Monday 5 March 2012


Lade - 0700hrs - Grey and windy, rain later, nw gusting 5/6 - Did not remain long in the garden as decidedly unspring like with a scudding wind out of the north-west bending the fir trees and feeling very chilly. However, already there were several Chaffinches on the feeders and more `pinking` away in adjacent cover. This is not a bird I regularly get in the garden, so suspected there was some kind of an overnight movement, and sure enough during the course of the day many more were noted  elsewhere around the Peninsula.
Dungeness - 0830hrs - Pretty horrible conditions here and only lasted 30 minutes for a seawatch from the boats, where a flock of roosting gulls contained the 2nd winter Glaucous. Offshore 50 odd Gannets, a few Kitts, grebes, auks and not much else beside a couple of Chaffinches in off the sea..
ARC - 0900hrs and 1200hrs - From the causeway road 2 Scandinavian Rock Pipits had been seen earlier (PB) at the southern end but the only birds of note when I checked was a Dunlin and 2 Smew. On New Diggings 7 Smew and the Great White Egret.
Plenty of small bird activity around the car park with at least 50 Chaffinches, 20 Tree Sparrows, 10 Reed Buntings and an assortment of tits and a Goldcrest. From Hanson had crippling views of 2 different Bitterns for over an hour creeping around the reedbed in front of the hide; although they wern`t very sociable with the dominant bird stabbing away at the other and forcing it into cover; probably as it had found the best fishing spot. Mostly they took small fish and at least once a frog (marsh?) and were clearly very efficient hunters. Also managed a few digi-pics and a cracking bit of video, but you really couldn`t fail as they were so close. However, check out Plodding Birders blog for the real deal.

Bittern, ARC - one of two individuals that showed continuously for over an hour in the small reedbed in front of Hanson hide

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