Monday, 20 May 2013

Turtle Dove twitch & Cattle Egret

Lade - 0800hrs - mild, cloudy, drizzle, mist, nnw 2 - A most unpleasant day with rain and low cloud throughout. With guests staying over for a couple of days I ran the trap last night and got precisely 18 Tawny Shears and a Shuttle-shaped Dart. At the Kerton Road CafĂ© things were a little better with a nice Chocolate Tip and Toadflax Brocade, plus Broad-barred White, Cinnabar, Knot Grass, Foxglove Pug and even more Tawny Shears and Light Feathered Rustics.

                                Chocolate Tip, KRC

                                Little Owl

                                Toadflax Brocade

Dungeness - 1000hrs - Nothing much of note on the sea apart from a few passing Gannets and terns, plus 10 or more porpoises offshore. At the Patch an assortment of immature gulls and 50 Common Terns. On the power station wall a Black Redstart. Just missed an Osprey heading north being hassled by Herring Gulls.
Lade - The only bird of interest here was a ringtail Hen Harrier behind the `mirrors` along with 2 Marsh Harriers.
Somewhere on Romney Marsh - 1400hrs  - This afternoon we ventured out onto the Marsh in search of a year tick in the shape of Turtle Dove (191). I employed the services of a local guide who said he could guarantee a result at a secret location, "somewhere on the flatlands". With Barney blindfolded and myself being sworn to secrecy we set off into the mist and drizzle. First stop at a seed dump drew a blank but several singing Yellowhammers was some compensation. Further along the lane we located our target bird perched on the cross-trees of a telegraph pole with another `purring` bird nearby. Success at last and a Boy Scout bird-finders badge to my trusty guide.
We triumphantly retired to the bird reserve seeing Little Owl along the way and two 1st summer Little Gulls from the VC.
Boulderwall - 1815hrs - Just as we were settling in to listen to the Archers this evening, PB has to go and find a Cattle Egret (192) on the fields near Boulderwall! So it was back to the bird reserve where the egret perched obliging on the back of a cow, albeit at some distance. One local birder, who shall remain nameless, realised that he may be able to get the egret on his `from-the-house-list`, so off he went to do just that...

                                Cattle Egret, Boulderwall

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