Friday 20 May 2016

Montagu`s Harrier

Dungeness - 0800hrs - cool, cloudy, sw 3 - Wandering around the beach opposite Jarman`s I could only find a single Wheatear amongst several Mipits, Pied Wagtails and a singing Skylark. In the hide we joined PB and BH for a brief seawatch where there was a steady flow of Gannets and terns offshore, plus a Great Northern Diver east.
Back home the garden was alive with this years` crop of Starlings and their juvs.

                                Starlings, Plovers

Birdwatching Break - 1300hrs - With Darren, an old birding pal from Bedfordshire, and his partner Karen down for a weekends birding we took a while to get underway. After catching up on the birding news and gossip from the old county we started at the Tavern and a scan of Greatstone beach. Amongst the Oystercatchers and Curlews were two Barwits and a Knot with a separate flock of 100 Dunlins and Sanderlings, plus 12 Tundra Ringed Plovers.
Scotney - Moving on to the farm we started well with a Little Owl on the first barn, followed by several Corn Buntings and Yellow Wagtails on the field with the suckling herd. We also noted Reed Buntings, Linnets, Skylark, Little Egrets, Stock Doves, a Common Buzzard, several Avocets, Common Terns, and all the usual feral geese about the site.

                               Little Owl, Scotney

Galloways - Turning down Galloways Road by the guard hut we had stunning views of a ringtail Montagu`s Harriers that flew beside the car at one stage, before disappearing onto the ranges. Several Stonechats were seen on posts, plus Mipit and Whitethroat.
Springfield Bridge - Three Marsh Harriers and a host of Swifts and hirundines were noted from the bridge. In summary a pretty decent start to the weekend with the Monty`s the surprise bird.

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