Saturday 12 November 2011

A 100 Species Day

Dungeness - 0900hrs - mild, dull and gloomy all day, S 1-3 - Kicked off at the Point with a stroll around the Old Light where blokes in bosun chairs were working on the building. From there to the Obs and around the Moat,  2 Chiffchaffs, 5 Mipts, 10 Blackbirds, 100 Goldfinches, 10 Redwings, 5 Fieldfares, 10 Siskins, 10 Greenfinches, 10 Robins, 5 Goldcrests, 2 Song Thrushes and a Brambling. Redpolls continued to hit the mist net in some numbers in the Trapping Area.

 2 Common (Mealy) Redpolls, DBO and Spider Man on the Old Light

An hour at the boats delivered good views of Glaucous and Yellow-legged Gulls on the shingle although we drew a blank on the Snow Buntings, which were seen earlier. Offshore: 30 Gannets, 10 Guillemots, 10 Red-throated Divers, 20 Great Crested Grebes, and west: 20 Kittiwakes, 60 Common Scoters, 3 (very late) Common Terns, 15 Red-breasted Mergansers, 60 Wigeon, 4 Eiders and a single Brent.
RSPB - 1200hrs First stop New Diggings where 8 Little Gulls were noteworthy. From Hanson on ARC singles of Long-tailed Duck, Black-necked Grebe and Smew (redhead), 2 Bitterns, 15 Goldeneyes, 8 Pintail 6 Little Egrets, 3 Shelducks, 4 Marsh Harriers, 3 Chiffchaffs, Water Rail, Cetti`s Warbler and a host of Wigeon, Teal, Gadwall, Shoveler, Lapwings and Golden Plovers.
Over the road 2 Great White Egrets flew over the fields at Boulderwall (the first time I`ve ever seen 2 together in Britain) from the access road, but later seperated, with one settling on ARC and the other returning to Dengemarsh. On Burrowes hundreds of common wildfowl and Lapwings, plus 3 Dunlin, 2 Grey Plovers and Peregrine over. Black Redstart, Reed Bunting, Goldcrest, Chiffchaff and Tree Sparrow around the car park. From Dengemarsh hide, 3 Dunlin, 2 Stonechats, Sparrowhawk, Merlin and Great White Egret.
Walland Marsh - 1530hrs - En-route to the Woolpack we had a large flock of Fieldfares and Redwings at Midley. At the roost site we joined NB and BM where 14 Marsh Harriers came to roost. More harriers were seen heading elsewhere, plus a stunning `grey ghost` Hen Harrier and 2 Buzzards. Several Bearded Tits active in the reedbed, but yet again it was negative news on Barn Owls.
A cracking day in the field with 100 species producing a wide variety of birds.
Elsewhere around the Marsh, the Rough-legged Buzzard remained at Nickoll`s Quarry; a (3rd?) Great White Egret was at Hamstreet; at Dungeness, 3 Bewick`s Swans on ARC, 2 Whoopers and 3 Swallows over the bird reserve; 2 Bewick`s Swans over the Woolpack; and Short-eared Owls were reported from Boulderwall and Littlestone Golf Course.

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