Monday, January 07, 2008

Sunday birding visit to Kent and briefly Sussex

Well one always tries to do too much. Well I do!

Trip to Dungeness and Rye Harbour was planned. Then added to as Birds appeared on the pager overnight!

Well on route we could see the Bewick Swans with Tundra Bean Geese, look at wellard marsh for Corn Buntings, Tree Sparrows and Yellowhammers. The Dunge for a variety of species and the Long Pit for Red-necked Grebe oh and Scotney for LTDucks and then Theres sea watching and Denge well as Rye for the Shorelark!

Thats planning well the best laid plans and all that!

We did see the Bewick's Swans not 23 but 43 and only 3 youngsters along with 11 Tundra Bean Geese and lots of Mute Swans.As we had been driving along I was on the look out for Rook and once I had seen one I couldn't stop seeing them!

A Jay was seen and dipped by me!Tricky when you are driving to see everything!
Red legs spotted. So we had a stop and Yes there they were.Across the road- lots of Curlews in a field with Golden Plovers and Lapwings.
To the Marsh Welland and eventually after hearing them we finally saw 1 Tree sparrow in a tree had seen a possible before. Corn Buntings yes lots but no Yellowhammers.

a BoP kept putting stuff up - couldn't see what but clouds of Lapwings, Golden Plovers and assorted others.

To Dungeness much later than anticipated but good information from the young man who was working there. Shag from the centre and Goosanders plus Smew male and Redheads.
Plenty of Ducks about.
off to a couple of hides...Christmas Dell for possible Red headed Pochard....not to be seen at all despite a lot of looking and searching and grilling the entire pit from every conceivable angle! No Bittern! It had been seen that day.

Picked up some nice bits - like the Cetti whose song exploded out of a bush as it did as well!

Up to 3 Marsh Harriers spotted hunting including a female plus about 8 Kestrels seen in the locale.

Off to see Red necked Grebe on the pit helpful birder explained where he had seen it earlier.....arrived and yes a grebe who dived in the scope and a lovely redneck in winter gear!

to the patch....Kittiwakes and Gulls unfortunately all small and not a med amidst them...would have like to interrogate the larger gulls but they were away away!
Lurking Caspian? Auks galore flying past Guillemots and Razorbills were id-ed no Little auks seen.Then Gannets...

to Scotney to see if we could find a redthroated diver...nope another dip but lovely pair of Long tailed Ducks! and a Barnacle flock with bluemorph Snow Goose and Emperor Goose...think they are feral but plastic! shame still havent seen a real Snow Goose yet!But then

I spot a white bird floating...its a ghostly white Barney! Barn Owl hunting and that was splendid spent a while watching!
More Ducks including Shelduck (mentioned by name are year ticks for me!)

Then it rained and the light was going....and then it brightened so off down Denge Marsh but through the Firing area no red flags so safe....
to the beach almost all the way by car....and search for a Scoter float!

Finally spotted by sheer chance then to get near...rush along a beach hahaha shingle not the easiest to walk on! Finally my zoom lens into its own as Common Scoter and finally flying Velvets.

Back to car and still light but as we whizzed towards Greatstone we realised the light was really dim and the sea was miles out so only Oystercatcher and Godwits could we be sure of.

I think i added 28 to the 59 I had sen already.

So 87 2008 Year List.

No trip to Rye and some dips but hey there are other days!

I love the beginning of a new year list!

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