A taste of heaven

By: snowgood

Apr 20 2015

Tags: , , , ,

Category: birds

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Focal Length:380mm
Shutter:1/0 sec
Camera:Canon EOS 7D

We were happy to leave the Sandgate Hotel, on Day 5 of our holiday.

Strictly speaking we were there to enjoy ourselves in “The Garden of England”.

However I simply couldn’t drive back without a serious session at the Rye Harbour Nature Reserve.

Here are a photos from a memorable day.  A hut with red roof, black sidings, and white shutters created a wonderful focal point to the east of the reserve.

Down by the sea wiser folk than us made use of bicycles to get around.

Turning in from the beach we made our way towards two low sheds (birders call them “hides”) and came across a cacophony of sound.

Scritchy scratchy terns, squeaky Black Headed Gulls, and “mewing” Mediterrarean Gulls were wheeling around overhead.

There wasn’t the merest hint of any man made sound, for a moment I was in heaven.  Almost as soon as I “arrived” the realisation was replaced by the awareness that I was actually standing on a path yards from the English Channel, and the moment had gone!

I’m guessing this was a momentary glimpse of how one’s spirit can be elevated to another world, the like of which comes along just once every few years.

The nearest likeness I can recall to this amazing few moments were both whilst I was in prayer.  The first time was at school friend’s house when the Holy Spirit came upon me in what seemed like a diagonal wave.

Years later a similar experience occurred whilst I was on my knees in prayer for the kids at “Wednesday Club’.

On each occasion the “moment” arrived without warning, and was gone again as quickly as a bubble bursts.

I’d done nothing to deserve such a richness in my day, but the birds and the sea metaphorically swept over me.


Bird watchers are an interesting people group.

They fall into two camps, those simply chasing the next “tick” and don’t share their knowledge.

Thankfully most of the others are happy to guide you in on an imaginary “clock face” and guide you towards that “special bird”.

On this day in history I had my best ever sightings of a reasonable number of “Med Gulls”.

Super gulls that don’t cry, so much as mew, and at these times they display a bright red gape, and display a black head which is far darker than the brown semi-hoods on the smaller Black-Headed gulls.

Pee – wit, pee – wit.

A lapwing calls overhead, aren’t these simply the most good willed birds of our shores.  they have such affectionate, almost apologetic faces.  There lopping flight mimics that of a stunt glider.

I love ’em.

I always remember these dry “flowers” or teasels from my child hood in Gloucestershire.  Mum kept several in a mustardy jug, they been a favourite ever since.

On occasion you’ll spot Goldfinch try to tease out a meal from within.


Beyond a shingle ridge we were delighted by an enormous variety of shells, including scallops, mussels, razors, and the like.

Even in April Roz was able to soak up the rays, whilst I played with a  few shells and my self-timer.


Interesting folk down here in Sussex.


Back on track we’s almost reached half way, and butterflies started appearing.  Here a Peacock stocks for a lunch-time snack.


Up above a solitary Cormorant went looking for another meal.


At various points we heard the Skylark’s plaintive call.

Although my visual highlight was spotting three grey (French) Partridges.  I have photographic evidence, but the shots were not good enough for a Snowgood post.

I’m guessing i not seen this species more than a handful of times.

What a treat.

That’s on top of the Avocets, Golden Plover, Redshank, Little Ringed Plovers, Curlew and sundry species I’ve not shown.

I can’t wait to go back.


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