Friday, 19 February 2016

`New` Optics

Dungeness - cold, sunshine and showers, sw 3 - Yesterday I picked up my Swarovski optics from Hythe Camera shop as they`d been to Austria for some long awaited TLC. So today I felt like a kid on Christmas morning with a new bike, I couldn't wait to get into the field and road test `em, and what a difference, they were like new, I just hadn't realised how badly they had deteriorated over the past 20 years - and many thanks to the staff at the camera shop for their superb customer service.
  Anyhow, in the early morning sunshine we strolled along the beach between the lifeboat station and lighthouse half expecting a Wheatear to pop up. No such luck, but Mipit, Skylark, Greenfinch and a pair of Stock Doves were noted, plus the 1st winter Glaucous Gull at roost amongst the large gulls. On the sea a scattering of Great Crested Grebes, Cormorants and auks. 

                               Stock Dove, Dungeness

Boulderwall - The fields between the main track down to the VC and Cockles Bridge were a delight,  being packed out with thousands of Wigeon, Lapwings, Golden Plovers, feral geese, corvids and Starlings. In between the massed ranks were 2 Egyptian Geese, a redhead Smew, Shoveler and Dabchick on the ponds, 30 Dunlin, 5 Curlews, 2 Great White Egrets, several Marsh Harriers and a Peregrine terrorising the waders.
  On Burrowes all the usual wildfowl plus a Slavonian Grebe and a Chiffchaff in the car park scrub.
Scotney - Plenty of geese and waders here on the wet fields by the road including 2 Brents, 17 Ringed Plover, 20 Dunlin, 2 Curlew and 3 Redshanks. Close scrutiny of the Ringed Plovers revealed a noticeably smaller much less well-marked individual, but with a blobbed supercilium, which I took to be a female/1st year bird. Unfortunately just as it was moving closer a Peregrine flushed the lot.

                                Ringed Plover, Scotney

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