Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Bitterns & Barn Owl

Dungeness - 0730hrs - Cold, cloudy, nw 2 - With the weather calming down a bit decided to check out the point first thing. No sign of any migrants along the beach apart from 3 Skylarks and Mipit by the boats. Joined TG for an hour in the seawatch hide during which time we had a steady flow of Great Crested Grebes and Red-throated Divers moving into Lade Bay (by the time I left the diver count was over 200). Also a trickle of Gannets, several mixed flocks of Wigeon, Teal and Common Scoters, while a drake Eider moving west was a Marsh year tick  (142).
Lade - Little of any note here apart from a Great White Egret and 4 Goldeneyes.
Scotney - Another fairly birdless visit although 6 Pintail flying in were my first for a while.
RSPB - 1400hrs - Spent the afternoon with MH on the bird reserve dodging the heavy sleet showers, but seeing plenty of good birds. From the causeway road the usual flock of 200 Shovelers on ARC and a Great White Egret on New Diggings. At Boulderwall plenty of Tree Sparrows on the feeders.
At Dengemarsh we had cracking, protracted views of a Barn Owl hunting behind Hookers reedbed, plus flight views of Raven, Bittern and Marsh Harrier. On the farmland 6 Barnacle and 100 Greylag Geese and all the usual Curlews, Lapwings, Stock Doves and Wigeon. Nothing much on Burrowes, (viewed from the comfort of the visitors centre while a particularly heavy shower went through) but from the access road a Bittern showed well sitting out in the open for at least ten minutes before flying off towards the Corral. Over the road from Hanson 9 Smew and 5 Goldeneyes plus a chattering Cettis`s Warbler and a Green Woodpecker. Further close views of the drake Smew with his harem from a snowy Screen hide, but we couldn`t find the reported Avocet. Nonetheless a superb couple of hours birding with great views of Bittern and Barn Owl, two species which no matter how long you`ve been birding are always thrilling to watch.

Bittern, Dengemarsh

                                                                             Screen Hide

No comments:

Post a Comment