Saturday, 9 March 2013

Brent Geese

Lade - Mild, misty, nw 2 - 0730hrs -  Following on from yesterdays drenching the morning dawned grey and murky but at least it was dry. The Marsh Harriers certainly appreciated a break in the weather as they kept the Lapwing flocks on the move behind the `mirrors`; one wayward harrier ventured over the willow swamp by the camp and immediately incurred the wrath of the local Herring Gulls.
A light movement of Skylarks, Mipits and grounded winter thrushes was noteworthy, while Chiffchaff and Cetti`s Warbler were both in song. On the water 30 Wigeon dropped in and 5 Goldeneyes remained on north pit.
Dungeness - 0930hrs - In company with MH we searched the shingle for any early migrants opposite Jarman`s without success although a few more Skylarks and Mipits noted. A 30 minute seawatch from the concrete road yielded over 200 Brent Geese on the move in several large groups, plus plenty of Red-throated Divers, Great Crested Grebes and auks coming and going around the Point. We saw another large flock of Brents whilst driving out of the Obs road, several hundred strong, and well over a thousand were logged through during the morning. The dry weather had brought forth bevies of weekend birders who`d reported singing Black Reds and Chiffs around the power station, passage Little Gulls and Velvet Scoters on the sea and the wintering Glaucous Gull at the boats.
RSPB - The fields at Boulderwall were full of Curlews, Lapwings, Wigeon, Stock Doves and the like, plus 2 Barnacle Geese, Great White Egret, Water Rail, Green Woodpecker and Shelduck. At Hookers ramp we had two flight views of Bittern and up to 4 Marsh Harriers engaging in some nuptial vocalising, plus plenty of singing Reed Buntings, Cetti`s Warblers and Dabchicks.
From Dengemarsh hide more of the same, plus `pinging` Beardies.
Over the road on ARC 12 Smews and 8 Goldeneyes amongst the diving ducks, 2 Little Egrets and singing Chiffchaff, Goldcrest and Long-tailed Tit from the Willow Trail. The RCP was again reported from Tower Pits. Finished the morning in some style with 3 Ravens `cronking` close overhead, which had me fumbling for the camera, much to the amusement of MH...
Dungeness - 1530hrs - A last look from the seawatch hide delivered little more than a load of Great Crested Grebes on the sea. Along the power station wall a nice little selection of migrants included 2 Pied Wagtails, 2 Mipits and singles of Black Redstart, Chiffchaff and Reed Bunting.
Finished the day back at Boulderwall checking out reports of a Spoonbill, but all that could be found was a Great White Egret with another on New Diggings and a Little Egret on ARC.

                                Meadow Pipit, Dungeness

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