Sunday, 30 October 2016

Brents and Beardies

Saturday - Lade - 0800hrs - overcast, mild, drizzle, light airs - Surely perfect weather conditions for an overnight drop-in of migrants? But no, yet again the bushes were largely barren as we worked Mockmill and the scrub across the shingle ridges, although it was so still that on south lake you could hear the Shovelers filter feeding. Scanning from the aerial mound both Marsh Harrier and Buzzard were slumped atop distant bushes in the murk and a couple of small charms of Goldfinches tinkled overhead. And then, as if by magic, five `tac-taccing` Ring Ouzels dropped into the willow scrub, followed by 10 Blackbirds!
  Around 1130hrs I received a phone call from Alan and Anita on the front to the effect that a large flock of Brent Geese had dropped in on the bay at high tide. Sure enough they were still present when I strolled down the boardwalk from the car park, until a pair of paddle boarders flushed them towards Dungeness where the geese joined another passing flock to make at least 500 birds.
Dungeness - 1400-1600hrs  - A seawatch from the fishing boats with the north Kent gull aficionados and their bait failed to attract any unusual specimens, apart from a known colour ringed Herring Gull. Offshore, several more flocks totalling 200 Brents passed west along with a few Med Gulls, a raft of 30 Kittiwakes, two Guillemots and a Red-throated Diver on the sea.

                                Brents, Lade Bay

Sunday - Lade -mild, cloudy, light airs - At the risk of sounding like a stuck record it was another flat day on the local patch apart from one nugget, thanks to Barney, who flushed a pair of beautiful Bearded Tits from a patch of reeds beside south lake. They `pinged` twice, flew over my head and disappeared into another reed bed across the lake which, surprisingly, was only the second time I have noted them here. Elsewhere, a few Blackbirds were still about, plus a Ring Ouzel along the track and the usual Kingfishers, wildfowl and grebes. As the Curlews (480) flew overhead to roost they brought with them 12 Barwits and five Grey Plovers.

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