Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Not Happy!

First stop this morning was the observatory where Patrick was busy processing Willow Warblers.
A plod around the point found a minimum 50 Willow warblers, 40 Common Whitethroats, 2 Lesser Whitethroats, a Redstart, a Golden Plover and flock of 19 Redshank over the obs. 
In 2 visits the ARC a good selection of waders, 16 Black-tailed Godwits, 8 Common Sandpipers, 1 Wood Sandpiper, 2 Green Sandpipers, 2 Ringed Plover, 5 Little Ringed Plover, 2 Greenshank, 7 Knot, 11 Dunlin, c10 Oystercatchers, c50 Lapwing, a Golden Plover with a Garganey and Black-necked Grebe. Also the Golden Plover sp that I am not happy with. See the poor images below.  
 I saw this bird from the Screen and it immediately struck me as being slender, long legged and with dark spangling even at the c300 mt range. I watched it for a while then went back to the car to look at a field guide. After looking at the guide I was not completely happy but started towards Hanson. The more I thought about the bird the less happy I became, so turned round and went back to the Screen. Spending the next 3hrs watching the bird. I was joined by other Dungeness regulars. In 3hrs the bird only flew 3 times when flushed by a Marsh Harrier and was watched in flight for no more than a few seconds, only showing the underwing once which did appear pale, but this was in strong sunlight and I cannot honestly say I could see its feet protruding from the tail. The undertail did have black spotting/barring. The Tertials appeared quite long but detail was very difficult to make out at the range and heat haze. When only CT and myself were left watching the bird a Golden Plover  flew in. The difference was striking as the new bird was very dumpy in comparison and basically a bog standard Golden Plover. The bird was regularly harassed by Lapwings but more often than not fought back instead of running.
Many thanks to Tony for letting me put my camera on his 600mm lense.

Knot dropping into the ARC

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