Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Out and about

 15 Waxwings still at 07.20 this morning in Hestia Way J/of Forum Way, Ashford just a few hundred yards from home. They were coming down to feed in the low Cotoneasters on the corner and are tolerant of close approach provided you stay in the car,  5 were still there late afternoon.
14 of the 15 present this morning
There was little sign of off shore migration this morning at a still bitterly cold Dungeness with just a few Brent Geese  Red-throated Divers and Gannets seen. A single Sandwich Tern at The Patch among the usual gulls  and 2 Ravens at the power station. Still no Wheatears at Dungeness.
On New Diggings a single Great White Egret. At the south end of the ARC Pit 5 Smew(1 drake) among the dwindling numbers of Tufted Duck, Pochard, Shoveler and Teal.
A quick look at Burrowes Pit from Dennis's hide was disappointing as it was from the visitor centre.
A wander up to the Tower and around the pits found 2 Chiffchaffs, 2 Marsh Harriers, 2 Bitterns flew over the track, a Great Spotted Woodpecker, 2 Green Woodpeckers, 2 + Cetti's Warblers singing and the seemingly resident duck Red Crested Pochard. From the the Screen 6 more red head Smew, 2 more Bitterns and a Great White Egret. In the Willow Trail a Firecrest still with Long-tailed Tit flock and a single Chiffchaff, also a Marsh Harrier over. (SB had a Hawfinch fly over the track to Hanson earlier this morning).
A trip out onto Walland Marsh with MH this afternoon where we spent a while at the seed dump in Tickners Lane. While there 30+ Yellowhammers, 50+ Chaffinches, 10+ Reed Buntings, a Corn Bunting and some winter thrushes came to feed but no sign of the Brambling.
The Bayland Farm feeding station held the usual Tree Sparrows and finches, close by a Black Swan was with some Mute Swans was the only wildfowl interest now that the Bewicks, Whoopers and Geese have left. A slow drive along |Caldicott Lane looking for Owls and Grey Partridge drew a blank, but we did manage 2 Red-legged Partridges.  

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