After reading Dusty Bins Blog about Castle Island, Mike and I thought we would check it out last night. As it happens it's only about 5 mins drive from my house and I just didn't realise this lovely place existed. First sighting out of the car was a couple of Greenfinch which were squabbling and chasing each other, as we headed down to the river I discovered the recent rain storm had brought all the flies out. My goodness there was flies everywhere, just as well lesser spotted teenager was at home as she would've been freaked out by the numbers flying about and any chance of seeing birds would've soon disappeared.
At the river we saw Canada Geese, Mute swans and Tufted Ducks. A Heron was fishing near the bank and we spotted a few Coot and a Greylag Goose. On the Island there was many gulls of all shapes and sizes along with quite a few immature Cormorants drying their wings, an adult was fishing down river. I did see some Black Headed Gulls but I'm not a gull expert so the others would've been a guess. Many Shelduck were spotted about the river and on the island which was nice and a Lapwing and Redshank were on the far bank. We headed up river a bit so Mike could do some 'faffing about' with his camera while I sat a on a bench. Loads of bird song could be heard and to my delight a Dunnock perched on a near by bush. I was disapointed not to get a good photo but I was soon cheered up by a strange bird that I hadn't seen before. Mike was back from his photo shoot and I immediately started to sound like a blabbering idiot whilst pointing at a nearby tree. He got the message and headed off to take a photo. I searched my bird guide and have come up with a Lesser Whitethroat? A definite tick for me and a treat to get such a good photo. you can see the many flies that were buzzing about. As we headed back to the car the Swallows and Martin showed really well doing their aerial acrobatics no doubt feasting on the many flies about.
A good couple of hours and amazing to think it's just a few minutes away from my house.