Friday, 19 December 2014

Roadside birding

Tower Pits - 1000hrs - mild, sunny, sw 2 - Once the early morning murk and rain had cleared it turned out to be a fine day with plenty of warm sunshine and light winds. Having spent most of yesterday driving around motorways to and from Hertfordshire it was good to be out and about in paradise again. A wander round the back of Tower Pits and along the railway line yielded several passerine flocks complete with Long-tailed Tits, Chiffchaffs and Goldcrest amongst numerous Blue and Great Tits, plus Blackbirds, Song Thrushes, Green Woodpeckers and a couple of Redwings. Four Snipe and two Reed Buntings were flushed from cover and a Merlin skimmed the shingle ridges out on the Desert where hundreds of Black-backs and 20 Curlews were at roost.

                                Roadside egrets

Roadside Birding
One of the great advantages for birders down here who are not so able bodied (or, indeed, for those who want to take it easy and stay warm and dry) is how much you can see from the car. Take this morning for example, once our walk was over we checked from the causeway road where five Goosanders, two Great White Egrets, five Goldeneyes, 250 Gadwall and a whole number of common ducks, grebes and gulls were on view on ARC and New Diggings. Moving onto Cockles Bridge and a flock of Lapwing, Goldies, Wigeon, corvids, Starlings, Woodies and Stock Doves were easily `scoped from the car, where a small flock of Skylarks, Reed Buntings and Stonechats were in the weedy horse paddock. Opposite Wraxalls stone yard in Lydd the two Cattle Egrets were within 20 yards of the road, plus a Kestrel sat on the straw bales. Moving onto Scotney (which must be one of best from-the-car spots locally) and a whole load more wildfowl were on offer, including two Black-necked Grebes and a Scaup (a scarce bird down here now), feral geese and distant Shelducks, Marsh Harriers and Kestrels. Driving out the back of Lydd towards Old Romney delivered Mute Swans in the fields at Swamp Lane (the Bewick`s, Whooper Swan and Tundra Geese having moved to fields between Horsebone Farm and Hawthorn Corner) a Little Owl and two Buzzards nearby, 500 Fieldfares, 20 Redwings near Honeychild Farm and another Little Owl. After calling in at New Romney we pulled up at Littlestone on the way home to scan the beach for waders where six species were seen without getting out of the car, plus all the usual gulls, four Brents and a Shelduck. Not a bad tally for a bit of lazy bones birding.

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