Thursday 19 January 2017

The lonely Stonechat

Lade  - cold, dry, sunny, e2 - On the strength of reports concerning a "funny looking duck" at `my` end of the Kerton Road quarry we wandered down to inspect the lake but without any success, although the first Shelduck of the year was of note. Not much further down the track, in the broom scrub beside the workings, was our old friend the grey Stonechat. It looked so lonely without an attendant band of twitchers in pursuit that I felt it only right and proper to pay personal homage; if only it realised all the kerfuffle it had caused...
  However, we headed back north to Lade and continued our usual circuit where a redhead Smew remained on south lake along with two Great White Egrets in the reedbed. A Kingfisher showed well around the willow swamp, while two Marsh Harriers quartered the fields behind north lake. A drake Goldeneye displaying to his harem and a pair of head-shaking Great Crested Grebes hinted at things to  come as the days lengthen. All was quiet along the foreshore where huge quantities of cockles had been washed up near the Romney Tavern.
RSPB - A scan from Boulderwall revealed the Tree Sparrow flock merrily `chupping` away by the old farmhouse and the wintering Ring-necked Duck on Cook`s Pool. Further out on the wet fields large flocks of Wigeon, Lapwings, pigeons and corvids were repeatedly flushed by hunting Marsh Harriers and a Common Buzzard. There was nothing much to report on Burrowes apart from a single Smew and a Great White Egret amongst hundreds of common ducks, feral geese, Lapwings, Cormorants and gulls.
                                Sunset over Lade Desert

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