Friday 8 March 2024

Water Pipit

Dengemarsh - cold, dry and sunny, E4 - The circular walk around the wetlands, mercifully in dry weather conditions, was pleasant enough despite the brisk wind out of the east. Passerines were few in number with only a handful of Skylarks, Reed Buntings, Pied Wagtails, Great Tits and Cetti`s Warblers on offer along the way, plus a Water Pipit in the flooded field by Springfield Bridge. The hayfields held 150 Teals, 20 Wigeons, 20 Shelducks, 10 Shovelers, 50 Curlews, 10 Lapwings, a Redshank, Little and Great White Egrets, while the obligatory Marsh Harriers and Common Buzzards were on the wing. The highlight of the walk was a pair of Brown Hares, a scarce mammal in these parts nowadays no thanks to the illegal coursers, and my first of the year. All the usual feral geese and ducks were at Scotney, but I could find no sign of the Scaup on the pit behind the caravan park, although it could easily have been lurking in the reeds out of the wind.

                                 Shelducks, Hayfield 2

                                 Leucistic Badger, Lydd Road

It`s that time of year when Badgers become more active, particularly the sows as they seek out food and bedding prior to cubbing. The other day travelling from New Romney to Ashford I counted eight dead Badgers along the A259 alone, while this morning there was another two along the Lydd Road, including the leucistic animal above.

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