Friday, 6 January 2012

Grey Ghost

 At last a still sunny morning so Galloways first thing seemed a good choice. Once there 2 Stonechats, 4 Mippits and 6 Red Legged Partridge was all that was on offer till just as I got back into the car a Short Eared Owl popped up hunting the rough. MH had good views this afternoon.
 After Galloways I met MH at the ARC at Hanson where we saw the first Drake Smew of the winter at Dungeness with up to 4 red heads. A Cetti's Warbler showed well in front the hide but i was to slow with the camera to get publishable shots and again with a Bittern that flew across in front the hide. 2+ Water Rails were squealing by the hide and 2 Marsh Harriers flew by.
On New Diggings 1 Great White Egret and a Black Necked Grebe was new.
Dengemarsh held another Marsh Harrier and 6 Little Grebes and little else. A look at Hookers for Bearded Tits was a failure. Beside the path to Dennis hide several Tree Sparrows were sun bathing and from the hide the Long tailed Duck could be seen.
On Walland the 32 Bewick Swans still near Midley Barns and 200+ Golden Plover over.
At the Harrier roost near The Woolpack 50+ Fieldfare were in the Hawthorns, a Merlin sat on gate post, a minimum of 16 Marsh Harriers roosted and late on a superb adult male Hen Harrier ghosted in over the reed bed, spending a few minutes picking his roosting spot and being buzzed briefly by a Peregrine ,before dropping into the reeds to roost. A brilliant end to a good day birding.

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