Thursday 5 October 2017

Great White Egrets

Lade - mild, cloudy, w 4 - 0700hrs - A viz mig from the aerial ramp on the local patch in blustery weather conditions resulted in a trickle of overhead Swallows, House Martins, Mipits, Chaffinches and Goldfinches, plus one or two Reed Buntings and Greenfinches. More hirundines were over south lake where there was a noticeable increase in Shoveler and Teal since my last pre-holiday visit. Great White Egrets are a given across our local wetlands but I was still surprised to see five flying over the willow swamp heading towards the bird reserve. A flock of 20 Blackwits came in off the sea and headed inland and a couple of Sparrowhawks zipped over the Desert, one of which gave a half-hearted pursuit  of a Green Woodpecker. In the shelter of the wind a few Goldcrests, Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs were noted along with a large mixed flock of tit.

                               Goldfinches pausing a while

Dungeness - Most of the bird activity on the reserve was on ARC where the long-staying Red-necked Grebe was still on the lake viewable from the causeway road. From Hanson hide a decent selection of waders coincided with high tide included 100 Dunlins, 60 Lapwings, 80 Golden Plovers, 30 Blackwits, two Barwits, five Knots, a Snipe and two Curlew Sandpipers. A Kingfisher showed well on its usual post and four Great White Egrets were scattered around the margins and islands. Ducks included plenty of Shoveler and Teal plus a handful of Pintails and Wigeons.
A grizzly sight awaited on the walk down to the hide where a Stoat had just pulled two squealing  baby Rabbits from a burrow. As it loped off down the track it dropped one but disappeared into the brush with the other.

                               Egrets and Golden Plovers

                                Kingfisher, Hanson hide

                               Baby Rabbit killed by Stoat

Not much happening over the road where five more Great White Egrets were scattered around Burrowes. A Merlin flew over the access road and a few parties of hirundines pushed on south.

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