Friday 23 February 2024

Tree Sparrows

Cool, showery, NW 3 - Late February is traditionally one of the quieter birding periods of the year as the winter visitors continue to drift back east and we await the first of the spring migrants. This past week has been particularly wet for our daily Ted walks with, at times, torrential rain resulting in flooded farmland fields across the Marsh and the water levels on the rise again across the Dungeness wetlands. On Monday we walked Dengemarsh gully which was just about bird-less apart from a few Dunnocks, a Cetti`s Warbler and a Chiffchaff. Two visits to Dengemarsh and the bird reserve today produced the expected Marsh Harriers, Great White Egrets and flocks of Wigeons and Curlews on the Boulderwall fields. The wintering Black-throated and Great Northern Divers are still present commuting between ARC and Burrowes, a single but elusive Glossy Ibis has been reported at ARC, while Lade pits has retained five Goldeneyes. A mid-week drive along the Midley wall failed to locate any winter swans and it would seem that they have departed for the season; infact there were few birds to be seen anywhere as the `custodians of the countryside` continue their relentless drive towards a monochrome and desolate landscape bereft of any form of nature.

                                   Tree Sparrow boxes being `guarded` by Ted

On a brighter note another batch of Tree Sparrow nest boxes has been completed and are ready to go out at Scotney where this once common farmland bird retains a tenuous hold on its existence.   

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