Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Red-necked Grebe

Scotney - mild, cloudy, drizzle - 0900hrs - The usual Barnacle/hybrid Emperor Goose flock was grazing the front fields along with 100 Wigeon, two Redshank, Curlew and Ruff. Outback, stacks of Shelducks, feral Greylags, Canada and Egyptian Geese, plus 15 White-fronts, 3 Tundra Bean Geese and a Brent Goose. Marsh Harrier, Kestrel and Buzzard all noted, but we missed a ringtail harrier seen by a couple of visiting birders earlier. Passerines were again largely absent apart from several Corn and Reed Buntings, Mipits and House Sparrows.
Camber - The small fishing lake to the west of the village had a variety of ducks, grebes, Cormorants, egrets and herons on or around the water, but the main attraction was a splendid Red-necked Grebe, a rare beast in these parts, which eventually approached close to the cycle path and posed for a few piccies.

                               Red-necked Grebe, Camber

  On the way back east I stopped to check a flock of swans and Lapwings from the wind surfer`s car park, and to admire the marvellous civil engineering project that is the Broomhill Sands sea defences. The 1.3 mile construction of concrete, timber, steel and rocks runs between Camber and the Lydd army ranges and was finished last year to prevent the scouring action of the sea flooding this part of the Marsh. The project cost £30 million to complete and included shipping in huge boulders from Norway to take the brunt of the wave action. Money well spent methinks.  

                                Broomhill Sands

  Judging from the numbers of cars on site, the Ring-necked Duck and grey Stonechat were still present at Boulderwall and Kerton Road quarry respectively when I drove by around midday.
Littlestone Golf Links - 1500hrs - There was no sign of the reported Short-eared Owl this afternoon, although a Great White Egret flying across the fairways was a bit of a surprise, unlike several Stonechats perched atop vegetation. Hundreds of corvids, mainly Jackdaws, streamed along the coast towards St Mary`s Bay roost sites and beyond.

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