Monday, 21 January 2013

Snow Buntings

As I got out of the car in the ARC car park first thing this morning I could hear Bewick Swans calling as they left the lake. In a couple of minutes 114 left roost on the pit. The bushes along the track to Hanson was alive with Redwings and a few Fieldfares and Reed Buntings also 2 Marsh Harriers over. The Willow Trail was also full of Redwings and Blackbirds. The view from the hide was disappointing with most of the lake frozen and few wildfowl to be seen. Driving to The Point a Great White Egret and 3 red head Smew could be seen on New Diggings.
 From the fishing boats still 100s of Razorbills, Guillemots, Great Crested Grebes and 10s of Red Throated Divers, Gannets and Kittiwakes tooing and froing, also 18 Common Scoter moved west.
Scotney pits were covered in wildfowl, mainly Wigeon and Greylags, but also good numbers of Pochard and Tufted Duck. The Barnacle Goose flock was still present and in the small copse dozens of Redwing and fieldfare and a single Woodcock.
News from PT that he had seen the 2 Snow Buntings in Greatstone Dunes first seen Saturday by OL. I was joined on the beach by the dunes at Greatstone by CT and SB where we saw a few Reed Buntings and Meadow Pipits, on the shore Sanderling, Dunlin, Knot, Bar Tailed Godwits, Grey Plover, Curlew and Oystercatchers but no Snow Buntings. I decided to walk along the dunes to the sailing club and saw a few more Reed Buntings also a few winter Thrushes but Snow Bunting. I was half way back when SB called to say the Buntings were just east of the sailing club. Another hike back and I could see them. They were uncharacteristically flighty not allowing close approach and flying several hundreds of yards each time a dog walker came near.    
On Burrowes Pit 2 Great White Egrets from Dennis's Hide, from Scott a red head Smew, a Raven 2 Marsh Harriers and a Peregrine. Along the track 200+ Golden Plover and 20+ Common Snipe over.
On Walland near Midley I counted 162 Bewick Swans but there may well have been more as they were distant and the light was failing, also a Merlin dashed over a ploughed field putting up a flock of c40 Corn Buntings. Driving through the lanes winter Thrushes were much in evidence.

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