Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Chats, Crests, Beardies & Lap Bunting

Dungeness - 0845hrs - Warm, dry and sunny ne2 - After a couple of dull days it was good to see and feel the sunshine again, and the birds certainly thought so too as there was much of interest around the peninsula this morning. Near the old light we had 2 each of Whinchats, Wheatears, Stonechats and a Black Redstart, plus 50 Goldfinches, 5 Siskins and a Song Thrush over. A tit flock by West Beach scrub held a Goldcrest and Firecrest with more Linnets and Goldfinches nearby. Near the Desert 15 Blackbirds, 2 Song Thrushes, 2 Chiffchaffs, 4 Wheatears, plus 5 Redpolls, Skylark and Reed Bunting over. There seemed to be plenty of Mipits, Robins and Pied Wagtails about and a trickle of Swallows moved through. Raptors included 4 Sparrowhawks and 3 Kestrels, while at the Obs at least 5 Firecrests were trapped.

                                          Whinchat, Dungeness

                                          Goldcrest, DBO

                                          Firecrest, DBO

                                          Barney, Lade

Lade - 1115hrs - For once my next move, to the local patch, proved to be an inspired one... A brief scan from the aerial mound for raptors drew a blank, apart from a Sparrowhawk dive bombing a Magpie at one end of the wall `mirror`, while the white-breasted juv Cormorant sat at the other end watching the show! Around the willows we notched up 6 Dabchicks, 2 Cetti`s Warblers, 5 Chiffchaffs and a couple of Blackbirds. In the sun trap by the ponds insects on the wing included loads of Migrant Hawkers, Small and Large Whites, Red Admirals and a Small Heath.
I was about to call it a day when as we approached north pit a `pinging` Bearded Tit showed well in the reeds with another nearby, which constituted only my second and third Lade records. As we moved on to the causeway things got even better when Barney flushed a Lapland Bunting off the shingle path which flew over our heads towards the bay calling. This morning was his first major outing since his op, so I`m hoping for a few more flushed goodies from the daft mutt this autumn...
In summary Ray and Stuart ended up with 112 species, nothing particularly rare but a wide range of species from seabirds, wildfowl, raptors and best of all classic autumn drift migrants such as chats, flycatchers and crests. On the way back to Ashford Station 2 Buzzards and a Jay were noted on the Brenzett road.

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