Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Thanet Birders

Dungeness - 0900hrs - cold, sunny, light airs - A group of four birders from Thanet enjoyed a days birding across the peninsula in fine weather, although the wind picked up throughout the afternoon. We kicked off in some style with a late Ring Ouzel in the scrub near West Beach; other passerines included single figures of Stonechat, Pied Wagtail, Mipit, Wren, Robin, Blackbird and Dunnock. The Patch was rammed with several thousand gulls, in contrast to the sea where only two Red-throated Divers and a couple of hundred Great Crested Grebes of note.
New Diggings - Five Goosanders were the highlight here, including two drakes, plus all the usual wildfowl, grebes, gulls and two each of Marsh Harrier, Great White and Little Egrets.
ARC - From Hanson hide two more Great Whites, four Pintail and several hundred common wildfowl, plus Kestrel, Water Rails, Cetti`s Warbler, Blackbird and Redwing from the Willow Trail.
Burrowes - In contrast to recent visits there were huge numbers of ducks on the water including at least a thousand Wigeon and hundreds of Shoveler and Gadwall, plus three more Great White Egrets, totalling seven in all across the site and a 1st winter Caspian Gull. Plenty going on around the car park scrub and feeders with Tree Sparrows, Chiffchaff, Goldcrest, tits and finches, although we missed a Firecrest. Buzzard and Marsh Harrier also seen on the Boulderwall fields.

                                Tree Sparrow, RSPB feeders

Lydd - This birding hotspot produced two Cattle Egrets in Dengemarsh Road, while on the other side of town at least 13 Bewick`s Swans and a Tundra Bean Goose were noted amongst the Mutes, where also two Buzzards and a Stonechat.
Scotney - Unusually quiet here with just the feral geese and common diving duck and no sign of any plovers.
Greatstone Beach - We finished the day with nine species of waders on the beach as the tide ebbed with the Curlews still to return before the light beat us. Also, five Teal, on the sea, which is a bit unusual and 500 plus Common Gulls amongst thousands of Black-headed, Herrings and Black-backs.
We all agreed it had been a pretty decent day with 83 species noted; the guests particularly enjoyed the egrets, shorebirds and those cheeky little chaps, the Tree Sparrows, a bird we locals tend to take for granted.

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