Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Wagtails, Plovers, Whimbrels, Ouzels and Owls

Dungeness - cool, sunny, light airs - We kicked off at the point where there was scarcely a breath of wind, although it picked up through the day from the west. On the beach opposite Jarman`s five Wheatears, Mipits, Skylarks, Linnets, Pied Wagtails, Stock Doves and a male Stonechat were all duly noted. At the Patch four Common Terns hawked over the boil amongst the gulls, but there had been a clear out overnight of passerines with just a couple of Willow Warblers and a Chiffchaff present in the bushes around the old lighthouse.

                                Wheatear, Dungeness

Scotney - En-route we paused at New Diggings where the adult Slavonian Grebe was still present. At Scotney a Little Ringed Plover on the front pit was new for the year, while 15 Yellow Wagtails showed well around the cattle by the farm. Corn Bunting, Skylark, Reed Bunting, Common Buzzard also noted, plus 20 Avocets on the back pit. 

                                Yellow Wagtails, Scotney

Burrowes - The Long-eared Owl posed like a good `un for the guests in its usual spot behind the Dipping Pool. On Burrowes a few Dunlin, Ringed Plovers, four Pintail and a White Wagtail on the islands from Makepeace hide. More Swallows came over and our first two Whimbrels of the season probed the turf beside the Access road.

                                Whimbrel, Access Road

                                Long-eared Owl, Dipping Pool

Lade Bay - From the Tavern viewpoint several hundred Oystercatchers and Curlews were on the sands, plus four Bar-tailed Godwits. Whilst there news came through of two male Ring Ouzels back at the point, and we were soon watching them feeding on the turf and perched atop scrub, as ever smart birds.

                                Ring Ouzels, Dungeness

Dengemarsh - An evening visit to listen for a booming Bittern drew a blank, although we did have 50 Sand Martins and several Marsh Harriers coming to roost in the reedbed. On the way back a stop at Boulderwall delivered brief views of a Barn Owl emerging from its roost site, to top off a fine day full of quality birds.

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