Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Dull, dull, dull

Dengemarsh - 1030hrs - murky and mild - We worked a birdless gully this morning in Mordor-like gloom with a fine drizzle coming and going. Striking out across the shingle towards the switch station, in the vain hope of a late wheatear or bunting along the foreshore, also proved fruitless apart from a lone Raven sat on a pylon.
Galloways was similarly bereft of bird life.
Scotney - Much better here though with upwards of a couple of thousand birds on the grass opposite the lay-bye comprising mainly Goldies, Lapwings, Wigeons and Starlings, plus two Redshank, five Dunlin, a Grey Plover and the usual feral geese. A walk out back delivered more wildfowl and plovers, including Shelducks and Egyptian Geese, plus 80 and 50 each, respectively, of Corn Buntings and Tree Sparrows, Skylarks, Mipits, two Stonechats, three Marsh Harriers, Buzzard and Kestrel.


  1. 50 Tree Sparrows - how lucky are you, those delightful birds disappeared from Sheppey about 15-20 years ago, would love to see them back.

  2. Yes, we are fortunate, the Marsh is probably their last remaining `stronghold` in Kent. The Scotney birds depend on game cover and a mucky old farmyard with cattle on deep litter for winter food, plus dilapidated buildings in which to nest. Other local colonies survive due to human help; ie nest boxes and bird seed, but they are small in number and are just about hanging on in places. A few more also survive along the RM Canal where they nest in tall hedgerows and again regularly visit bird feeders. They do seem to have had a successful breeding season this year, so fingers crossed for a mild winter...