stern stuff however, and eleven of us arrived just before 10 o'clock to find
the sun shining and the breeze bracing (as it always is on the East coast ).
The first birds we saw were three Wheatear on the fields alongside the approach road; a good start.
As we set off from the car park some 40 Goldfinch flew overhead with their unmistakable twittering call. Further into the marsh 4 Ruff landed within twenty feet of the path and proceeded to feed, giving excellent views of this normally wary bird.
Reaching The Point, we were able to shelter from the offshore wind and watch the birds come in to feed on the mud exposed by the retreating tide. Here we had good views of Brent Goose, Turnstone, both Grey and Golden Plover, Greenshank, Curlew and Sanderling.
After lunch, we retraced our steps through the dunes for some seawatching. All the action was behind us however, as a ring tailed Hen Harrier was hunting over the buckthorn scrub, showing well for several minutes. Moving into the reserve again we found Stonechat and Whinchat feeding on the edge of a grassy patch. In the hide overlooking the scrape a Jack Snipe was sitting in plain view just a few feet away but was so well camouflaged it was difficult to pick out at first.
By now it was 4 o-clock and the clouds that had been building up threatened rain so we left the reserve and headed for the golf club. Not for a quick round or a stop at the nineteenth hole but the eighteenth fairway where, after some patience we found what we were looking for: a Hoopoe feeding out in the open and completely oblivious to our presence. An excellent end to a very good days birdwatching.
Mike Pittaway (Field Trips Organiser)
Other birds seen included:
Chaffinch Just one!
Lesser Back Backed Gull
Black Headed Gull
Great Black Backed Gull
Great Spotted Woodpecker