Thursday, 22 December 2016

Bewick`s Swan-song

ARC/Tower Pits - warm, dry, sunny, light airs - The weather seems to be alternating lately from grey and cloudy one day to sunshine the next, as today. We wandered around the back of the pits where apart from a tit flock, a Chiffchaff and a few Reed Buntings there was little to be found. On ARC a flock of 100 Lapwings, a Redshank, Great White Egret and all the usual common wildfowl.
  Over the road at Boulderwall the Ring-necked Duck was asleep amongst the Tufted Ducks on Cook`s Pool and a Marsh Harrier flushed a large flock of Wigeon on the fields. The Tree Sparrows around the old farmhouse were particularly vocal this morning and I counted 21 sat in a bush by the workshop. The Long-eared Owl was again reported at roost behind the dipping pond.
Walland Marsh - On a winter wheat field adjacent to Horses Bones Farm near Lydd the Bewick`s Swan flock cut a forlorn sight comprising just 18 birds (only one of which was a juvenile). Long gone are the herds of 250 plus with each winter seeing fewer and fewer of these magnificent birds returning to our shores. This is mainly due (as per usual) to us humans draining wetlands and shooting swans en-route from their breeding grounds to winter quarters. So, best make the most of the remaining birds as I fear it won`t be too long before we lose them down here altogether.

Littlestone We walked  the foreshore to St Mary`s Bay searching for Snow Buntings, of which there was no sign. However, there were waders on the beach aplenty including small flocks of Ringed and Grey Plovers, plus a lonely looking Brent Goose.
Lade - It was a cracking late afternoon scene as we trudged across the shingle to see what was moving to roost behind the lakes. A ringtail Hen Harrier headed towards Dungeness, along with several Marsh Harriers and Little Egrets, plus a steady trickle of Starlings, Woodpigeons and corvids. The Slavonian Grebe remained on south lake while Water Rails squealed from reed beds in the still twilight.


  1. Paul, clever post headline there and sadly true.

  2. Thanks Steve. Its quite depressing really, as such gorgeous birds and just cannot understand why anybody would want to shoot one.