Yesterday I went along to the the DWPS meeting at West Charleton Marsh on the Kingsbridge Estuary. The weather forecast was for rain, which may explain the smallest turnout I've seen at a meeting.....there were seven of us! I gave Libby a lift, and at first we thought we may have the wrong date or site as it was quite a while before anyone else arrived. Jonathan was due to be the leader but as he couldn't make it David took on the role. We started walking down to the marsh just after 10am and one of the predicted 'showers' started shortly after. It was actually more of a monsoon & we tried for the Guinness record of how many people you can get under a small brolly & managed four. There were at least 6 or 7 Chiffchaffs at the sewage works on the way to the marsh, but not much else. We decided to leg it to the hide & hope for an improvement in the weather. We did get a few rain-free minutes on our way during which we found Meadow Pipit & Stonechat, but were glad that we arrived just before it absolutely chucked it down.
|The hardy/foolish/soggy birders during a brief dry spell|
|View across the marsh from the hide during the downpour|
|Sheltering in the hide.|
We headed back to the cars during a break in the rain just after 12, and found a Water Rail lurking in the channel just below the hide on the way.
|At least there was some blue sky by now|
|Libby (left) & Annabelle...(this is what happens to Annabelle if husband John hasn't been out & reccied the route!)|
|In the sewage works....we go to the nicest places!|
Last year we found Black Redstart & Wheatear from the hide at Beesands, but no such luck this year. There was however a rather nice Great Northern Diver just off the shore.
Slapton Ley was our last stop for the day, a place I've never birded before. I had my exercise for the day chasing a plastic bag up the road after the wind whipped it out of the van. I caught mine & turned around to see 2 orange carrier bags coming at me up the road having been whipped out of one of the other cars. I'd have made a useless goal keeper as they both got passed me, although I did manage to catch up with one of them further up the road.
We were hoping to find the two Ring-necked Ducks that have been there for a while, but failed to find them in amongst the Tufties. However there were at least 3 Goldeneye, which are always nice to see.
|Slapton Ley hide|
|Ring-necked duck hunting|
|Look at that lovely sky now!|
|Looking East from the bridge|