Saturday 16 November 2013

Autumn meets winter...

Dungeness - 0900hrs - mild, sunny, light airs - perfect weather for a days birding around the Marsh, and what a great day it turned out for Jean and Sarah. At the Patch a single 1st winter Little Gull was noted amongst the hundreds of Black-heads, while offshore a few Gannets, Kittiwakes and Common Scoters drifted into Rye Bay. On the walk back a singing Black Redstart in the power station was joined by a second bird, plus Pied Wagtails and a flyover Raven.
At the Obs both Lesser and Common Redpolls were studied in the hand, a Chiffchaff in the garden, while a few Mipits and Goldfinches passed overhead.

                                Common Redpoll, DBO

                                Lesser Redpoll, male, DBO

RSPB - From the access road several Marsh Harriers, Curlews, Lapwings and 3 Great White Egrets on the fields at Boulderwall but we could find no sign of the Glossy Ibis. On Burrowes at least 20 Pintails and 2 Shelducks amongst the hundreds of wildfowl. A brief view of a Bittern on Hookers plus Common Buzzard, 2 Peregrines, Cetti`s Warbler, Bearded Tits pinging in the reedbed and a Stonechat at the Corral.
Scotney - As we pulled up by the double bends the Long-tailed Duck was one of the closest birds to the shore and showed well. All the usual feral geese elsewhere plus Golden Plovers and Wigeon with a few Dunlin and Redshanks.
Walland Marsh  - A flavour of winter to finish the day, and fabulous to see them back, a flock of 14 Bewick`s Swan in a distant field towards Old Romney (thanks for the text Plod), 5 Skylarks and a Corn Bunting plus a Little Owl on a nearby barn. The Midley feeders yielded Tree Sparrows and Goldfinches, plus Sparrowhawk and Common Buzzard nearby.
Finished off at a harrier roost site where 6 Marsh Harriers came in plus a spanking male, `grey ghost` Hen Harrier, which was without doubt bird-of-the-day, and the sunset was pretty impressive too.

                                Sunset over Walland Marsh

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