Thursday, March 08, 2012

A day out in Kent

A good day out in Kent today - target birds Lapland Bunting and Glaucous Gull seen!
Possible Snow Geese flock - not seen! Hooded Merganser went yesterday!

Met Bob at 7.30 and as the Hooded M had not been seen yesterday we decided to go straight to Sheppey and await news on the pager! We arrived and drove up the tracjk to Elmley spotting Red-legged Partridges - also a small male Peregrine who was causing constenation among the Lapwings and other birds! Unfortunately no sign of Rough-legged Buzzards.
Got to the CP at Elmley went to see if any sign of Little owl- none and nothing on the list of birds seen this year.

Off to the other end of Sheppey to see if we could discover the Lapland Buntings.
Parked up near MManor and walked about 800 yds towards the RSPB conservation field past ploughed farm fields- then we tried 300 yrds towards the sea - and looked at the obvious field- there was activity and we both saw what we thought were Buntings - one was a Lapland - so we went towards the gates and walked along the ridge between the fields. We saw Corn Buntings- Skylarks and Linnets and then another Lapland and then we kept seeing Lapland Buntings we thought we must have seen 12plus.
A very good bird for Sheppey today!

We also enjoyed a Hare in the same field!

We then walked back to the car and we saw Marsh Harriers and then we saw a Hen Harrier.

Off to Dungeness - first call to see if the Snow Geese were any where to be seen - up and down the Denge Marsh Road and then over to Scotney.
So then to the beach to see if we could track down the long staying 2nd Winter Glaucous Gull. We walked towards the beach by the fishing boats next to the sea and saw Lee (he said he had walked everywhere looking for the gull and for ages!) there was a digger going backwards and forwards and as it came forward both Bob and I saw 2 gulls - one huge and Bob said its here and I could see the bulk of a Glock! Bob called to Lee and told him we had the bird! I took some record shots.
On the beach nearby were Turnstones! (strangely a year tick for me!)
Then the Glaucous flew off a distance and we were able to track him and look at him again through scopes.

Happy we went to Dungeness and spotted some of the Tree sparrows but they were elusive so we drove on and at the same time as Bob braked quite hard and I saw a BITTERN out in the open! Camera out and Bob opened his window and I shot across him! Very happy with these photos! Amazing views!

To the centre for a coffee and I was able to show the 2 women working there both the Glaucous as well as the Bittern. Bob was searching for signs of any of the 3 Caspian Gulls that had been seen yesterday. Eventually he said look at the gull on the left of this group...dark eye, head shape, forehead shape - we were both sure a Caspian!

We stopped by the Farm to watch the Tree Sparrows and I was able to get a few record shots!

Finally we went to the Beach to do some sea watching- 300plus Great Crested Grebes - lots of Cormorants - Kittiwakes and some Herring Gulls - 2 Gullimots ------

A good day and whilst we missed some birds we had hoped to connect with we also saw some great birds.

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