Wednesday 11 December 2019

High-flying Bittern

Lade - clear, dry and sunny, light airs - After the gale force battering of yesterday today dawned still and calm for a change enabling a search for any passerines active around the site. Crossing the shingle ridges towards the lakes a pair of Stonechats sat atop the gorse and a couple of Meadow Pipits broke cover. The margins of south lake beside the main track are covered in bulrushes and with not a breath of wind I checked the full length resulting in eight Reed Buntings, two Blue Tits, Robin, Wren, Dunnock and Cetti`s Warbler. The ponds yielded more tits and Chaffinches, a few Blackbirds and a Chiffchaff.

                               Black-tailed Godwits, Burrowes

Dungeness - A guided walk around the circular route this morning for 16 RSPB guests took place in variable cloud cover with an increasing wind, although we did manage to avoid the rain. Burrowes was smothered in several thousand Cormorants and hundreds of gulls, mostly black-backs, plus the usual wildfowl including a Goldeneye and a flock of 15 Black-tailed Godwits in front of Firth hide. Just past Scott hide we picked up a high-flying Bittern which seemed to come in off the sea and eventually dropped down on Dengemarsh. It was in view for about five minutes, so everybody managed to get onto what may have been a bird arriving from the near continent for the winter. The guests also enjoyed good views of up to 10 Marsh Harriers, two Great White Egrets, hundreds of Lapwings, Golden Plovers and Wigeons, four Ravens, Sparrowhawk and Kestrel, plus vocalising Water Rails, Bearded Tits and Cetti`s Warblers.

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