Our first long walk of the year, 23 miles to Burpham and the Burgh, was easier than expected, helped by the fact that the ground was frozen, and so the usual mudbath through the Dover was easier to walk through. A glorious, but cold, day gave us distant Bewick’s Swan and closer Cattle Egret at Burpham, but the raptor frenzy that others have had at the Burgh of late was not as hoped for. A long and cold wait for anything of interest was eventually rewarded just after 4 pm, when first three Barn Owls and then a Short-eared Owl came out to play. Three hours walk through the dark felt a lot better after that.
Sabine’s Gull is one of my favourite gulls, and I’ve only seen it twice in the UK, and immature birds at that. The lure of an adult across the border in Hampshire was too much to resist this afternoon. The bird showed fantastically, at close range, and to complete things, the low sun was perfect and the wind was in the ideal direction for flypasts.