Friday, 8 March 2013

Singing Chiffchaff & Firecrest

Dungeness - 0730hrs - Dull, foggy, mild, drizzle, ne 2 - The murky conditions continued this morning along with drizzle turning to steady rain by mid-day. Decided to walk the shingle between the lifeboat station and the lighthouse where all we could muster up were 3 Snipes, 2 Skylarks, 2 Pied Wagtails and a Mipit. From the fishing boats visibility was severely limited but a flock of 8 Gannets came in close to shore to fish. On the sea the usual Great Crested Grebes and auks plus a couple of Red-throated Divers, and Kittiwakes. The 3rd winter Glaucous Gull also put in a brief appearance.
Lade - Little of note here in the rain apart from the expected wildfowl and a miserable looking Kestrel perched on a fence post.
Scotney - Another blank canvas, unless you like loads of Herring Gulls... plus a few Lapwings, Wigeons and Greylags.
ARC - Plenty of passerine activity here with singing Wrens and Reed Buntings and 3 Cetti`s Warblers much in evidence, plus `chupping` Tree Sparrows around the car park. Down at the Willow Trail all was quiet on the first look but half an hour later coming out of Hanson the flock came through with 2 each of Chiffchaff and Goldcrest in song plus, to my amazement, a singing Firecrest! This burst of song lasted all of five minutes before the flock moved off. Also noted Long-tailed, Great and Blue Tits, Blackbird, Song Thrush, Robin and calling Water Rail.
From the hide a good selection of wildfowl including 16 Goldeneyes and 8 Smews (including one drake) plus Great White Egret and a Marsh Harrier over.
Red-crested Pochards were reported from the Discovery Pool and Tower Pits (BH).
The afternoon was a washout with heavy rain setting in and poor light.

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