Monday, 4 March 2013

Green Sandpiper

Lade  - 0900hrs - cold, dry, sunny, e 3 - Superb sunny day but still a chill wind coming in off the sea. Green Sandpipers are common enough down here on autumn passage but thinly spread across the Marsh during the winter months. So far this year I`ve seen 3 at Scotney and singles birds at Warehorne bridge, Cheyne Court, Dengemarsh Gully, Cooks Pool and today flying over Lade south calling. The drake Merganser was showing well on south pit along with 3 Goldeneyes, while there were 4 more on north pit plus a redhead Smew. At least 3 Marsh Harriers were hunting the farmland behind the `mirrors` while scores of black crows were thermalling off the 200 foot wall `mirror`. Several Water Rails heard squealling in the willow swamp. On the walk back across the storm beaches the local Herring Gulls were bullying a Grey Heron which they eventually forced down on to the shingle. The poor old heron eventually escaped but not before losing a few feathers in the process!
1600hrs - An evening visit to look for owls on the rough grassland behind south pit delivered a distant Barn Owl hunting the farmland. Plenty of Curlews, Lapwings, corvids and Stock Doves noted, also Skylark, Mipit, Reed Bunting and Stonechat, plus 4 Marsh Harriers heading to roost and a Bittern flying over south pit.

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