Friday 23 November 2012

Duck, Swan & Crane

Lade - 0830hrs - Mild, cloudy, sw2 - Following a rough old night with gale force winds and heavy rain today dawned relatively benign. The Long-tailed Duck was still present on north pit, and remains remarkably faithful to the section of water opposite the bend in the causeway and the `mirror` swing bridge. Had good views of Water Rail and Cetti`s Warbler here, plus a Firecrest in a mixed flock of tits, Goldcrests and Chiffchaff. Also, Kingfisher, Little Egret and Green Woodpecker.
There was a bit of excitement (we don`t get out much down here!) on the beach this morning where a putative acoustic mine was beached following last nights storm. The Coastguards had cordoned the area off while the Bomb Squad dealt with the offending item. In the end it turned out to be part of a trawl bobbin!
Walland Marsh - Plenty of Fieldfares in the hedgerow lanes across the Marsh, plus small flocks of Chaffinches and Tree Sparrows at the usual sites and a few Mipits, Skylarks, Goldfinches and 2 Greater peckers. Raptors included a stunning male Hen Harrier near Hawthorn Corner and a Buzzard feeding on a Mallard near the model flying club. Chatted to BB and DG at Midley where the 2 Whooper Swans were still within the Mute flock. Also had distant flight views of the Common Crane near Newlands Farm.

                                          Long-tailed Duck, Lade

                                          Putative "Mine", Lydd-on-Sea

                                          Whooper Swan, Midley

                                          Fox, Dungeness

Burrowes - Hundreds of wildfowl here plus 4 Great White Egrets from Dennis`s hide; earlier 5 Avocets briefly dropped in. From the access road a blackish fox showed no fear as I got out of the car to snap a pic; it looked in poor condition, as many are down here.
Scotney - A bit like a WWT reserve these days what with all the feral wildfowl including Barnacle, Snow/Emperor and Bar-headed Geese and a Black Swan. Also, several hundred Lapwings and Golden Plovers, plus a lone Avocet.
ARC - 1500hrs - From Hanson all the usual wildfowl including 2 each of Pintail and Goldeneye, 3 Marsh Harriers, Long-tailed Tits and calling Water Rail and Cetti`s Warbler. From Screen hide a superb end to the day with a golden light on the reedbed where a Bittern showed well, sky-pointing as a Sparrowhawk went over, plus several `pinging` Beardies, Water Rails and Cetti`s Warblers.
ps: Anyone planning a visit this weekend should be able to connect with most of the above, and don't forget the 2 Snow Buntings at St Mary`s Bay and the Glaucous Gull at the fishing boats.

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