Tuesday 27 October – Sand Point/Middle Hope Leader: Nick Hawkridge

One upside of COVID-19 numbers restrictions – we all got to see the three Goldcrest that were frantically feeding in the hawthorn bush above the welcome sign in the car park. Those and a dozen Long-tailed Tit were about the only species we saw before we got to the top of the windswept steps. It was a bit of a slog to get to The Point, with Shelduck being picked out on the tide line at about half a mile distance. Thankful to be out of the south west wind on the north face of The Point we collected sightings of Stonechat, Wren, Meadow Pipit and Great Tit as we hooded up against the rain. Coffee stop, in the usual spot, without rain was good, as was identifying a wader that some sharp eyed person had spotted; it was a Bar-tailed Godwit. Amazing how it could disappear against the background of weed, rocks and mud. We flushed another bird as we walked along the shore which resolved into a Curlew, while inland a couple of Redwing were feasting on Hawthorn berries. A brief foray along the track showed us a vast flock of gull in the flooded fields which we studied as we made our way back to the car park: c500 Black-headed Gull c50 Common Gull, a couple of Great and Lesser Black-backed Gull, and hiding in full view the sought after Egyptian Geese. Alas, there was nothing special in the woods as we descended to the top of the car park, although the Raven that had been around all day gave a single croak to send us on our way. Thirty species noted and as ever six walkers. (Thanks Nick for leading.) Nick Hawkridge