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April 27th

Another walk closer to the cliffs today took me down the road to Cart Gap, north along Doggetts Lane to the Decca site and then along Upton Way and back home. Windows down listening for birdsong, the distinctive rattling 'che-che-che-che-che' of my first Lesser Whitethroat for the year came from some dense cover near College Farm, the bird too distant for me to hear the quieter scratchy warble at the start of the song. Another was in the garden by Smallsticks Café, this one also singing and giving good views. Lesser Whitethroats, although not brightly coloured by any stretch of the imagination, are my favourite Warbler; I love their almost monochrome sleekness. A third was seen later, so there had obviously been an arrival late yesterday or overnight. I also noted a flock of 16 or so medium sized waders flying down the coast and offshore, but they were too distant to specifically identify. Ironically, when I was walking along the cliff edge I saw nothing much at all, a few Sandwich Terns were on the sea defences again, but when I reached my car, about one third of a mile inland, a scan towards the cliffs revealed the wader flock heading back north offshore and again too distant to see what they were. The Wheatears and Whinchat from yesterday had all moved on and it wasn't until 2:50pm, when a female Marsh Harrier started to soar upwards in front of our house, that I saw anything else noteworthy.

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