Sunday, 24 November 2013

Woodcock & Fieldfare

Lade - 0900hrs - cold, sunny, n 4 - Following last nights moshing at the Bellowhead gig the old body felt a bit achy breaky this morning making for a late start. I try not to get tempted away from the local patch at least one day a week, normally a Sunday, and go shanks pony birding, which makes me feel good not burning any fossils in pursuit of birds. Also, Barney loves this kind of walk as it gives him licence to snuffle about in all sorts of nooks and crannies, and fair play to the old boy, for the second day running he flushed a good bird...
We started off in high spirits with a single Fieldfare over the cottage, a bird (along with Goldcrest) that has been largely absent this autumn. The trudge across the shingle to Mockmill Sewer was worthwhile as it was here that Barney disturbed a Woodcock from a damp, grassy patch. Further along the sewer several Song Thrushes and Blackbirds were noted plus a Stonechat. Scanning across the airport fields yielded several Marsh Harriers, Kestrel and Common Buzzard but no sign of yesterdays Black Kite (although it was reported towards New Romney today). Birds were everywhere with large numbers of Black-headed and Common Gulls, Lapwing, Golden Plover, Woodpigeon, Stock Dove and corvids swirling over the fields as the raptors looked for a meal.
On south lake a wide range of wildfowl including 2 Pintail (scarce here) while a drake Goldeneye was the best return on north lake. Cetti`s Warbler, Water Rail, Chiffchaff and Green Woodpecker all noted around the willow swamp.
The final section of the walk back along the beach from Greatstone was not so profitable as the land yachts and kite-surfers were out in force in the bright sunshine. However, we still managed Curlew, Oyc, Barwit, Dunlin and Sanderling on the mud plus a few Turnstone and Pied Wagtail along the foreshore. All in all a satisfying morning in the field in bright sunshine and with a brisk northerly airflow guaranteed to blow away the cobwebs.

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