Free Guided Walk with Nature Report

Wednesday 4 May 2022 at Shuart and Reculver

Leader: Sue

On the first wet morning for weeks Steve and I set off for the small car park at Shuart to find that only Warren and Adrian had decided to join us! Fortunately, the overnight rain soon abated as we set off on our route along part of the Wantsum Walk to Plumpudding Island.

Before crossing the railway, we heard and saw a distant cuckoo plus blackcap, whitethroat, goldfinches and linnets. A garden warbler was heard but remained stubbornly hidden from view. A pale buzzard made us jump as it flew quickly from a nearby tree. We also saw both sedge and reed warblers along with tufted ducks and very vocal Cetti’s warblers.

Cuckoo M by Ben Andrews (rspb-images.com)

By the stables a lesser whitethroat performed well and gave us some brief glimpses too. A solitary corn bunting was perched atop a bare tree as skylarks performed their welcome songs overhead.

On reaching the sea wall we turned left along the concrete path picking up a solitary wheatear on the beach, plus oystercatchers, sanderling, a little-ringed plover and a turnstone. Two grey herons waded offshore in the low tidal water as swallows continually flew west towards the towers. Further along we saw a pair of stonechats.

Then we headed towards the railway embankment and added long-tailed tits and watched as a pair of marsh harriers were harassed by corvids.

Lots of flowering apple trees and a beautiful wild cherry dotted our return route and Steve found a brood of brown tail moth larvae on a tree. Butterflies seen were small white, peacock, orange tip and comma.

Heading back towards the car park we thought we saw two grey partridges but despite our exhaustion we dashed to the spot to find they were red-legs instead! However, we finished with a respectable tally of fifty-one bird species and we welcomed the fresh air and exercise! Sue