Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Red-crested Pochard

Dungeness - 0830hrs - cold, dry, sunny, nw 3 - For a change of scene we went down the point this morning for a wander along the beach from the lifeboat station to the concrete road. Two Black Redstarts and a singing Skylark was the sum total of migrants, plus a Kestrel and Sparrowhawk while Barney flushed a brown hare.
At the Patch c1,000 Black-headed Gulls were amongst lesser numbers of Common, Herring, Lesser and Great-black Backed Gulls. Two more Black Redstarts perched up on the power station complex while the roosting gulls were checked for yesterdays hybrid without success.
The EA and contractors have moved in big style along the concrete road in preparation for shingle moving operations which are planned to commence on Friday.

                               Black Redstart - what`d you mean, where is it!

RSPB - Could only find two Smew on Burrowes, where also 10 Goldeneyes and hundreds of Wigeon, Teal and Shoveler. Egret numbers appeared to have declined around the reserve with just singles of Little and Great White from Dennis`s hide. The drake Red-crested Pochard looked wild and resplendent on the dipping pond...
On the way out a Green Woodpecker flew over the access road, but disappointingly there was no sign of a weasel hitching a ride...

                                Red-crested Pochard, dipping pond

Lydd - The two wintering Cattle Egrets were lurking in a ditch at the bottom of Dengemarsh Road, while a pair of Marsh Harriers displayed over Hookers reedbed. A Raven flew over `cronking` loudly with two attendant crows giving it a hard time.
Out at Horse Bones farm on Walland the wild swan field was empty, so I presume the Bewick`s have returned north to breed. Which made me think that the next fortnight or so can be one of the quietest periods of the year as the winter visitors clear out and before the main pulse of spring `uns arrive.

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