Tuesday, 16 December 2014

A sun trap

Dungeness - 0830hrs - cold, dry, light airs - For a change of scene on this bright, sunny morning we headed down to the point for a wander along the foreshore from the lighthouse to the fishing boats, where the highlight was a Merlin hurtling down the beach chasing a Pied Wagtail, which hid under a boat to escape its clutches! The sea was predictably quiet with only a few passing Gannets and Red-throated Divers, plus the usual couple of hundred Great Crested Grebes on the water.

                                Lade Ponds

Lade - Back at the local patch the suns rays were beginning to have the desired effect and warming things up a bit. The picture above may not look much but the ponds here are orientated north/south with a willow and a bramble bank on either side, which means they`re well sheltered from the prevailing winds, mainly from a westerly vector, but increasingly from the east. As a consequence this sun trap, even on a winters day, brings forth insects of one sort or another along with a range of passerines. Tit flocks are a staple diet, including Long-tailed as today, plus two Chiffchaffs and a Goldcrest, Robins, Blackbirds and Chaffinches, while the reeds attracted a Stonechat and Cetti`s Warbler. The other plus point about this spot is that the birds are easy to see as they work the willow margin, and although I`ve not yet found a real crippler here its surely only a matter of time...

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