Tuesday 02 June – Sand Bay

Not for the faint-hearted! Lashing rain driven by howling winds, and all togged-up to survive, we eight made the trig point without mishap, collecting Chiffchaff and Whitethroat. One of the circling Herring Gulls appeared overhead before being whipped away to the north east. Wales and Flat Holm had been stolen by the sheeting rain so our going out to the point didn’t seem like a good idea! Down in the relative lee of the land we found more Whitethroats and the first Greenfinch; a Rock Pipit scolded us from the waterside rocks and three Feral Pigeons – two of which looked like the true Rock Dove, defied the wind to tryst among the Sea Pinks. A flight of Linnet (three) came twittering over just as we arrived at our coffee stop, where we also saw a further Rock Pipit foraging and carrying food to some secret crevice in the rocks beyond our sight. The rain did let up for half an hour as we reached our turning point (no picnic lunch today as the wind was forecast to strengthen). Skylark appeared and the special tune of the Song Thrush came to us on the wind. Our tally of 24 was a reflection of the conditions but still the urge to breed kept the Blackcap singing as we descended to – disappointment – no ice cream van! (Many thanks to Nick for leading these hardy walkers.) Nick Hawkridge