Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Showy Firecrests

Lade - mild, cloudy, light airs - A spring-like feel to proceedings today heralded a superb mornings birding commencing on the local patch with a fall of Chiffchaffs with at least 10 around the willow swamp including two in song. Reed Bunting, Cetti`s Warbler, Greenfinch, Chaffinch, Blackbird, Dunnock and Great Tit were also in fine voice. On south lake the Long-tailed Ducks and Goldeneyes were still present.
  Moving onto the bay from the Tavern viewpoint where eight species of beach waders noted including 120 Knot, 40 Bar-tailed Godwit and 20 Grey Plover. Sandwich Tern numbers had increased to 150 alongside 50 Common Gulls roosting on the sands.

                                Firecrests in the old lighthouse garden

Dungeness - Moving onto the Estate where we walked the beach in search of an early Wheatear without success. Meadow Pipit, Pied Wagtail, Stock Dove, Skylark and Stonechat were ample compensation though. In the old lighthouse garden up to five Firecrests performed to order, constantly calling, flitting through the shrubs and coming down to forage in the open on the lawn.
Superb views of the stripy sprite that surely must feature in every birders top ten list of favourite British birds.

                                Common Gull from Firth hide
  A brief look at the sea delivered a trickle of passing Gannets, Red-throated Divers, auks and Common Scoters, plus a flyby from one of the wintering Glaucous Gulls.
  Moving onto the bird reserve where there was plenty on offer on the pools and fields at Boulderwall, including three Smew, Great White Egret, Marsh Harrier, Curlew, Wigeon, Lapwing, Snipe and Golden Plover. On Burrowes the usual wildfowl, Cormorants and gulls, plus five Chiffchaffs in the willows outside Firth hide.
  A brief stop in the Kerton Road triangle yielded two Stonechats and a Dartford Warbler.

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