Wednesday 13 February 2013

Birding in the Freezer

Dungeness - 0900hrs  - cold, dry, overcast, se 4 - Another bitter cold day, particularly on the coast. Started off at the fishing boats for a seawatch where hundreds of Cormorants, Great Crested Grebes, Guillemots and Razorbills milling around the point along with 50 Red-throated Divers, 20 Gannets, and 10 Kittiwakes, plus 6 Common Scoters and 30 Wigeon down-Channel. The Glaucous Gull eventually showed along the beach.
RSPB - A definite reduction in duck numbers around the bird reserve today. However, from Hanson close views of a Smew fishing in the reedbed. Around the Willow Trail a tit flock contained a Chiffchaff, Cetti`s Warbler, Reed Bunting and a crest which was probably a Firecrest. Also, Redwings, Fieldfares and Siskin over. On Burrowes 8 Pintail, Shelduck and another Smew while Dengemarsh had Dabchicks for the trip list. Along the access road 100 Curlews and 7 Barnacle Geese amongst the Canadas and Greylags. Plenty of Marsh Harriers around plus 2 Great White Egrets and a Stonechat.
Walland Marsh - After drawing a blank for the Tundra Geese at Scotney it was out onto the farmland tracts. A record count of 255 Bewick`s Swans for the winter was logged, plus 75 White-fronts at Midley. Several hundred Fieldfares noted at Hawthorn Corner. Finished the day at a harrier roost where up to ten Marsh Harriers and 4 Common Buzzards present. On the drive back had cracking views of a Barn Owl hunting and perched at Midley.

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