Saturday, 30 March 2013

Kentish plover, Rye Harbour

With Brian having already made the trip earlier in the week to add the Kentish Plover to his year list, and with him being unavailable today, it's just the two of us who make the 90 mile trip down to Rye Harbour today.
The day starts with grey clouds and heavy skies, driving down the M20 it turns into snow flurries and then nearing Rye the skies clear slightly but there's a fierce biting wind.
We reach the car park on Harbour Road and take the footpath towards Lime Kiln Cottage. This is also an information centre and where the Kentish Plovers had been showing  from most of the time since they were first reported on the 25th.

An hour of scanning the area produces large numbers of Ringed Plovers and Dunlin along with smaller numbers of Avocets, Redshanks, Shelduck and Lapwing but no sign of either of the Kentish Plovers.
With the freezing cold winds and then snow falling we decide to retreat back to the car for a short break. Ten minutes later we are heading back towards the cottage.

View from opposite Lime Kiln Cottage

Still no sign of the Plovers, so we continue on along the footpath and head for the Ternery Pools in search of any Med Gulls.
Reaching the hide a quick scan reveals 100+ Oystercatchers and Sandwich Terns.The Sandwich Terns noisily flying in off the beach onto the shingle islands in front of us.
Scanning the far island two Med Gulls are picked up and the year list moves up by one.
Leaving the hide the pager bleeps into action to announce that the Kentish Plover had been found. We are now the best part of a mile away from the Lime Kiln Cottage, so it's a mad dash back along the footpath with a mixture of jogging and power walking, both telling me how unfit I am.
We make it back to the cottage and are greeted with good news. The bird is still showing and after a heads up as to which area to scan, the plover is found and gives some great views before another snow flurry moves in and we decide to head for the warmth of the car.

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