With light winds and plenty of sunshine forecast for this morning, I was out of the house just after 4.30am where a few minutes later I pulled up outside of Nethergong to listen into the darkness. On winding the window down, the dawn chorus was already in full swing, even at this early time and it wasn't long until the light soon picked up. At 5am I drove into Nethergong where after parking up and getting ready, I started the six hour session and walked the circuit three times checking as much of the site as I could.
Sunrise on the Northern Path
With it being the Bank Holiday weekend, there were quite a few campers on site but I was able to work around them quite easily. The only problem I encountered was the smell of bacon being cooked which teased the senses as I walked around. After completing the circuits in nice sunny conditions, I managed to see a creditable 62 species which included two new species for the year list which moves on to 96 species. Birds noted today included 4 Pheasant, 3 Cuckoo, 4 Yellowhammer, 1 Barn Owl, 4 Sedge Warbler, 2 Mistle Thrush, 1 Little Owl, 3 Cetti's Warbler, 4 Chiffchaff, 6 Whitethroat, 2 Kestrel, 1 Treecreeper, 1 Reed Warbler, 1 Nightingale was still in fine voice and nearby, 2 Grasshopper Warbler reeled for most of the session.
There were 2 Green Woodpecker, c35 Cormorant, 1 Grey Heron, 1 Great spotted Woodpecker, 2 Little Egret, 4 Blackcap, 1 Turtle Dove was seen and then heard 'purring', 2 Jay noted with one actually staying still long enough for me to grab a record shot of this attractive species and 2 Linnet flew through.
As I walked along the eastern boundary I picked up a bird flying towards Grove Ferry and this turned out to be a Shelduck (95), a new bird for the year and the first I have seen here. Moving on, not long after I saw 1 Swift (96) flying north and later encountered c15 flying high over Upstreet. Other birds noted were 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Mute Swan, 6 Swallow, 1 Marsh Harrier, 1 Common Buzzard, 1 Sparrowhawk, 2 Bullfinch, 2 House Martin, 1 Skylark, 2 Reed Bunting and 4 Long tailed Tit.
Despite much searching of fence posts, I still await finding the first Wheatear or Whinchat. A 'great to be out' session with lots to see and hear and slowly edging nearer the target. Maybe a visit tomorrow or during the week if the weather allows and with my birthday on Bank Holiday Monday, Maybe I will find a bonus bird during the week to celebrate.