Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Bitterns & Smews

Littlestone - 1045hrs - cold, sunny, nnw 4 - Checked the car park area and found the 2 Snow Buntings feeding on the foreshore. A decent crop of shorebirds included 6 species most notable being 55 Knot and 12 Redshanks.
Lade - From the aerial mound a Bittern was flying over the willow swamp being pursued by a Marsh Harrier! On south pit the ducks were huddled along the willows sheltering from the biting northerly airflow. Plenty more common wildfowl in the willow pool and a pair of Great Crested Grebes displaying. On north pit another Bittern, this time inadvertently flushed from a small reedbed, a Great White Egret, a Smew and the Black-throated Diver, which earlier had been seen on south pit.
ARC/New Diggings - A total of 19 Smews on both waters (including 2 drakes), 9 Goldeneyes and all the usual diving and dabbling ducks. From Screen hide another flight view of a Bittern.
Scotney - Thought I`d best check just in case the Scaups returned, but it was pretty quiet with just the usual feral geese, Wigeons and Lapwing on the grass. A flight of 9 Smews flew over heading towards Pigwell, but when I checked the pit out all I could find was yet another Bittern!
It seemed to be that wherever I went today Bitterns and Smews were easy to see., which of course is not always the case.

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