Friday, 29 March 2013

No Garganey

My plan today was to scour the reserve today for some Garganey. Arriving at Boulderwall Farm to find a Police car across the entrance and the fire brigade steaming up behind me (apparently a horse was stuck in a ditch) it was time for plan "B". Straight on to the south end of the ARC where a Great White Egret and Little Egret were in the reed bed with a Cetti's Warbler singing nearby. Carefully scrutinising every duck and finding 5 Smew(1 drake) and 2 Goldeneye and definitely NO Garganey. While checking the Meadow Pipits for something better a smart male Black Redstart hopped into view. Across the road on New Diggings 3 Great White Egrets sheltering from the sleet and wind and a Marsh Harrier flew over the road.
I drove round to Dengemarsh Road where the Little Ringed Plover was still on its muddy puddle, parking at Springfield Bridge I could see several emergency service vehicles in the distance near Boulderwall farm. From the bridge I made my way round the flooded hay fields, once again scrutinising every duck and every tuft of sedge for a lurking Garganey and once again failing. However a smart pair of Pintail were some compensation also 20+ Dunlin, 8 Ringed Plover, 3 Common Snipe, 6 Curlew and 2 displaying Lapwing. along the ditch at the top of hayfield 3, 2 Bearded Tits were flitting through the reeds, while trying to get an angle to photograph them I virtually trod on a Bittern, in my resulting panic I failed to photograph any of them. From the viewing ramp another Bittern (the one with the missing primaries) that came up from Christmas Dell dropped into the Hookers reed bed. While there a Marsh Harrier put on a superb aerial display flushing 200+ Wigeon, 100+ Stock Doves, 50+ Curlew, 50+ Golden Plover, 4+ Ruff and 100+ Lapwing and countless Starlings.
At the sheep coral another Bittern (the pale bird) jumped out and flew to Boulderwall and at the same time a Great White Egret flew towards Lydd. My last hope of Garganey was at the shooting pool but that was bird less, then I remembered the emergency vehicles.
Wandering back to the car I saw yet another Bittern in the distance at the back of Dengemarsh, 6 Common Snipe flew over as did a Raven.
In Dengemarsh Gulley another smart Black Redstart and a Chiffchaff were of note. In Dengemarsh Road I met NB and parents who told me of 2 Penduline Tits at Firth hide, although I was there in minutes there was no sign of them and as far as I know they weren't seen again. A last look at Dengemarsh found 2 LRPs on the muddy pool. Walland Marsh was quiet, except for the male Hen Harrier which flew across the road by the cut turf field, the Tickners lane seed dump was virtually bird less. Not a single usable photograph today.   


  1. Where are my Wheatear pictures Martin? I'm getting withdrawal symptoms...

  2. I'd like to be posting spanking male Bluethroat pics Steve.