Saturday, 16 May 2015

Waders and Turtle Doves

Lade - 0800hrs - cool, cloudy morning, warm sunny afternoon, sw 2 - South lake was smothered in hirundines and Swifts in the drizzle and murk early on, but a thorough check revealed none with red rumps, while two Common Sands flitted across north lake. Cutting back along the beach delivered a cracking set of shorebirds, many of which were in summer plum: Oystercatcher 150, Dunlin 100, Sanderling 100, Curlew 15, Barwit 12, Knot six, Tundra Plovers 23 and five Turnstones. Also quite a few Swallows hawking insects along the foreshore.

                                Tundra Plovers, Greatstone Beach

Dengemarsh - Continuing on with the wader theme the hayfields held Lapwings, Redshanks, 12 Ringed Plovers, two Dunlins, two Little Ringed Plovers, and briefly two Avocets and five Blackwits. All the usual egrets, feral geese, Marsh Harriers, Shelducks, Common Terns, Hobby, Cuckoo and Raven noted, plus `booming` Bittern.

                                Avocet and Blackwits, Hayfield 3, Dengemarsh

                                Egyptian Geese, Dengemarsh flood

A circuit of the range road yielded Yellow Wagtail, Stonechat and Little Owl in the camp.
Scotney - All the expected Yellow Wagtails, Corn and Reed Buntings, Skylarks, Avocets and Little Ringed Plovers out back, plus Marsh Harrier, 250 Mute Swans and 120 Grey Lags on the fields and 30 pairs of Black-headed Gulls on nests. The linseed crop was in full flower and looked most spectacular.

                               Linseed crop and Yellow Wagtail, Scotney

Walland Marsh - We spent a couple of hours criss-crossing the Marsh noting Yellow Wagtails, Whitethroats, Lesser Whitethroats, Yellowhammers, Sedge and Reed Warblers and Reed Buntings all over the place, plus five Buzzards, two Kestrels and 12 Hobbies, Tree Sparrows, Bearded Tits and Corn Buntings at one site and Turtle Doves at three more, which were new for the year.

                                Turtle Dove, Walland Marsh

Kenardington - One of my favourite locations on the Marsh where peace and quiet reigns supreme and full of wayside birds such as Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Bullfinch, Linnet, Yammer, Reed Bunting, Song Thrush, Green and Greater peckers, another Turtle Dove and this afternoon a Cattle Egret feeding briefly on the marshland south of the canal before being flushed by a Marsh Harrier and flying off towards Warehorne. We bumped into Pam and Pete for a quick natter and also noted a plethora of insects including hairy hawker, green-veined white, orange tip, holly blue and painted lady.

                                Cattle Egret, Kenardington

Kerton Road pits - Finished off the afternoon with a late Greenshank on the gravel pits which brought the wader tally to a respectable 15 species for the day. The gull colony was impossible to count due to plant growth but several Med Gulls were still present.
A cracking days birding around the Romney Marsh with just me and Barney mooching about at a leisurely pace in fine weather, and recording 92 species of birds.
Arrived home to news that QPR had finished off their home games with a 2-1 win over Newcastle, happy days... Now for a curry...

                                "Beats seawatching any day"

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