Tuesday 12 February 2019

Barn Owls

Dungeness - warm, dry, cloudy, NW 2 - Superb weather to be out and about around the peninsula guiding today. We kicked off at the point where the usual seabirds were offshore and at the Patch, so plenty of close Guillemots, Great Crested Grebes and gulls, plus a few Kittiwakes, Razorbills, Gannets and Red-throated Divers. Couldn't find the Black Redstart by the Lifeboat Station, although a Sparrowhawk nipped through by the entrance to the estate.

                                            Tree Sparrows back at Boulderwall

  Moving onto the bird reserve and it was good to see at least four Tree Sparrows on the Boulderwall feeders along with the usual tits and finches as well as a pair of Greenfinches, Great Spotted Woodpecker and Reed Bunting. Plenty of activity on the wet fields nearby included hundreds of Lapwings, Golden Plovers and Wigeons, 20 Curlews and a Great White Egret. A circuit of the hides produced a drake Smew, four Ruff, three Goldeneyes, a Pintail and our first Avocet of the year on Burrowes amongst loads of common wildfowl, large gulls, Lapwings and Cormorants. Also noted,  several Marsh Harriers, Kestrel, Dabchick, Shelduck, Cetti`s Warbler, Oystercatcher and a Bullfinch in the car park scrub (rare here).

                                Wildfowl and Avocet on Burrowes                               

  We finished the afternoon at Park Wood, Appledore where a few common woodland birds were logged. It was then onto Moor Lane and protracted views of three Barn Owls quartering the wildlife friendly farmland, one of which settled in a hedgerow. Tawny and Little Owls were also heard, plus several Yellowhammers seen along with Buzzard and Kestrel. A terrific end to the day.

                                Appledore Barn Owls

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