Thursday 8 October 2015

A fall of Reed Buntings

Lade - cool, dry, sunny, light airs - 0700-1000hrs - Following three days of gloomy weather it was great to wake up to sunshine this morning. Viz mig was light as we headed across the shingle to Mockmill with a trickle of Skylarks, Reed Buntings and Mipits overhead, plus a few high Siskins, Redpolls and Chaffinches. Working the sewer from the south Barney flushed a couple of Snipe and a sun trap brought forth several late flowering patches of Ragged Robin and Nottingham Catchfly. A Hare shot out, scurrying over the stones towards the water tower.

                               Mockmill Sewer, Lade

                                Reed Buntings, Lade

                                Robin, Lade

And then it happened, that magical moment that occurs every so often in birding - migrants started to drop out of the ether. It comprised mostly of Reed Buntings; at least 100 eventually scattered along the sewer scrub, sitting in the blackthorn twittering away to one another, while others soaked up the sun after their nocturnal flight, or flopped around in the fireweed and reeds refuelling on weed-seeds and insects. This concentration was bound to attract other species and pretty soon about 20 Skylarks grounded, along with 20 Mipits and 15 Blackbirds. The sewer was soon alive with birds and over the coming hour or so Chaffinches, Song Thrushes, Robins, Wrens, Dunnocks, Linnets, Chiffchaffs, Blackcaps, 4 Cetti`s Warblers, 3 Stonechats and our first Ring Ouzel of the autumn joined the party.
A Fox was also enjoying the sunshine and 420 Curlews came in to roost on the storm beaches.
A terrific session on this under watched part of the Marsh hinterland.

                                Curlews coming to roost, Lade
                                Sunbathing Fox, Lade

Dungeness - A 30 minute seawatch from the boats this afternoon with TG delivered a few passing Sandwich Terns and Med Gulls, 3 Arctic Skuas and a couple of Gannets.


  1. Does Barney not bother with foxes and hares then.

  2. He would if I let him, but I can call him off and on this occasion he didn`t see the fox. By and large though he`s the most placid, good natured dog I`ve known.

  3. Mmmm, a lot better than my two then.