Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Back in the birds

Dungeness - 0730hrs - warm, dry, sunny, s3 - After the birding wastelands of Norway it was good to get back amongst the birds on home turf. Opposite Jarman`s five Wheatears, two Black Redstarts, two Mipits and two Yellow Wagtails were the best of the grounded migrants, along with several more Black Reds on the power station fence, two Robins and a Grey Wagtail, plus a Chiffchaff in the lighthouse garden. Down at the Patch the expected common gulls, plus 20 Sandwich and 10 Common Terns.

                                Wheatear and Black Redstart

RSPB - 1000hrs - Along the willow trail a few Chiffchaffs and a Blackcap noted amongst a tit flock. From Hanson hide a group of ten shorebirds included several Barwits, Knots and Dunlins and two Turnstones, plus a single Blackwit and two Snipe nearby. On the islands all the usual eclipse ducks including a Garganey.

                                First Goldeneye of the autumn

  A guided walk around the circular route was notable for a decent clutch of waders on Burrowes with Lapwings, Common Sandpipers, Dunlins, Ringed Plovers, two Little Stints, a Curlew Sandpiper and a Ruff. Also present, a Great White Egret, 20 Wigeons and, just to remind us that winter isn't too far away, our first two Goldeneyes of the season. Elsewhere around the circuit a steady overhead passage of Swallows was underway, along with a trickle of Mipits, Yellow Wagtails and Sand Martins, plus Chiffchaffs and Common Whitethroat in the bushes. Several Marsh Harriers showed well along with Kestrel, Buzzard, four more Great White Egrets, two Egyptian Geese, Dabchicks, `pinging` Bearded Tits and a Cormorant having trouble swallowing an enormous eel. Probably the most unusual sighting of the morning though was a cracking close adult Bar-tailed Godwit on the edge of the Dipping pond, where we also had good views of a grass snake. On the drive out the long-staying Cattle Egret showed briefly in the Boulderwall fields near the cows, while five Buzzards thermalled above the water tower in the hot sunshine.

                                Adult Bar-tailed Godwit

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