September and October 2018

With no spare time for birding as we had other things to organise, there was a highlight that was the Grey Phalarope that showed up at Napton Reservoir which was the only notable bird seen!

November 2018 Overview.

Brandon Marsh - 7th of November 2018.
An afternoon visit to my local patch gave up 38 bird species in what was a rather dull day weather wise. Touring the bird hides and chatting to many local birders, the highlights were, Caspian Gull, Buzzard, Cetti's Warbler, Common Gull, Dunlin, Green Sandpiper, Grey Wagtail, Little Egret, Pintail and Wigeon.

Slimbridge WWT - 15th - 16th of November 2018.

Another road trip in the motorhome started with a leisurely drive to Slimbridge where we booked in at the Tudor Caravan Site at Shepherds Patch in Slimbridge village. I made 2 visits to the Wetlands Trust and chalked up a total of 60 bird species.

Reports of a Cattle Egret was the obvious bird to hopefully see, therefore Kingfisher hide was my first place to go to. As I arrived the bird walked out in front of said hide, however it was quite a distance therefore I managed this record shot!

Also seen from this hide were good numbers of Fieldfare and Redwing. Next stop was the Zeiss hide that over looks a reed bed which often gives sightings of Bittern, but sadly not today! From here there were thousands of Wigeon and hundreds of Lapwing and Barnacle Geese.

Over the 2 days some super birds were viewed, the notables are, Avocet, Bewick's Swan, Black-Tailed Godwit, Cetti's Warbler, Common Crane, Dunlin, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Great White Egret, Little Egret, Peregrine, Pintail, Pochard, Ruff, Shelduck, Sparrowhawk, Snipe, Stonechat and White-Fronted Geese.

Common Crane

Appledore, North Devon - 17th - 18th of November 2018.

Moving on to a few days in the West Country we parked up in beautiful Appledore on the River Torridge Estuary. Here we enjoyed fabulous views across the estuary and some rather good birds along the way. Peregrine, Redshank, Little Egret, Shelduck, Common Sandpiper, Dunlin, Teal and Oystercatcher. The next day was spent at Northam Burrows a favourite birding locations of mine. Arriving before high tide we parked up with the kettle on awaiting the incoming water and what it would bring in?

Northam Burrows Country Park lies at the western edge of the Taw and Torridge Estuary an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the Burrows forms an integral part of the newly designated United Nations Biosphere Reserve. The Northam Burrows is a Site of Special Scientific Interest. It is about 253 hectares of grassy coastal plain with salt marsh, sand dunes and generally grasslands.

Looking towards Saunton Sands
Over the years I have seen some great birds here, Linnet, Skylark and Meadow Pipit numbers run in to the hundreds. Todays tide brought in over 200 Brent Geese, plus over 100 Ring Plover and Dunlin. We stopped at a farm near Barnstaple for few more days before returning back from another mini break.

Gibraltar Point, Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust - 25th of November 2018.

My first trip with the Coventry and Warwickshire RSPB Group in some time was to Lincolnshire to a reserve that I'd never been to before! After leaving the coach my birding buddies and I took a clockwise route around the reserve starting at the Plantation area where the usual woodland birds were seen these included Goldcrest and a bathing Great Tit.

Goldcrest hidden within the Plantation

Great Tit Bathing
The species count for the day was 53, highlights being, Pink-Footed Geese, Sanderling, Snipe, Sparrowhawk and a very spectacular distant Knot murmuration from across the Wash.
August 2018 - Monthly Overview

We decided to have a break away in the motorhome and Rutland Water was our destination for a 3 day stay, We stayed in a small campsite over looking Lyndon bay, which we found to be a delightful location with superb views over the reservoir!
Our first night gave us views of a Little Owl that dropped in to a tree on the edge of the site and a Stoat leaping through the uncut grassed area within the site. A lovely few days of birding, walking, cycling and chilling was very much enjoyed.

Also in August I enjoyed a weekend in North Devon with my son which included a trip to Lundy Island as Wildlife Officer for MARINElife. It was a great day that gave us the usual birds at sea and also on the island. Highlights were, Gannet, Razorbill, Shag, Guillemot, Manx Shearwater, Raven and a second sighting of a Firecrest for me on the Island. On the return sailing the sea mammals made a welcome appearance with 7 Common Dolphin, 3 Grey Seal and 2 Harbour Porpoise. As we arrived back we made our way to the village Chippy in Woolacombe for fish and chips which is what I do now after every Lundy trip.

Common Dolphins taken on a previous trip
The following day we also did some birding in and around the area, my sons first bird of note was a Glossy Ibis at Fremington Pill, not a bad bird to start his birding list? also of note here were Curlew, Little Egret, Redshank, Oystercatcher and Common Sandpiper.

Glossy Ibis
Our last bird of note was Dipper on the river Caen, there was only one, unlike past visits when I have seen up to four?

Dipper on the River Caen
At the end of August we again had a road trip in the motorhome, this time a couple of days in Norfolk. First stop was Cley Next The Sea, parking up by the beach I soon spotted Arctic Skua, Gannet, Oystercatcher and Sandwich Tern. Following lunch I explored the car park area, here Whinchat, Wheatear and many Swallows were seen. That Night we stayed just a mile up the road in a small campsite so we could enjoy the benefit of electric hook-up.

Next day we made our way to RSPB Titchwell for a 2 day visit. A total of 67 species of birds were seen and the notables were, Avocet, Bearded Tit, Blackcap, Black-Tailed Godwit, Buzzard, Common Sandpiper, Curlew, Dunlin, Curlew Sandpiper, Gannet, Golden Plover, Green Sandpiper, Grey Plover, Kestrel, Lesser Whitethroat, Little Egret, Marsh Harrier, Pochard, Red-Crested Pochard, Redshank, Ruff, Sandwich Tern, Turtle Dove, Whimbrel and Willow Warbler.

July 2018 - Birding Overview

My first outing of significance was a stake-out at Chelmarsh Reservoir to hopefully see the reported Little Bittern, both myself and birding buddy Steve arrived early and soon found many other birders looking for the bird!  It was an extremely hot day, that paid off after almost 6 hours of a constant scanning of the reeds to get a lifer? As the morning turned to afternoon we eventually got a brief sighting of this beautiful Heron. No-one managed any photo records but a lifer is still a lifer!

This month also saw a visit to RSPB Titchwell one of the best reserves that I visit at least 3 times a year! With my birding buddies we had a superb day with 62 species of birds with the following notables, Avocet, Bar-Tailed Godwit, Bearded Tit, Black-Tailed Godwit, Curlew, Dunlin, Egyptian Goose, Gannet, Guillemot, Knot, Marsh Harrier, Mediterranean Gull, Redshank, Ruff, Sandwich Tern and Spotted Redshank.


Bearded Tit

Locally in July another lifer turned up, this time on my local patch of WWT Brandon Marsh, Pectoral Sandpiper, a brilliant addition to my County and life list. Sadly due to views via my scope no photos were gained! As the super summer carried on, my wife and I stayed at Kingsbury Water Park in our motorhome for 3 days. Time was spent enjoying the campsite and also walking to RSPB Middleton Lakes via the canal tow path, birds of note were, Avocet, Black-Tailed Godwit, Buzzard, Common Tern, Egyptian Goose, Hobby and Little Ringed Plover.
Butterflies seen were, Comma, Large White, Meadow Brown, Painted Lady, Peacock, Small Skipper, Small Tortoiseshell, Gatekeeper and Wall Brown.
Lastly a bird of note was Black Tern at Draycote Water!
June 2018 - Birding Overview

What has now become an annual trip with birding buddies Steve and Gary, we stayed in Bridlington for a weekend of birds and wildlife. As usual the owner of the B & B we stay at, made us very welcome.

A visit to Bempton Cliffs and Flamborough Head gave up the usual sea birds of Puffin, Razorbill, Guillemot, Gannet, Fulmar, Shag and Kittiwake.

Puffins on Bempton Cliffs
We also took another sail on the Bridlington Belle, a ship that is sometimes manned by RSPB volunteers and takes passengers along the coast to view all the sea birds on the sea under the cliffs.

The Bridlington Belle
After two days in Yorkshire we travelled back and stopped off at the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust Nature Reserve at Potteric. It was an extremely hot day and the usual birds were seen, however the visit was well worth it as we had good sightings of Bittern!

A few days after returning from Yorkshire I made a visit to RSPB Middleton Lakes to hopefully see a reported Spoonbill. Making my way to the pool I soon had it as a county tick! Other birds of note were, Avocet, Common Tern, Cuckoo, Egyptian Goose, Little Egret and Redshank.

Spoonbill at Middleton Lakes
The last trip was to Lundy Island as Wildlife Officer for MARINElife. As we made our way towards the Island the notables were Gannet, Razorbill, Guillemot, Shag and Manx Shearwater. One place to take time for birding on the Island is Milcombe which is the only area that is wooded. Here over the years some superb birds have been reported and seen. This visit produced many common birds, however the notables were Firecrest, Chiffchaff, Sparrowhawk and Spotted Flycatcher. Sadly no cetaceans were spotted this trip!

Firecrest in Milcombe

May 2018 - Birding in the merry month of May. 

My first birding outing was a morning at Draycote water with a total of 32 species of birds with the year tick of Arctic Tern being the highlight.

A report of Spotted Crake on social media had me off to RSPB Middleton Lakes where the bird count was 62, however there was no sign of my target bird that had been reported earlier in the day! This would have been only the second one I have ever seen.

The first Sunday of the month I spent the day at RSPB Frampton Marsh in Lincolnshire with birding buddies Gary and Steve, after picking Gary up he showed us a Little Owl near to where he lives, another year tick and a fabulous way to start our day out. Reports of a Wood Duck on the reserve gave us our first location to start our tour. Following directions from another birder we soon had it and another superb tick for the year as this was not an escapee?

Little Owl
Noteables for the day were, Avocet, Blacklack-Tailed Godwit, Cetti's Warbler, Common Sandpiper, Curlew, Dunlin, Greenshank, Little Egret, Marsh Harrier, Pochard, Red-Legged Partridge, Redshank, Ringed Plover, Ruff, Swallow and Wheatear. Frampton nearly always gives us Turtle Doves however after a great deal of searching in the location we normally find them, we conceded and started our way home. Upon leaving the reserve we had only travelled about a mile where we came across 2 Turtle Doves in the middle of the road!

Wood Duck
14th of May I travelled to Dorset for a survey to the Channel Islands for MARINElife. The day was a training day for 2 trainee surveyors, we met at Condor Ferries in Poole for our days sailing to Guernsey and then on to Jersey and back. Also along was Terry who was onboard as Wildlife Officer helping passengers identify birds and any sea mammals they may see?

As we set up on the ship's starboard wing I ran through the bridge protocols and instruments before commencing the survey. The weather was great with superb visibility and plenty of birds were seen throughout the survey.

Our first leg of the survey was from Poole to Guernsey where we stopped for a short while as some of the passengers disembarked. We were soon leaving Guernsey and heading towards Jersey.

We remained on board in Jersey and were soon surveying as we left St Helier harbour. An hour later we arrived back at Guernsey and then it was on to Poole for the final part of the survey. We all had a really enjoyable day with superb visibility and I look forward to surveying this route again.

Highlights during the day were Great Skua, Puffin, Manx Shearwater and Storm Petrel.

A couple of visits to my local reserve Brandon Marsh didn't produce any birds of note. A good month with plenty of variety. 
April 2018 Birding Overview

Brandon Marsh - 9th of April 2018

Following my visit the week before, which did not produce any bird species of note, this one however did provide some noteables, Avocet, Buzzard, Chiffchaff, Common Sandpiper, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Greenfinch, Kestrel, Little Ringed Plover, Redshank, Ringed Plover and Snipe.

Eyebrook Reservoir and Rutland Water - 15th of April 2018

Another good Sunday spent birding with my two buddies Steve and Gary, starting early for a day at Rutland Water we dropped by Eyebrook Resevoir on-route which gave up noteables of Little Gull, Sand Martin, Swallow and Yellowhammer.

The total species seen was 79! Rutland's noteables were, Avocet, Bar-Tailed Godwit, Blackcap, Buzzard, Chiffchaff, Common Gull, Curlew,Dunlin, Egyptian Goose, Goldeneye, Great Northern Diver, Lapwing, Linnet, Little Egret, Little Ringed Plover, Mediterranean Gull, Osprey, Red Kite, Red-Legged Partridge, Redshank, Ringed Plover, Sand Martin, Sedge Warbler, Skylark, Tree Sparrow, Water Rail, Willow Warbler and Yellow Wagtail.

April also gave two year ticks for our garden with Peregrine over and the return of one single Swallow.

North Devon Holiday

Staying at our caravan in West Down for a weeks chilling and walking, our first night gave us Tawny Owls calling. The Saturday was my first trip of the year to Lundy Island as Wildlife Officer for MARINElife. Leaving Ilfracombe I was soon helping the passangers to spot seabirds, Fulmar, Gannet, Guillimot, Kittiwake, Manx Shearwater, Razorbill and Shag. Noteables on the Island were Common Tern, Chiffchaff, House Martin, House Sparrow (over 30 seen) Linnet, Meadow Pipit, Merlin, Oystercatcher, Raven, Skylark, Sparrowhawk, Stonechat, Swallow, Tree Pipit, Wheatear and Whimbrel. 

The Old Light

Dive boats in one of the many coves
The Old Light was built in 1819 at a cost of £36,000, it was first used on the 21st of February 1820. Its 96 feet high and has 147 steps up to the the light chamber, some of which get very steep near the top! there is no light in it now only two deck chairs for those who are brave enough to make the ascent. Lundy has two newer light houses one at the North and one at the South ends of the island, the reason being that when the sea mist comes down it became useless! It is however, highest lighthouse in the UK.

Sadly no Ceteaceans were seen, so hopefully other trips this year will produce some?
25th of March 2018 Elan Dam and Gigrin Farm Trip

This months trip with the Coventry and Warwickshire local RSPB Group was to Wales, first stop was the beautiful Elan Valley Country Park with its famous Dam high over the surrounding valley which is a truly scenic place to visit!

Birds of note seen here were Peregrine, Raven, Kestrel, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Grey Wagtail, Nuthatch, Treecreeper and not surprisingly many Red Kites going over.

After a few hours here we moved on to the now famous Gigrim Farm for the daily Red Kites feed. Peter and Lesley our trip organisers had reserved the main hide for our Group to use and for those with a camera it proved to be a brilliant spot to watch these magnificent birds swooping down to take food.

As we arrived in good time before the start of putting out the food we watched in amazement at the amount of Red Kites that started to circle the area and at the ones that perched in the surrounding trees! As I started to count the Kites I gave up after over 200! However it was not just Kites circling there were many Buzzards, Rooks, Jackdaws and Carrion Crows.

For any birder that has not visited Gigrin Farm I would urge you to do so as the spectacle is absolutely amazing!

25th of February 2018 - WWT Steart Marshes (Gloucestershire)

This months trip with the Coventry and Warwickshire RSPB local group was to this new WWT site which is very much still in its infancy and will be a superb location for birds once everything has settled down and mother nature takes over the introduction of all sorts of wildlife?

With my birding buddies Gary, Steve, Alan and Mickey we explored the pathways with a keen eye looking over the site for as many bird species we could see. Total species recorded was only 47!

Highlights were Golden Plover, Dunlin, Curlew, Kittiwake, Little Egret, Marsh Harrier, Raven, Sanderling, Stonechat, Water Rail and Merlin.

Kittiwake Library Shot
While stopping for lunch I noticed a hawk shaped bird chasing a Skylark, we stood for quite some time as a Merlin tried to catch the Skylark with both birds showing their extraordinary flying ability in Hunting and survival!

In terms of species seen it was rather disappointing, however I am sure that as the years go by this new Marsh will become one of England's best places to visit.
5th - 9th February 2019 Scotland Trip

After volunteering for survey work in Argyll, I had the pleasure of attending a European Sea Birds Surveying training course staying in Tarbet in the West of Scotland.

The two days at sea were conducted is true February weather conditions which saw snow, sleet, rain, high winds and glorious sunshine! Surveying from the ferry that goes from Kennacraig to the Isle if Islay was a true test of everyone's mettle as all data collected was done outside over looking the ship's bow.

Hibernian Hebrides Ferry
One of the highlights was being on deck of the Caledonian Macbrayne ferry before first light and gradually seeing the snow covered mountains along with  the many superb birds that are not seen in the Midlands. Black Guillemot, Eider, Glaucous Gull, Hooded Crow, Raven, Red Breasted Merganser, Black Throated Diver,  Great Northern Diver, Hen Harrier, Kittiwake, Razorbill, Red Throated Diver, White Tailed Eagle, Common Scoter, Fulmar and Gannet.

White Tailed Eagle - Library Shot
Sadly as these were seen during the surveys no photographs were taken!

Cetaceans were also seen with a small pod of Bottlenose Dolphins and also a few Harbour Porpoise made brief appearances. Grey and Common Seal were spotted and from the ships starboard side a great many Red Deer could be seen grazing on the stunning Isle of Jura.

The bird list for 2018 certainly got off to a good start and I look forward to more visit to Scotland.

January 2018 Birding Adventures

Starting the year off at my local birding sites of Brandon Marsh, Napton Reservoir, Draycote Water, Bubbenhall Meadows and of course our garden produced all the usual bird species with a good number of 79 species of birds for January.

Also a visit to Eldenell in Cambridgeshire, gave good sightings of Common Crane, Golden Plover, Marsh Harrier, Merlin, Pintail, Red Kite, Whooper Swan and 100's of Wigeon.

My first birding day out with my two birding buddies Steve and Gary had us at Holme Pierrepont Country park and water sports centre in Nottinghamshire. The attraction of a lifer in the reported Spotted Sandpiper was our reason for this visit and we all managed to see it and as it turned out we also got a year tick with a Long Tailed Duck!

Distant Long-Tailed Duck
200 Bird species for 2017

At the beginning of the year I thought I would try for 200 bird species for the year. Following many afternoons, days and weekends I finally achieved my target of 200 for the UK. The last bird of note was in December with fine views of the long staying Penduline Tit in Gloucestershire.

Record shot of Penduline Tit
Highlights were as follows.

American Wigeon, Artic Skua, Bee-Eater, Bearded Tit, Bittern, Black Guillemot, Black Tern, Black-necked Grebe, Caspian Gull, Cattle Egret, Corn Bunting, Corncrake, Crane, Curlew Sandpiper, Dartford Warbler, Dipper, Eider, Firecrest, Glaucous Gull, Glossy Ibis, Goshawk, Great Grey Shrike, Grasshopper Warbler, Great Northern Diver, Great Skua, Great White Egret, Green-winged Teal, Grey Phalarope, Hawfinch, Jack Snipe, Little Stint, Long-tailed Duck, Mandarin Duck, Merlin, Nightingale, Pectoral Sandpiper, Red-necked Grebe, Red-necked Phalarope, Ring-necked Parakeet, Sabine's Gull, Scaup, Slavonian Grebe, Smew, Spoonbill, Spotted Redshank, Stone Curlew, Temminck's Stint, Waxwing and Wood Sandpiper.

Hawfinch Record shot
Mandarin Duck


Record of Bee Eater
My favourite places visited were, Lundy Island, River Taw Estuary, Appledore, Frampton Marsh, Minesmere, Eyebrook Reservoir, Rutland Water, Fremington Quay, Bridlington, Flamborough Head, Belfast Lough and Pitsford Reservoir. 

MARINElife Wildlife Officer Report “MS Oldenburg” Ilfracombe – Lundy 14th of October 2017.

This was my last trip of 2017 as MARINElife Wildlife Officer and I was very much looking forward to being out on the sea aboard MS Oldenburg for the last time this season.
I was welcomed onboard by Captain Jason and got ready to enjoy the crossing with the hope of cetaceans and sea birds. Leaving Ilfracombe harbour, I spotted a Porpoise under in front of the Landmark Theatre. The crossing produced Gannet, Guillemot, Kittiwake and as we approached the Island many Shag were sighted as usual, plus a very special sighting of an Arctic Skua and Great Northern Diver! As we came towards the Lundy jetty 3 Grey Seals were providing great amusement to the passengers as they appeared to being playing to their crowd!
Grey Seals

I disembarked and chatted to Dean Jones the Lundy Warden and pointed out the Great Northern Diver which was about 500 metres away. I proceeded to walk up to the wooded area around Milcombe house where I stayed for the time I was on the Island. At this time of year, you never know what might drop in and today was no different as a single Hawfinch was seen along with Water Rail heard in the walled garden area. It was also good to meet Tim Jones the bird recorder for Lundy who also had a very successful visit.

 A very distant record of the Great Northern Diver
As I walked back to the jetty for the return sailing I chatted to a couple from my home town who were in Devon on holiday. On the return journey a Great Skua was spotted along with the Arctic Skua seen earlier. The last trip did produce 2 Common Dolphin which went down really well with the passengers.
Before leaving the ship, I thanked Jason the Captain and his crew for their hospitality this year and for supporting MARINElife.

Sunday was spent at Fremington Pill and then an afternoon at Skern (Northern Burrows).

Birds of note at the Pill was Glossy Ibis, Greenshank, Black-tailed Godwit, Curlew, Little Egret, Oystercatcher and Redshank.

Glossy Ibis
Skern offered great views of Brent Geese, Golden Plover, Ring Plover, Linnet, Wheatear and Little Egret. As usual we enjoyed a Sunday picnic with superb views of Appledore and the estuary.

Eyebrook Reservoir and Rutland Water Birding Trip - 8th of October 2017.

An early Sunday morning start with my two birding buddies Steve and Gary saw us off to two of our regular birding locations. Eyebrook notables were Red Kite, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, Buzzard, Red Legged Partridge, Yellowhammer, Blackcap, Bullfinch, Cetti's Warbler, Common Gull, Goldcrest, Little Egret, Ruff, Shelduck, Stonechat and Tree Sparrow.

We were hoping to catch the resident Barn and Little Owl, sadly these were not seen!

Moving on to Rutland Water with hopes of seeing the recently reported American Wigeon our target bird for the day, pleased at seeing the bird and only my second record for the UK we were treated to a second bird on the same pool!
Records of the two American Wigeon

Other birds of note were Black-tailed Godwit, Dunlin, Egyptian Goose, Goldcrest, Goldeneye, Great Black-backed Gull, Great White Egret, Kingfisher, Little Egret, Marsh Harrier, Pintail, Red Kite, Red-legged Partridge, Sparrowhawk and Tree Sparrow which were spotted on the feeders.

MARINElife Survey Liverpool (Birkenhead) to Belfast 30th September 2017.

Arriving at the Stena Line terminal as team leader for this survey, I met up with a fellow MARINElife surveyor Peter and we were soon boarding the Stena Mersey Ferry for our crossing to Belfast.
Stena Mersey taken from Stena Lagon on a previous survey passing the Scottish coast
Once onboard we were met by the Captain who said he would send a crew member to collect us once all the manoeuvres were complete as the ship left its berth and headed out of the Mersey estuary towards the bay of Liverpool.
We set up to do our survey on the starboard wing of the bridge, which gave us a fabulous view. Our route would take us west towards the Isle of Man, passing its southern point and then on to Northern Ireland and to the port of Belfast.
The first Porpoise was spotted not long out from the estuary and we had two more off Chicken Rock the by Isle of Man.
Sadly, this survey did not produce any unusual birds like Skuas and uncommon Shearwaters. The total list of notable bird species recorded included Gannet, Manx shearwater, Guillemot, Black Guillemot, Kittiwake, Fulmar, and Sandwich tern. We did experience a period of recording no birds for almost half an hour, this we found to be very unusual?
As the ship passed the western side of the Isle of Man we saw the four lighthouses that are lined up behind each other. (4 Candles as I now call them) With an hour from the port of Belfast the weather changed to almost flat sea and we had the one and only Black Guillemot of the day!

As the ship was getting nearer to the port of Belfast, we concluded the survey and thanked the Captain and crew for supporting MARINElife and for their hospitality. Another survey completed on this route for me and I look forward to many more.

Coventry & Warwickshire Local RSPB Group – Sunday 24th of September 2017 – Trip to Cley Marshes

This month’s trip saw us enjoying the superb Norfolk Wildlife Trust Nature Reserve of Cley Marshes, as always when I get the opportunity I head for the sea to have a few hours sea watching for possible Cetaceans, Seals and Sea Birds. As a volunteer MARINELife Surveyor and Wildlife Officer, I’m always looking out to sea when possible for whatever I might see?

As I arrived on to the shingle beach, I was soon scanning the sea with my telescope looking for anything of interest. Gannet, Fulmar, Kittiwake and Guillemot passed by as did many flocks of Brent Geese. Two Grey Seals also made a few brief appearances before heading North.

Upon looking far out to sea I noticed a small red boat and within it a chap trying desperately to get the outboard motor to start. I could see that he was also trying to use his mobile phone and as he did the strong tide was pulling the boat further and further away from land. After soon time he started waving his paddle, I guessed this was someone in distress, so I called 999 and reported this to the coastguard. After some time, I could see a small fishing boat the “Kirsty Lee” making its way towards him and at the same time a Lifeboat from the RNLI was on its way to assist.

 The chap was soon on board the fishing boat and they towed his boat back to the beach where upon he was probably glad to be back on dryland?

After witnessing the rescue and feeling rather pleased with myself, it was off to look at what birds where about in the reserve?

Word got around that 2 Dotterel were spotted not far from the sea front which had many of our group heading to see them. Local birders came and went whilst we had the birds in our scopes  confirming that the birds were indeed Dotterel, however we have since learned that the birds have been recorded as Golden Plover! Great debate still goes on especially with the head markings being different to that of Golden Plover.