Tuesday 11 September 2018

Cattle Egrets

Dungeness - mild, cloudy, SW 5 - A warm, brisk wind blowing off the Atlantic made for difficult birding conditions today and as a result very few passerine were seen. We kicked off at the point with a sea watch from the hide where a steady trickle of Gannets and Sandwich Terns moved offshore, plus singles of Arctic Skua, Common Scoter, Kittiwake and Fulmar. On the land we dipped on the Wryneck (seen earlier) but did manage to find several Common Whitethroats, a couple of Stonechats, Whinchat and Wheatear, while the male Peregrine was perched on its usual pylon.
  Moving onto the bird reserve and a large flock of terns from the causeway road on ARC comprised 50 Commons, 12 Blacks and three Arctics. At Boulderwall the four Cattle Egret showed briefly as they tracked the suckling herd around the fields, but never approaching close enough for a pic.
  The circular route produced very little apart from two Dunlins, four Ringed Plovers, Little and Great White Egrets on Burrowes; two Snipe and five Pintails on Dengemarsh (no sign of the Pec) and 14 Shelducks flying over the Return Trail. In the car park a Great Diving Beetle was noted. From Hanson hide, four Great White Egrets, the tern flock and hundreds of Sand Martins over the lake. The Shoveler with bill band marked ULWUL, dabbling in front of the hide originated from Portugal and was seen here last year (PB).

                                Great Diving Beetle

                               Sandwich Tern

                                Portuguese Shoveler

  We finished off the day scanning the bay on a falling tide from the Romney Tavern viewpoint where the sands were covered in approximately 1,000 Black-headed Gulls, 500 Common Gulls, 500 Sandwich Terns, 300 Oystercatchers and 200 Curlews. In amongst the throng lurked several each of Ringed Plover, Dunlin, Turnstone and Sanderling, plus Barwit, Mediterranean Gull and the flock of 14 Shelducks seen earlier on the reserve. 

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